MERCER COUNTY SOLDIERS' MONUMENT.
In honor of her fallen sons who gave their lives to preserve the Union of the States, the citizens of Mercer County have erected a monu ment in Aledo to commemorate the loyalty of her dead and living heroes. On this shaft are inscribed the names of those who fell in battle and died of disease contracted in the service. This memorial was dedicated July 4, 1873, by General John A. Logan in the presence of fif teen thousand people. General Logan's address was not only historical, but pathetic, and abounded with the patriotism characteristic of the life of the orator. At times during his ora tion the veterans present -were reminded of past clays in the camp and on the battle-field, while the aged parents of some lost member of their family, bowed their heads in reverence to Him who doeth all things.
The monument was erected by W. W. Webster of Muscatine, Iowa, contractor, at a cost of $3,110. It rests on a foundation of sandstone in cement, eleven feet square at base with a depth of seven feet. The superstructure consists of a base in three sections, respectively ten, eight and six feet square, of finely cut Joliet limestone. Above the third base rests the die, three feet six inches square, with a height of four feet—all above the third base being of best Italian marble with pumice fin ish, except the columns at the corners of the die, which are of red Missouri granite with glass finish. The dig-cap, which is four feet six inches square and one foot two inches thick, supports a shaft or spire, two feet six inches square at base and one foot eight inches at top, fifteen feet in height, surmounted by a pedestal on which stands at parade rest the statue of a soldier six feet eight inches in height—the total height of the structure, from the foundation to the top of the statue, being 35 feet two inches. On the plinth of the die. in raised letters, appears the following inscription:
TO HER FALLEN HEROES
1861 TO 1863.
This shaft, bearing the names of Mercer County's soldiers whose lives were sacrificed in defense of their country, will, it is hoped, stand as a beacon light for generations to come. The column itself may crumble, like the cities of ancient times, but the memory of the achievement which it was erected to commemorate, will be perpetuated in history as a record for our children's children, of the valor of their forefathers who went forth to battle in defense of the principles of free government and for a united country. The Union victories at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg and Atlanta are indelibly carved on this monument, and will remain memorable in history.
The names of the soldiers inscribed on this monument by company and regiment have already been given, with practical completeness, in the preceding pages of this chapter presenting lists of deceased members of the respective organizations.
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