I first noticed this impressive monument some time ago, but didn’t have a chance to look at it closely at the time. I went back yesterday. It’s the Town of Cortlandt Civil War Memorial even though it’s located in Monument Park, Peekskill. It’s the most spectacular of the monuments there, but it’s not the only one. There are also monuments commemorating those who fell in World War I; World War II; Korea and Vietnam. Finally there is a small monument dedicated: “To the memory of those from Peekskill who served in the World War 1917-1918”. It appears to list the names of all of those who served. Its base reads: “Lest We Forget”.
This monument is actually located in the City of Peekskill, near the intersection of Main Street (Rt. 6) and North Division Street and consists of a Civil War color bearer standing atop a 40 ft tall tapered polished granite shaft on a tiered base. The figure wears a long coat and cap. He holds the flag pole in his left hand. Three additional uniformed figures, a sailor, a cavalryman and an artilleryman stand at the base of the shaft. On the South side of the Monument the Inscription reads, “To The Memory Of The Soldiers and Sailors From The Town of Cortlandt Who Served in the Civil War 1861 – 1865.” A bronze plaque on the North Side says, “Erected by The Citizens of The Town of Cortlandt Through the Efforts of the Veterans Monument Association And All Organizations Affiliated With The Grand Army Of The Republic.” Inscribed on the column are the names of various battles that Cortlandt men fought in – “Fort Fisher • Cold Harbor • Wilderness • Appomattox • Cedar Creek • Vicksburg • Gettysburg • Antietam.”
The monument was commissioned Jan. 1916 and dedicated on Sept. 4, 1916 with a speech by Lt. General George B. Loud. He served as a Lieutenant during the War with Company D, 10th U.S. Colored Troops Heavy Artillery. The monument’s granite material came from the Jones Brothers Quarry in Barre, Vermont. It was once “the largest granite manufacturing plant in the world,” and had over 600 employees and occupied 100,000 square feet of operational space until it closed in 1975.
Closer view of the figure on top of the column.