Soon after it appeared, “The Kneeling Angel” acquired a derisive name, “The Squatting Angel.” Perhaps some felt that the figure’s kneeling position presented an image of sorrowfulness that was not in keeping with the martial and victorious spirit a winning side in a war ought to convey. In April 1884, the monument was moved from its prominent position in Downtown Ossining to the grounds of the old Park School to a spot where the present school playground is. Later in 1939, due to the construction of the new Park School it was moved once again to the lower part of Nelson Park and finally it came to rest at its present location at the eastern edge of Nelson Park.
In January of 1887, a movement to have a new monument that would be more heroic in nature than the Kneeling Angel was launched. Accordingly, a prototypical image of a Civil War soldier with musket in hand was selected. It was similar to the soldier monuments found on courthouse lawns, battlefield sites, cemeteries and other public spaces in the North and the South. Thousands of these sculpted forms made of various stone and metal materials were produced.
The man chosen to head up Sing Sing’s Monument Committee was Colonel Edwin McAlpin, a resident of the Village and commander of the 71st Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard. (Col McAlpin did not serve in the Civil War) The committee included practically all of the Village’s prominent men and they contracted with Maurice J. Power owner of the National Fine Arts Foundry located at 218 E. 25th Street in Manhattan to cast it. Among the notable pieces of bronze sculpture produced by the foundry were large battle monuments at Trenton and Monmouth, New Jersey; Newburgh, Albany and Buffalo, New York; Augusta, Maine; Manchester, New Hampshire; Clinton, Holyoke, Lawrence and Springfield, Massachusetts; and others in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. It is probable that the sculptor Ossining’s Standing soldier monument was Caspar Buberl (1834–1899) He and Power mutually worked on a number of other Civil War monuments and earlier in their careers, they apprenticed together.
Ossining’s soldier was placed atop a 14’ granite shaft and he towers 7’ ft. 6” above that. A bronze tablet on the shaft bears the names of the 35 Ossining soldiers who perished in the War. According to newspaper accounts the dedication on Decoration Day, May 30, 1887 was preceded by a huge parade of civic and military organizations including McAlpin’s regiment who came on up from New York City on a train chartered by the Colonel at his personal expense. The total cost of the monument was $3,500.
Originally, the statue was located over a small reservoir at Hubbell’s Corner (the intersection of North Highland Avenue (Rt.9) and Croton Avenues). Apparently, the statue’s location was a bottleneck and New York State and the Village agreed to widen the intersection and change the grading. Accordingly, in September of 1930, it was moved to the intersection of Pleasantville Road and Brookville Avenue where it stands today.
Taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M10 and Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f4-5.6