Monday, June 22, 2009

Civil War Monument in Greenwich Village?

Who would have thought it? We have a Civil War monument in Greenwich Village. I can't think of a more anti-military place than the Village. Well, it exists.

It is a plaque erected in honor of the 83rd New York Volunteer Regiment. The unit mustered into service on May 27, 1861 with 850 men. The regiment fought at 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. It returned to New York and demustered on June 11, 1864. Only seventeen officers and 78 enlisted men returned.

You look at these statistics and realize the tragedy of it all. I think the larger the numbers become, the more inured people become to the horror. Think of it. 755 men did not come back. Can you blame the survivors for leaving the war even before it ended?

Those who remained lived on after the war and erected this monument on May 30, 1908 on 13th Street and University Place. Their former headquarters is now an office building housing a labor union.

In the bustle of downtown Manhattan, a tiny monument to our past can be found.

Do any of you have a Civil War monument(s) near you?

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