Last August, I was driving my mother around New York’s Mohawk Valley area while we pursued some leads for our family genealogy. But the most exciting find of the trip was this outstanding Civil War memorial in Gloversville, New York. I had to stop the car, investigate, and take photographs.
My wife and I have long made an informal study of what we call “our glorious fallens” – the war memorials erected by communities across the US, Canada, the UK, Russia, etc. – in which a community remembers and salutes those of its members who have gone to war. The monument in Gloversville ranks as one of the top five that we have found though it appears to have escaped wider notice in spite of its obvious quality.
The monument itself was disappointingly short on information with regard to the sculptor, the sponsor(s), and even the date upon which it was erected and/or dedicated. Its principal inscription reads:
“IN MEMORY OF THE MEN WHO OFFERED THEIR LIVES IN DEFENSE OF THEIR COUNTRY”
The only lead was the markings to indicate that it had been cast at the Gorham Foundry – manufacturers of the work of numerous famous and less well known artists from the US and abroad. The National Gallery of American Art in Washington DC has microfilm copies of the records from the Gorham company and I was able to spend an unfortunately fruitless afternoon looking for further information there.