Location: In front of the Community Church of Pepperell, 3 Townsend Street, Pepperell
Coordinates: 42°40’03.7″N 71°35’54.0″W
Date dedicated: August 23, 1930
Manufacturer/design: Unknown

Many smaller towns in Massachusetts did not erect a monument after the Civil War but have since placed tablets or plaques of the “Honor Roll” variety in tribute to those who served in multiple wars. Although these are not, strictly speaking, Civil War monuments, we include them in this project as they do, in part, memorialize those who served and/or died in the Civil War.

Pepperell’s memorial is located on an attractive green space in front of the Community Church. The granite obelisk features four large bronze plaques which display the names of those from Pepperell who died in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. It was dedicated in 1930 and rededicated in 1949. The primary inscription reads, “Erected by the Town of Pepperell in honor of her citizens who served their country in time of war.” Included are the names of 168 men from the town who served in the Civil War. A star denotes 10 who died in service.

The memorial was created as part of Pepperell’s celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony. The town’s events took place on August 23, 1930. The Boston Globe and other papers indicated that the memorial was the “primary purpose” of the day’s program.[1] During the dedication, addresses were made by Hon. Edith Nourse Rogers, the first woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, and Hon. Leverett Saltonstall, then Speaker of the Massachusetts House and future governor and U.S. Senator.

Among Pepperell’s Civil War veterans was Colonel Edward Jones who commanded the 6th Massachusetts Militia—the first Union unit to take casualties in combat and the first to reach Washington after Lincoln’s initial call for troops.

In 1947, a war memorial committee was established to consider the most appropriate means of memorializing those recently lost in World War II. They considered renovating certain town buildings and renaming them as a Memorial Hall as well as other “living memorials” including recreational facilities. They also considered a separate, free-standing monument. In the end, they decided to add a new plaque to the existing war memorial.[2]

[1] Boston Globe, August 5, 1930, 26.

[2] Annual Reports of the Officers of the Town of Pepperell for the Year Ending December 31, 1947 (Publisher not indicated, 1948), 18-19.

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