With no less than six monuments, Gloucester features more Civil War monuments (dedicated to general populations of soldiers and sailors) than any other municipality in Massachusetts. This is due to the fact that, in addition to a city-wide monument, Gloucester’s distinct and somewhat isolated villages each saw fit to erect monuments of their own.
Gloucester Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument
Location: City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester
Coordinates: 42°36’50.0″N 70°39’46.6″W
Date dedicated: September 11, 1879
Architect/sculptor: Base by Cape Ann Granite Co., statue cast by Ames Manufacturing Co., sculptor unknown
The scenic fishing port of Gloucester (Essex County) boasts no fewer than six monuments—the most of any Massachusetts municipality outside of Boston. The patriotic spirit of the various villages in Gloucester, and perhaps a healthy sense of competition between them, led to this proliferation of memorializing.
The city’s primary monument is an imposing one, located by City Hall and dedicated on September 11, 1879. Its main inscription reads, “In memory of the soldiers and sailors of Gloucester who fought in the war of 1861-1865, for the preservation of the Union. Erected by Post 45, G. A. R., 1879.” It features an elaborate plinth surmounted by a handsome bronze statue representing “Liberty” cast by the Ames Manufacturing Company. Rev. J.F. Levering of Watertown gave the oration during the very large dedication exercises.
East Gloucester monument
Location: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 25 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Gloucester
Coordinates: 42°36’39.8″N 70°38’39.5″W
Date dedicated: May 27, 1868
Architect/sculptor: Stephen P. Andrews
Number of names: 12 from that neighborhood who died in the war
The first of Gloucester’s Civil War monuments was completed in 1868. It is dedicated “In memory of the men from East Gloucester who lost their lives in the rebellion of 1861.” The cost of $867 was raised by the “Ladies of East Gloucester.” The dedication oration was given by B.H. Smith, Esq., a successful businessman and a leading citizen of Gloucester. Among those Civil War veterans interred in Mount Pleasant Cemetery is Master’s Mate John F. Bickford (1843-1927) who earned the Medal of Honor for his bravery in action on board the USS Kearsarge during that vessel’s famed victory over the CSS Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg, France.
Location: Langsford Cemetery, 34 Langsford Street, Gloucester
Coordinates: 42°40’59.6″N 70°38’53.3″W
Date dedicated: September 29, 1885
Architect/sculptor: William Williams
Number of names: 10 from that neighborhood who died in the war
This monument, dedicated in 1885, is located in a village on the remote northern point of Gloucester. Lanesville was once famed for its granite quarries. Four of the men listed on this monument served in the 24th Massachusetts Infantry and another four in the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. The main inscription reads, “In memory of our honored dead, who fought for the preservation of the Union 1861-1865. Erected by the Lanesville Soldiers’ Monument Association, A. D. 1885.” It was designed by William Williams, formerly Mayor of the City of Gloucester.
Location: Corner of Washington Street and Hodgkins Street, Gloucester
Coordinates: 42°37’58.8″N 70°40’39.5″W
Date dedicated: June 17, 1886
Number of names: 14 from that neighborhood who died in the war
Next in 1886 came the monument in a beautifully scenic spot in the neighborhood known as Riverdale. It’s primary inscription reads, “Riverdale martyrs in the war of the Rebellion, 1861-1865″ and records 14 names of those from the area who died in the war. Among them is Lt. Col. David Allen, Jr. who raised a company at the beginning of the war which became part of the 12th Massachusetts Infantry. Lt. Col. Allen commanded the 12th Massachusetts during the Battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg (he was wounded in the two former battles). He joined the staff of Brig. Gen. John C. Robinson and was killed during the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864.
Location: Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Corner of Leonard Street and Norwood Heights
Coordinates: 42°39’37.4″N 70°40’32.4″W
Date dedicated: June 17, 1890
Architect/sculptor: Monumental Bronze Company (manufacturer)
Number of names: 9 from that neighborhood who died in the war
The monument in Annisquam by the gates to the Mt. Adnah Cemetery was dedicated in 1890. It is one of several in Massachusetts manufactured by the Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport, CT. The statue design is known as the “Infantryman” and consists of a zinc, or “white bronze” monument on a granite base featuring a soldier standing at “parade rest.” The primary inscription reads, “In memory of the soldiers from Annisquam, 1861-1865. Our tribute, 1890.” The dedication ceremony was attended by more than 5,000 people. Major George S. Merrill of Lawrence, a newspaper editor, a veteran officer of the 4th Massachusetts Infantry, and an active figure in the Massachusetts Grand Army of the Republic gave the oration.
Cherry Hill Cemetery monument
Location: Cherry Hill Cemetery, 24 Marsh Street, Gloucester
Coordinates: 42°37’27.8″N 70°40’49.6″W
Date dedicated: May 30, 1896
Number of names: 35 who served
The primary inscription on this monument reads, “Presented to Col. Allen Post 45 G.A.R. by the Col. Allen W.R.C. No. 77, May 30, 1896.” It was given by the local Women’s Relief Corps (the female auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic) to mark the G.A.R. plot in Cherry Hill Cemetery in which several local Civil War veterans are buried.
 Boston Post, May 29, 1868
 Cape Ann Weekly Advertiser, May 29, 1868
 James R. Pringle, History of the Town of Gloucester, (1892), 218-219.
 “David Allen, Jr.,” Antietam on the Web
3 thoughts on “Gloucester”
My great grandfather was in the Civil War and a resident of Gloucester. He was in the Col Allen Post.
I have memorabilia to share with this post.
Mary, thank you for reaching out. I will contact you by e-mail.
I would like you to contact me as my great grandfather Elliott Adams was very active in the post.