Hingham

IMG_2521
Hingham monument (Plymouth County)

Hingham Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Location: Hingham Cemetery, 40 Water Street
Coordinates: 42°14’32.5″N 70°53’07.5″W
Date dedicated: June 17, 1870
Architect/Sculptor/Manufacturer: F.J. Fuller
Number of names: 74 men who died in the war

The Hingham’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument is located in the center of Hingham Cemetery. Dedicated on June 17, 1870, the monument bears the names of 74 men lost in the war. The primary inscription reads, “Honor to the Brave.” It was built at a cost of $6,650. Rising 30 feet in height, the monument is an obelisk built of Quincy Granite. Mr. F.J. Fuller of Quincy was the architect and builder. The fundraising efforts were organized by a town Committee on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. In addition to building the monument and coordinating the celebration, this committee also published a lengthy history on their work and Hingham’s involvement in the Civil War. Initially, the town considered placing tablets in the Town Hall, this was quickly tabled in favor of building a monument on a prominent hill in the center of the Hingham Cemetery overlooking the town’s harbor. The procession during the dedication took the form of a parade through town, “which in length, character and brilliancy,” observed committee chairman John Cushing, “was probably never surpassed in this Town upon any occasion.” The procession paused to gather in Agricultural Hall, now the site of the Hingham Library, where the key speaker, Hon. Solomon Lincoln (1804-1881), a lawyer, local historian, and former state representative, gave an address. He was part of that large and respected family descended from Samuel Lincoln, who first settled in Hingham in 1637 and from whom President Abraham Lincoln was descended as well.

IMG_2524Governor John Albion Andrew Memorial
Location: Hingham Cemetery, 40 Water Street
Coordinates: 42°14’32.5″N 70°53’06.0″W
Date dedicated: October 8, 1875
Architect/Sculptor/Manufacturer: Thomas R. Gould

John Albion Andrew (1818-1867) was a lawyer, abolitionist, and governor of Massachusetts from 1861 to 1866. He married Eliza Jane Hersey of Hingham and resided in the seaside town for many years. Andrew was arguably the most aggressive of the nation’s war governors, advocating preparedness, then steady prosecution of the war effort, and pressuring the federal government for immediate emancipation of slaves. The monument over Governor Andrew’s grave was sculpted by Thomas R. Gould (1818-1881) of Boston.

The driving force behind the monument was Brigadier General Luther Stephenson, Jr., one of Hingham’s Civil War heroes. He was captain of Hingham’s pre-war militia company, the “Lincoln Light Infantry,” which became Company I of the 4th Massachusetts Infantry at the beginning of the war. In 1862, he became captain of Company A of the 32nd Massachusetts Infantry, and rose through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel and the command of that regiment. He was wounded very seriously at Gettysburg, being shot through the face, and twice again during the Overland Campaign in May and June of 1864. He was forced to resign due to his wounds on June 28, 1864. After the war, he was awarded the brevet rank of brigadier general.

In his own words, Stephenson felt it was vital that Massachusetts veterans build a memorial to Governor Andrew, “to testify their gratitude to the Executive, who in the great struggle for the nation’s life, had been their constant friend and supporter, who had sent them forward with words of cheer and inspiration, and received them on their return with welcome and congratulations such as could emanate only from a heart inspired by the truest friendship, and an earnest conviction of the justice and glory of the cause for which they had fought.”

During the dedication of the statue of Governor Andrew in October 1875, Stephenson predicted, “The people of this land shall come here to revive the fires of patriotism, to reflect upon their duties to God and their country, to learn that the noblest impulses of life demand sacrifice.” Perhaps most significant, “The soldier of the Union will come, and, beside this marble form, live over again the deeds of the past.”

Veterans did come by the thousands to pay their respects to the War Governor and reflect on their deeds. Now, 150 years after the war, Governor Andrew is not exactly a household name. As people wander the Hingham Cemetery, known for its beautiful memorials, perhaps many look on the marble statue, the base of which simply reads “Andrew,” and wonder who he was.

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