Longmeadow War Memorial (Hampden County). See below for closer view.

Location: Town Green, Williams and Longmeadow Streets, Longmeadow
Coordinates: 42°02’59.1″N 72°34’57.6″W
Date dedicated: May 30, 1922
Manufacturer/design: T. F. McGann & Son, Boston

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.

In 1920, a committee was established in Longmeadow to create a permanent memorial to replace a temporary one (likely made of wood) on the town green. Miss Annie Emerson, a member of the committee, had the task of confirming the names through historical records and traveling to Boston to check the contractor’s design to be certain all was correct.[1] The memorial, consisting of a boulder quarried in Palmer and a bronze plaque, was dedicated with elaborate ceremonies on Memorial Day 1922. Roughly 2,000 attended.[2]

Major General Clarence R. Edwards, whose ancestors were from Longmeadow, gave the dedication address. Edwards had a long and distinguished career in the army and commanded one of the first U.S. divisions to go into combat in France in World War I—the 26th Infantry Division, nicknamed the “Yankee Division” as it consisted of units from New England. He spoke briefly of his Longmeadow ancestors who fought in various wars, including one in the Civil War. And he spoke at length of the recent sacrifices during the Great War, stressing the need for preparedness and military training for young men—what he called “strength in peace.”[3]

Later in the program, after a procession to the cemetery, Rev. Henry Lincoln Bailey of Longmeadow gave a less bellicose address, focusing on the history of the town. The 140 men from Longmeadow who served in the Civil War, he said, included some from the newer town of East Longmeadow which split from its parent town in 1894. Twenty-seven of them died in the war. “The remembrance that these soldiers of Longmeadow ask,” he said, “is the perpetuation of their high ideals.”

[1] Springfield Republican, February 17, 1922, 2.

[2] Springfield Republican, May 31, 1922, 1.

[3] Springfield Republican, May 31, 1922, 7.

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