IMG_3070Taunton Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Location: Town Green, 9 Court Street, Taunton
Coordinates: 41°54’07.2″N 71°05’35.5″W
Date dedicated: June 4, 1902
Architect/contractor/sculptor: Carl Conrads, sculptor; New England Granite Works, manufacturer; John B. Sullivan, contractor

TauntonThis monument does not list names of those lost in the war–a large tablet in Old City Hall (see below) lists these. Instead, this memorial honors the all men from Taunton (approximately 1,700) who served in the war.

The original sculpture was done by Carl Conrads and produced by New England Granite Works. Conrads is best known for “The American Volunteer,” the colossal soldier at the Antietam National Cemetery (smaller copies of which were done for several New England Towns including Braintree). He also created statues of Daniel Webster and John Stark for the National Statuary Collection in the U.S. Capitol. The design reproduced in Taunton features a younger soldier with, perhaps, a more optimistic expression than his earlier, more grizzled Volunteer. An identical statue is featured on the Franklin monument and a mustachioed version in Easton.

IMG_6744Mayflower Hill Cemetery GAR Monument
Location: Mayflower Hill Cemetery, 241 Broadway, Taunton
Coordinates: 41°55’10.5″N 71°05’17.7″W
Date dedicated: September 5, 1887
Architect/contractor/sculptor: Melzar Hunt Mosman, casting; Abner Coleman, designer of pedestal; John B. Sullivan, contractor

This monument adorns the Grand Army of the Republic plot in Taunton’s Mayflower Hill Cemetery and is surrounded by white marble headstones marking the graves of soldiers and sailors. Among those Taunton veterans buried in this cemetery is Corporal Lowell M. Maxham, a member of the 7th Massachusetts Infantry who was awarded the Medal of Honor after the war for his actions during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg on May 3, 1863. His citation reads, “Though severely wounded and in face of a deadly fire from the enemy at short range, he rushed bravely forward and was among the first to enter the enemy’s works on the crest of Marye’s Heights and helped to plant his regimental colors there.”

During the dedication in 1887, Major General Darius Couch of Taunton, one of the ranking generals from Massachusetts and formerly commander of the II Corps, gave a brief address. Brevet Brigadier General William Cogswell of Salem gave the oration. More than 10,000 people assembled for the ceremonies.[1]

The monument was cast by Melzar Hunt Mosman of the Ames Manufacturing Company, one of the most active monument makers of Massachusetts. From the limited records, it is unclear as to whether Mosman sculpted the figure or just casted it. In newspaper articles, Abner Coleman of Taunton is listed as “designer.” Suffice it to say, both Coleman and Mosman had a hand in the design of the statue.

Taunton City HallCity Hall Memorial Plaque
Location: Old Taunton City Hall, 15 Summer Street [closed]
Coordinates: 41°54’04.6″N 71°05’22.0″W
Date dedicated: Plaque 1889

In 1889 the city dedicated a plaque listing the names of the men from Taunton who died in the war. A photograph could not be obtained as the Old City Hall has been closed since a fire in 2010. Newer portions of the building have since been demolished in hopes of making a restoration of the older building more manageable. The future of the Old City Hall remains unclear. Whatever the outcome, hopefully the memorial plaque will be preserved.

[1] Boston Herald, September 6, 1887, 4.

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