History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Civil War Monument in South Park

21 Nov , 2017  

It stands sentinel near the entrance of South Park, just as it has for the last 108 years. Erected in 1908, the Civil War Monument is 27 years newer than its counterpart in Central Park downtown.

Like its cousin, this statue was given in memory of deceased veterans of the Civil War. While the downtown monument was donated by an individual, however, the South Park statue was a gift from veterans of the 120th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

The 120th was Commanded by Colonels Daniel French and Marcus Spiegel. Organized in Mansfield, the unit served primarily in the southern theatre of action during the war, and was involved in the Battle of Port Gibson and the Siege of Vicksburg. Some 300 men were lost in three years; 2 officers and 17 enlisted men killed in action, and 6 officers and 275 men died from disease.

There is one other monument erected by the 120th O.V.I., which still stands on the battlefield at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

It was a festive and hot August day in 1908 when the statue was dedicated. Veterans came from around north central Ohio, and from as far away as Wooster and Doylestown. Volunteers performed a mock battle on Park Avenue West, and also in South Park. Soldiers were house at the Vonhof Hotel downtown, and bands serenaded them as they arrived. Houses and buildings along the parade route were draped in red, white, and blue; 120th O.V.I. veterans rode in carriages.

After the dedication, ladies from the Central Methodist Church fed the many people gathered.

Nearby to the statue in South park are two cannon, both cast in 1864 in Pittsburgh and which saw action during the war.

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