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Monadnock Moment No. 066
Era 5: Civil War & Reconstruction - 1850 to 1877
The First Soldiers' Monument
As we travel throughout New Hampshire, it seems that each town common is the site of a soldiers' monument commemorating the service of that town's native sons and daughters in the wars of United States history. It is interesting to us here in the Monadnock Region that the first of these monuments in New Hampshire was raised and dedicated in Cheshire County.
The town of Sullivan was the site of this first soldiers' monument, dedicated on July 4, 1867, two years after the close of the Civil War and one month after the New Hampshire legislature passed an act authorizing towns to raise and appropriate money for monuments to deceased soldiers.
The ladies of' Sullivan, however, had already raised the money needed for their monument. The Ladies Aid Society, which was formed during the war to provide aid to soldiers, continued its work by raising the more than $700 needed to erect the monument in memory of Sullivan's casualties in the recently completed Civil War.
Elaborate dedication ceremonies were held on July 4th of 1867. Speeches were delivered, a dinner was held, and the new monument, bearing the names of the young men of Sullivan who had died in the war, was unveiled. This first of New Hampshire's many soldiers' monuments still stands 120 years later overlooking the church and common at Sullivan Center.