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  • 45-BAC 1X1-Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
  • 45. Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument - 1
  • 45. Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument - 2

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument


Martin Milmore


Boston Common, on Flagstaff Hill  


Boston Common, on Flagstaff Hill
United States


Back Bay






Bronze and Granite





Boston’s most elaborate memorial, this work serves as the City’s tribute to its citizens who fought on land and sea during the Civil War. Its design incorporates a number of abstract symbols. For example, four figures at the base of the column symbolize the cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West. Crowning the column is an allegorical female figure representing the Genius of America. Lastly, four bronze plaques located on the base show troops departing to and returning from war, while the other two pay tribute to the Navy and the Boston Sanitation Commission. Boston sculptor Martin Milmore created the monument, and Harvard president Charles W. Eliot penned the featured inscription. In honoring ordinary soldiers and sailors, rather than military leaders, this work set an important precedent adopted by the designers of subsequent memorials.

The sculpture also included four bronze figures, each placed at a corner of the monument’s base and representing Peace, the Sailor, the Muse of History, and the Soldier. These figures were in need of repair and were removed to prevent further deterioration. During the summer 2014, they were returned by truck from Daedalus studio in Watertown where the restoration work was performed. Restoration work continued at Soldiers and Sailors into summer, including the replacement of pieces to four plaques at the base of the monument, as well as cleaning.

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