County and The War Between The States:
At the corner of
Main and Washington in Winchester is the landmark "Soldiers and
Sailors Monument" -- completed in 1890 and dedicated in 1892.
Most of us have walked, driven or ridden past this structure
countless times without paying it much notice. But as we
grow older, there's a tendency to notice and appreciate things
we may have overlooked before. This monument, one of the
finest examples of granite and bronze sculpture to be found
anywhere, is one of the things I've noticed recently.
|Ok, if there's one
piece of trivia most everyone knows, it's that this particular
monument was the first of its kind to be constructed in the
state, and remains one of the highest Civil War monuments in
Indiana. Second or third highest, in fact, depending on
did you also know that this monument dedicated to the Civil War
soldiers was initially funded by a pacifist? It's true.
A Quaker gentleman named James Moorman bequeathed $2,000 to
build the monument, and construction was approved by the county
commissioners after a public referendum.
On the east face of the monument there's a plaque commemorating
the generosity of Mr. Moorman, which reads as follows:
"James Moorman, a member of the Society of Friends, and
conscientiously opposed to war, but recognizing the great value
of the services of the Union soldier, to our country and to the
cause of human liberty, by his last will and testament
contributed two thousand dollars to the erection of this
The plaque continues: "In commemoration of the services
and patriotism of the soldiers who fought and died, during the
late rebellion, in defense of their country, the union of the
states, and the rights of man, the Board of Commissioners of the
County of Randolph, on petition of a majority of voters of said
county, have erected this monument."
|At this point, you
may be doing a double-take. Moorman? Does that say
Moorman?? I was thinking the same thing, so I contacted
classmate Emojean Moorman Brindel and learned that James Moorman
was actually her grandfather's uncle. The Moorman family
was one of the three original settling families of Randolph
County, and James Moorman (as well as his brother, John - more
about him in a subsequent installment) were direct descendents
of this original clan. At the time of his death, James
Moorman, a banker, was one of the wealthiest men in Indiana, and
the $2,000 he bequeathed to finance the monument was a
substantial sum of money in those days.
additional piece of trivia. The bronze sculptures on the
monument were created by Chicago-based sculptor artist
Lorado Taft. Taft was one of the most distinguished
sculpture artists of the day, and it's easy to find photos of
his work on the internet. He was 32 years old when the
monument in Winchester was dedicated. The
Randolph County Historical Society has published a book (Randolph
County, Indiana 1818-1990) that devotes several pages to
the monument, and includes photos of the statues and frieze
before they were sent out from the artist's studio for casting. Check out the detail
on these sculptures:
The photos on the right side
they were sent out for casting, and on the
left you can see the same sculpture as it
today, over a
century later (from a slightly different perspective).
photo on the left is of one panel of the frieze and you can see
clearly the three-dimensional detail and how beautifully it all
comes through on the monument. This section is in the
photo above and can be seen just over the shoulder of the
photo on the right is of the sculptor, Lorado Taft, standing
next to the statue of the flag bearer that rests on top of the
monument. This photo provides an impression of the scale
of the monument.
Taft graduated from the University of Illinois, where his
father was a Geology professor, and studied post-graduate in
He returned from Paris in 1886 and opened his studio in Chicago,
so he'd been in his own studio for only a few years when he
received this commission.
Civil war monuments were a prime source of work for sculptors in
the last half of the nineteenth century, and Taft quickly earned
a reputation for his battlefield monuments at Gettysburg and
elsewhere, but his first major commission work was for the
World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 - where he had
two sculptures adorning the entrance to the horticultural
On the west side of the monument, we
find this dark, non-cited quotation:
A search of the internet finds that
this quotation was part of a book published in 1856 by H. H.
Hawley of Utica, New York entitled: Songs For Free
Men: A Collection of Campaign and Patriotic Songs For The
People Adapted To Familiar And Popular Melodies And Designed To
Promote The Cause Of "FREE SPEECH, FREE PRESS, FREE SOIL, FREE
MEN, AND FREMONT".
Whew. That title is sure a mouthful!
Here are the complete lyrics:
Freemen of the North, to Freemen of Kansas by Key J. Pierpont
(From Warren's Address to The American Soldiers, before the
Battle of Bunker Hill)
Stand! The ground's your own, my braves,
Will ye give it up to slaves?
Will ye look for greener graves?
Hope ye mercy still?
What's the mercy ruffians feel?
Hear it in that battle peal!
Read it on yon bristling steel!
Ask it ye who will.
Fear ye foes who kill for hire
Will ye to your homes retire?
Look behind you! They're on fire,
And before you, see
Who have done it! From the vale,
On they come! ...and will ye quail?
Leaden rain and iron hail,
Let their welcome be!
In the God of battle trust!
Die we may, and die we must;
But, oh! Where can dust to dust
Be consigned so well,
As where Heaven its dews shall shed,
On the martyred patriot's bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head.
Of his deeds to tell?
Now, here's the most important
information of all, and something that may really surprise you.
Randolph and the surrounding counties were home to one of the
most celebrated Federal regiments of the Civil War! The
19h Indiana Volunteers were part of the famous "Iron Brigade" of
the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac. The Iron
Brigade participated in every major engagement from the start of
the war. They stood against North Carolina boys on the
first day at Gettysburg and bought vital hours and field
position while the rest of the army was coming up to the fight.
So - it's entirely fitting that a memorial of this importance
should be located in Randolph County, because the service of
Randolph County - and other boys from East Central Indiana - was
unsurpassed in the Civil War.
Randolph County, Indiana - 1818 - 1990
by the Randolph County Historical Society - Turner Printing
Bancroft Library, Library of the University of California
Songs For Free Men: A Collection of Campaign and
Patriotic Songs For The People Adapted To Familiar And Popular
Melodies And Designed To Promote The Cause Of "FREE SPEECH, FREE
PRESS, FREE SOIL, FREE MEN, AND FREMONT", by H. H.