Location: 433 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington
Coordinates: 42°24’51.5″N 71°09’02.0″W
Date dedicated: June 17, 1887
Architect/Sculptor/Fabricator: Van Brunt and Howe (architects), Mitchell Granite Company (fabricator)
Arlington was known as West Cambridge during the war. The victory column in Arlington is located at the junction of Massachusetts Avenue and Broadway. 42 feet tall, it is made from three different types of granite from Barre, Vermont; Quincy, Massachusetts; and Westerly, Rhode Island. It was constructed by the Mitchell Granite Company of Quincy (which built many a stone Civil War memorial in Massachusetts) and dedicated on June 17, 1887. The primary inscription reads, “In grateful remembrance of the Soldiers of Arlington who gave their lives to their country in the war for the defense of the Union 1861-1865.”
The first company formed in Arlington, organized by Captain Albert Sherwin Ingalls, reported to Boston for duty just weeks after the start of the war but found that all quotas had been filled. They were issued uniforms and weapons and returned home to Arlington to await a new call for troops. Growing impatient, Captain Ingalls made arrangements to have the company join a New York regiment (the quota of that state not being filled). The full company of Arlington soldiers reported to Brooklyn but arrangements fell through and the men again went home. Captain Ingalls stayed in New York, however, and found another regiment then forming that welcomed the Massachusetts men. This was the Mozart Regiment (40th New York Infantry) funded by and named after the Mozart Hall Committee, a political machine of anti-Tammany Hall Democrats headed by New York Mayor Fernado Wood. Captain Ingalls summoned his company to Yonkers, but having been twice disappointed, only half the original company responded. The Mozart Regiment, consisting of four New York companies, four Massachusetts companies, and two Pennsylvania companies, suffered the second highest casualties of any New York regiment—many of these in Devil’s Den at Gettysburg.
Captain Ingalls, an attorney prior to the war, was promoted to major of the regiment. During the Battle of Glendale on June 30, 1862 on the Virginia Peninsula, Ingalls suffered a serious wound requiring the amputation of his leg. He spent the summer in a hospital in Annapolis, Maryland where doctors expected him to make a recovery. In August, however, his health rapidly declined and he died on August 11, 1862. His remains were brought back to Arlington where a large public funeral was held. He was buried in his birthplace of Rindge, New Hampshire.
Another Arlington resident, though not a soldier, played one of the most influential roles of any Bay Stater during the war. William Schouler, Adjutant General of Massachusetts, achieved remarkable accomplishments, not on the battlefield, but from his corner office of the State House. He made order out of chaos in organizing waves of inexperienced volunteers, assigning them to regiments, commissioning officers, seeing that they were provisioned and equipped while training and in the field. Born in Scotland, he grew up in Arlington where his father owned a textiles business. Before the war, he was a prominent newspaper editor in Boston and active in the Massachusetts militia. Governor Nathaniel Banks made him Adjutant General in 1860 and Schouler immediately began to reorganize his department and prepare for impending war.
A contemporary wrote of Schouler, “He worked for the soldier with all the devotion of a personal friend. While marshaling and directing large numbers of armed men, he did not forget that they were torn from the homes of a lifelong peace to do the unaccustomed work of cruel war. Not a man went to the front from Massachusetts during the whole of that dreary period, without feeling that the friendship and sympathy of the adjutant-general accompanied him. He knew the stuff of which our regiments were made.