Kingston Soldiers’ Monument (Plymouth County)

KingstonLocation: In front of Old Town House, 23 Green Street, Kingston
Coordinates: 41°59’36.9″N 70°43’55.9″W
Date dedicated: November 3, 1883
Architect/Sculptor/Manufacturer: Melzar Hunt Mosman, sculptor
Number of names: 16 men and one woman (see below) lost in the war (an additional 10 men are listed on a supplementary plaque)

Dedicated in 1883, the monument records the names of 16 men and one woman (an army nurse) who lost their lives due to the war. A secondary plaque placed at the base of the monument in 1996 lists an additional 13 men, three of whom, were later discovered to have been from Kingston, NH and erroneously recorded as being from Kingston, MA.[1] The primary inscription on the original monument reads, “Commemorative of the Patriotic Citizens of Kingston who in War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 Voluntarily Imperiled their Lives for Liberty and Union.”

Overall the monument is approximately 16 feet in height consisting of a granite pedestal surmounted by a six foot bronze statue of an infantryman at rest. The statue was sculpted by Melzar Hunt Mosman and likely cast at the Ames Foundry in Chicopee. This statue’s twin stands in Northampton. Mosman had served in North Carolina and Mississippi and nearly died of fever during the Siege of Vicksburg. He is also responsible for the statues adorning the Civil War monuments in Hyde Park, Westfield and Saugus (among other places).

The monument was funded by Mrs. Abigail H. Adams. She was the widow of a wealthy Kingston man, Samuel Adams. Mrs. Adams was actively involved in town affairs, the church and temperance society. Her appearance as a donor in a publication titled, “The Home Missionary” sums up the nature of her activism. After the dedication, the town voted thanks to Mrs. Adams, “…for her thoughtful, tasteful, and munificent gift…”[2]

The Kingston monument is unusual in that it lists the name of a woman who lost her life in the course of the war. Martha Sever left Kingston in 1861 to serve as a US army nurse. While tending to the sick and wounded at the army hospital in Beverly, New Jersey, she succumbed to influenza and died on November 13, 1864. The GAR post in Kingston was named in her honor.

[1] Town of Kingston website, “Kingston War Memorials
[2] Duane Hamilton Hurd, History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, (1884), vol. 2, p. 170