Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (Cleveland)

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The Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, circa 1900

The Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is a monument to Civil War soldiers and sailors from Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Located in the southeast quadrant of Public Square in downtown Cleveland, it opened July 4, 1894.[1] It was designed by architect Levi Scofield (1842–1917), who also created the monument's sculptures. F.F. Schnitzer was the supervising architect who oversaw the creation of the structure. The monument is regularly open to the public free of charge.

History and Construction[edit]

The monument consists of a 125-foot black Quincy granite shaft erected on a square base constructed of rough-hewn granite blocks trimmed in sandstone and housing a memorial building. The shaft divided by six carved bands which list the names of battles in which Cuyahoga soldiers fought and is topped with a bronze statue of the "Goddess of Liberty" signifying loyalty to United States.[2]

Designed by Levi Scofield, a Captain in the 103rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the monument consists of an elevated base, surmounted by a column capped with a 15' high a statue of Freedom, defended by the shield of Liberty. He also created the monument's magnificent sculptures.[3] Scofield is also known for his design of the Ohio State Reformatory, located in Mansfield, Ohio and site of the film, The Shawshank Redemption, as well as Cleveland's Schofield Building, known today as The Kimpton Schofield Hotel.

The larger than life bronzes, viewed in the proper sequence, tell of the war’s deadly progression. The south side features the Navy, as sailors load a giant mortar at the low casualties, 48 hour Battle of Island Number Ten. The bronze features an African American, in one of the first monuments showing blacks and whites fighting side-by-side. Moving counter-clockwise (on purpose. Scofield shows that war is contrary to human nature.) the next bronze is the Artillery. The cannoneers aim and fire, but there are losses – two artillerists have been killed.

On the north side is Infantry, during a battle at Resaca, GA. where Scofield was present. Of the nine figures, three are dead. The rest have been wounded. Finally, to the west, the Cavalry statue shows all the horrors of war in ferocious, hand-to-hand combat – in frightening realism. The only rebel soldier is shot at point blank range, in a very accurate sculptural portrayal of war.

The interior provides peace and tranquility. Bronze panels mark the beginning and end of the war, as well as Lincoln’s freeing of the slaves. Another panel shows the names of 100 women of the Northern Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Relief Society. In the corner of the panel sits a Catholic nun, from the Ursuline order, who still run Cleveland’s St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. [4]

Inside the memorial building are a series of marble tablets listing 9,000 Civil War veterans that served with Cuyahoga County regiments or were from Cuyahoga County.[5] Also inside the base are four bronze relief sculptures depicting the Soldiers' Aid Society, Emancipation of the Slaves, Beginning of the War in Ohio and the End of the War, as well as busts of Col. James Barnett, Scofield, and several Ohio officers who were killed in action during the war.[6]


One of the four sculptural groupings on the monument's exterior

Restoration of the monument began October 26, 2008, and was expected to last approximately nine months with a cost $1.5 million. Funds came from federal, state and local governments, veterans' and community groups.[5] Work included cleaning interior and exterior stonework, structural repairs and painting, restoring chandeliers, installing upgraded heating and lighting, repairs to stained glass windows, installing air conditioning and making the monument accessible to disabled visitors. When the marble tablets were created, names were etched with acid, then inked. Over time, the dyes from the ink leached into the marble and discolored it. Workers cleaned each name and restored the marble's original patina.[6] The renovated monument opened June 5, 2010,[7] with $2 million spent on work.[1]

From the time of dedication until the 1940s, plantings around the monument depicted 24 army corps badges and 5 badges of Civil War organizations. After construction work finished, volunteer gardeners used over 16,000 plants to recreate the 5 organization badges plus two based on illustrations in the memorial room and one for the Daughters of Union Veterans. The plants cost $6,500 and were specially cultivated for the project. The 24 army badges could not be recreated because of budget constraints.[2]

In 2011, researchers discovered that the names of 140 black soldiers from the area were omitted from the tablets. The commission overseeing the monument said it will add the names and others they discover through additional research.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dave Davis (6 April 2011). "Gifts to renovate Soldiers and Sailors Monument sit in bank while county awaits repayment". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
  2. ^ a b Susan Love (2 June 2010). "Historic emblems restored in the gardens of Cleveland's Soldiers and Sailors Monument". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
  3. ^ Gleason, William J. (1894). History of Cuyahoga County soldiers' and sailors' monument. Scenes and incidents from its inception to its completion. Cleveland: The Monument Commission. p. 615. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  4. ^ Notarianni, Nancy (July 2011). "Hidden in Plain Site: The Soldiers and Sailors Monument". Cleveland Visitor. Independence, Ohio: City Visitor, Inc.
  5. ^ a b Ted Klopp (2008-10-26). "Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument to be restored". WTAM-AM 1100. Cleveland, Ohio: Retrieved 2009-06-29.
  6. ^ a b Caniglia, John (20 March 2009). "Making Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument like new". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
  7. ^ Evelyn Theiss (5 June 2010). "Cleveland's Soldiers and Sailors Monument reopens". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
  8. ^ Davis, Dale (28 May 2011). "Black Civil War veterans to be added to Cleveland's Soldiers & Sailors Monument, honored on Memorial Day". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-06-01.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°29′58″N 81°41′35″W / 41.49951°N 81.69298°W / 41.49951; -81.69298