For me this was the highlight of our visit. I’d been to the other places before (my friend Ken hadn’t), but this was new to me. I’d understood that the monument was to stand in Downing Park almost directly opposite the First Presbyterian Church, but it turned out that this was not the case. In fact it’s in Railroad Park right next to the old Putnam Railroad Depot.

According to the Town of Yorktown, NY site:

…Dedicated to educating and commemorating the rich Revolutionary War History found here in Yorktown Heights, the Pines Bridge Monument Committee was formed to create a monument to America’s first veterans whose brave actions created our new republic. Fought within Yorktown’s borders, the “Battle of Pines Bridge” was one of the bloodiest small unit actions in the first military undertaking of this great nation, the War for Independence. People know little of this memorable event, nor the role of the African American, Native American and Colonial Soldiers who fought the battle on May 14, 1781. Certainly these men “who gave their all!” deserve such a monument that will “sharpen our sense of local and national purpose.”

The monument, in the form of a heroic sculpture by nationally noted sculptor Jay Warren of Oregon, pays tribute to the members of the Rhode Island Regiment who died defending the Pines Bridge crossing of the Croton River. It depicts Colonel Christopher Greene, the legendary commander of the regiment. Two soldiers fight beside him, an African American and a Native American, all doomed to perish in the brief and desperate battle.

The history of the Rhode Island Regiment embodies the racial and ethnic melting pot that represents America’s greatest strength and her greatest trials. The mixed fighting unit, made up of men of European, African, and Native American descent, was not common until the American military officially integrated nearly two centuries later.

This grand sculpture illuminates the exceptional diversity of our nation; conveys the nobility and tragedy of these soldiers of the American Revolution and represents and honors ALL American veterans of every race and ethnicity who followed them.

Note that the above text refers to: “…men of European, African and Native American descent” and that the monument reflects this in the three figures: one European, one African American and on Native American. So after only 237 years the Native Americans finally get their monument.

Taken with a Sony RX100M3.

Leave a Reply