Correction and Update: A huge “thank you” to a reader who pointed out that the Mansfield statue that is a twin to that in New York is the one which stands in Mansfield’s Central Park, and is not the one in South Park. While both local statues have single Civil War soldiers standing with a rifle, the placement of the hands is different. A Google Maps view of the downtown statue can be viewed here.
That said, we have to say how wonderful is it that Mansfield boasts two quality figures on statues honoring local Civil War units!
We hope to do a story on the Central Park statue this week.
Two Civil War statues sitting 540 miles apart from one another have something in common.
As followers of national news know, the country and its communities have been having a very public dialogue about how best to commemorate all aspects of the past. In some cities and villages, monuments have been removed or destroyed in recent weeks.
One such community is Saratoga Springs, New York, a place noted for his horse racing history and grand hotels and restaurants. Congress Park sits in the middle of the city, an oasis of green interspersed with civic and park buildings.
According to this story last week in The Saratogian, a statue in the middle of Congress Park was recently vandalized, with the figure on the top of the statue toppled. The story notes that the statue is one commemorating an infantry unit of Union soldiers during the Civil War.
As the community bands together to replace the statue, it was found that there were two known identical statues across the country ordered from the maker, J.W. Fiske & Co., each of which could be used as a model.
One was said to be in Mansfield.
A clear view of the original statue can be found in a photograph included in a New York Times story (visible here). A quick comparison of images shows that the Mansfield statue is that which currently stands in South Park. While the base differs, the figure appears identical.
The statue in South Park was profiled by 1812Blockhouse in our “Landmarks of Mansfield” series:
It stands sentinel near the entrance of South Park, just as it has for the last 110 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.