Revere

IMG_2346 (2)
Revere Civil War Monument (Suffolk County). See gallery below for additional images.

RevereLocation: 249 Broadway, Revere
Coordinates: 42°24’25.6″N 71°00’48.8″W
Date dedicated: October 12, 1931
Architect/contractor/sculptor: Raymond Averill Porter, sculptor; T. F. McGann and Sons, founders

The Revere Civil War monument was part of an overall design plan for a new American Legion Hall which was constructed in 1930. Part of this plan called for a small monument park in front of the hall with sculptures dedicated to Revere men who had served in the Civil War and the Spanish American War. The Civil War monument was dedicated on Columbus Day, October 12, 1931 and the Spanish American War monument two weeks later on October 31, 1931.[1]

T. F. McGann & Sons Company of Boston (with a foundry in Somerville, Massachusetts) cast the Civil War statue and plaques. This company cast many monuments and large bronze tablets for public works, mostly in Massachusetts. Perhaps their most famous job, coincidentally, is the statue of Paul Revere in Boston’s North End, sculpted by Cyrus Dallin. The statue of the soldier atop the Revere Civil War monument was sculpted by Raymond Averill Porter (1883-1949).[2] He was responsible for the overall design of the Paul Revere monument as well as numerous war memorials. He sculpted a likeness of Henry Cabot Lodge which stands in front of the Massachusetts State House.

During and after World War I, the placement of Civil War monuments in Massachusetts ebbed considerably as communities which hadn’t yet placed a soldiers’ monument instead focused on memorializing the Great War. The use of the “standing soldier” form representing a common volunteer of the Union Army almost completely ceased. Porter’s statue is an exception. It also was used on the Scituate Civil War monument, constructed in 1918, which was mostly likely the original use of the sculpture. The Revere version appears to be the last “standing soldier” monument erected in Massachusetts.

During the war, Revere was known as North Chelsea (the name changed in 1871). It was a small town of 921 residents according to the 1860 census. Roughly 60 men from North Chelsea served during the war. An unusually large portion of them, about 20, served in the Navy–not entirely surprising giving the town’s maritime history. Almost all of these sailors served aboard the USS Ohio, an 1820 ship of the line and former flagship which, by the Civil War, was acting as a receiving ship (or floating storage depot) in Boston harbor. Exactly why there is such a strong connection between Revere and this particular ship is unclear. The largest group to enlist in the army at the beginning of the war consisted of 12 men who joined the 1st Massachusetts Infantry. The unit was part of the army of the Potomac and fought in some of the largest battles of the war.

Click to enlarge images:

[1] The Boston Globe, September 11, 1931, 23.
[2] An identical statue in Saint Johnsville, New York is attributed to Porter by the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System

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