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Soldiers and Sailors Monument - York, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 57.427 W 076° 43.638
18S E 352462 N 4424426
Quick Description: What once was the site of a Civil War field hospital is now a city park, with this large "Soldiers and Sailors" monument commemorating York's Civil War heritage and veterans. A nearby bronze relief map depicts the layout of the U.S. Army Hospital.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 3/31/2013 6:27:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMGQFT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Long Description:

York has a deep and abiding connection to the U.S. Civil War, or as the monument calls it, the War of the Rebellion. What was once a field hospital has now been converted in a large, square block of green common land with a nice distribution of markers, monuments and memorials. The common goes back to the family of William Penn, who gave it to the City in perpetuity as a common space. The Common is on W. College Ave, across the street from William Penn Senior High School. This monument is the crown jewel of the park.

I will borrow the physical description from SIRIS as anything I could offer would be superfluous: A female figure stands atop a tall Corinthian column, holding a lowered shield in her proper left hand. In her raised proper right hand she holds a sword surrounded by a wreath. At the base of the column are four bronze figures, each representing a different branch of the military. They are dressed in military uniform and are positioned on each corner, facing outward. One holds the remains of a rifle; another holds the remains of a sword. Between the figures are relief plaques depicting battle scenes or scenes of military engagement, including: Front: an infantry engagement; Proper left: a Cavalry charge; Rear: a ship deck with wounded soldiers; Proper right: artillery. The entire memorial is mounted upon a stepped base. SOURCE I was particularly taken with the high degree of detail with the various relief work tablets featuring horrific scenes of battle on ships, on the field, with cannons and artillery and with cavalry. All sorts of armaments and weaponry any any other manner with which to take human life are portrayed as was the manner of warfare in the mid 19th century.

The monument is also a contributing structure to the York Historic District. Curiously, the dedication date is listed as 1898 while on the SIRIS site, it is listed as 1901. The monument is massive: Overall the monument is approximately 50 feet in height. The female figure atop the column is approximately 10 x 2 x 1 feet. The column is approximately 35 feet in height. Each military figure surrounding the base is approximately 7 feet 6 inches x 2 feet x 1 foot. The base is approximately 5 x 22 x 22 feet. The Female figure is of Vermont granite and the military figures are of bronze. The relief plaques are of bronze and the base is of Vermont granite. The work was contracted by Edward Gallagher, Jr. The Gettysburg famous founder, Bureau Brothers was used to complete the monument. The total cost of the monument was $23, 500. A bronze tablet reads: In memory of/of the York County/soldiers and sailors/of the late/War of the Rebellion/1861-1865.

NRHP Narrative

TITLE: Soldiers and Sailors Monument

ARTIST(S): Bureau Brothers, founder. Gallagher, Edward, Jr., contractor

DATE: ca. 1901

MEDIUM: Female figure: Vermont granite; Military figures: bronze; Relief plaques: bronze; Base: Vermont granite


Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

Penn Common 124-132 West College Avenue York, PA 17401

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