By Marjorie R Wilson
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2006, All Rights Reserved
The author, Harold A. George, who is known for his in-depth Civil War programs, has photographed and indexed more than 270 Ohio Civil War monuments; 66 are featured here. Most of the illustrations are large enough for the viewer to see much detail. Each photo includes the memorial’s location, cost, and dedication date.
Uniformed men are the most common memorial subject. Most are a symbolic ‘everyman,’ but some are familiar Civil War patriots, such as Lincoln, McPherson, Steedman, John Clem (the youngest Union volunteer), and Custer.
There are lots of cannon, of course, and an assortment of obelisk types. There are some unique memorials, too, including a beautifully sculpted bronze and stone featuring the effigy of the grandfather of the family who paid for the statue.
In Canton, a bronze-draped woman, “Peace,” bows at the base of a large stone and places a palm frond on its surface. George includes the Confederate POW cemetery in Columbus with its huge boulder crudely cut with the words “2260 Confederate Soldiers of the War of 1861-65 buried in this enclosure.”
Although Civil War Monuments of Ohio is essentially a picture book, George relates some human interest stories collected, as he told me, from people he met on thousands of miles of travel researching this book. He includes quite a bit of incidental monument information. The complete index of monuments, categorized by region and county, is also in the book.
There are thousands of Civil War books, but I doubt if there is another quite like this one, dedicated to the memorials honoring those who served in a cruel war that left millions of broken hearts, bodies, and lives. As I spent time with the book, I felt that it is also a testimonial to the grief and pride of citizens who raised these memorials so that the generations will remember.
Civil War Monuments of Ohio by Harold A. George
From the publisher: This book tells the history of the Civil War monuments in Ohio. Why were they built and who built them? What did they cost and what materials were used? These questions are answered in this publication. Giving examples of the twelve types of monuments that were erected, the book also includes a “then and now” photograph section. Also in the book is a table that lists the exact location of every Civil War monument in Ohio. There are more than 260 of them in Ohio. Over 100 full color photographs are included in the book.
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