Indiana County erects monument to area Civil War veterans
INDIANA – After a century and a half, a wish of area Civil War Union veterans — and now their families — has been fulfilled.
Their desire to erect some kind of memorial in town — to honor the more than 2,800 Union soldiers from Indiana County who fought in the Civil War — has became a reality.
On Friday morning, a cast bronze statue of a Union soldier, titled “Rest on Arms,” was placed in front of the Silas M. Clark House, home of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County.
The memorial is significant to many beyond the town's boundaries because Union soldiers from neighboring townships and boroughs in Armstrong County fought alongside soldiers from Indiana, said Tim Nupp, chairman of the Indiana County Civil War Memorial Committee.
The committee is made up of members from the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, the Indiana County Tourist Bureau and the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, John T. Crawford Camp 43, of Armstrong County.
Committee member Walt Marr had tears in his eyes as the life-size bronze statue was lowered into place.
“This is a long-awaited day,” he said.
The statue, created by Indiana County artist John McCombie, depicts a weary Union soldier wearing accurately detailed regalia and resting his hands on the stock of his rifle.
“He looks battle-worn,” said McCombie, who served in the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division in the Vietnam War.
“I felt very privileged (to create the memorial statue),” he said. “It was an honor to do it.”
McCombie said he used the lost-wax method during the creation of the statue — a process that moves from clay to wax to bronze. It was cast in Lancaster, and McCombie recalled the long line of traffic snaking behind the trailer as he drove the bronze soldier home.
On Friday, the 5-foot, 10-inch statue, weighing 345 pounds, was lowered onto a base made up of multiple barn stones. The stones were chosen to signify the many farmers who fought for the Union, a committee member said.
The placement of the statue in front of the Silas M. Clark House at 200 S. Sixth St. is significant because it was the meeting place for Indiana's original Grand Army of the Republic Civil War veterans, Post 28.
Nupp said it took a little more than three years to raise the $85,000 needed for the statue.
“We participated in living history events and solicited donations,” he said, adding that most donations came from individuals. “We did not receive any grants or government money,” he said.
As a small crowd of committee members gathered to admire the completed work, Nupp recalled an 1892 newspaper article quoting area Union veterans.
“They wanted a memorial, and they couldn't get it to happen,” said Nupp, adding that there had been attempts to create a memorial in 1866, 1889 and about 1900.
“This honors their passion,” Nupp said. “Everything has come full circle.”
A dedication service for the statue will take place at the site on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at about 12:15 p.m. following the parade.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer forTrib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Yatesboro teen died from artery anomaly
- Clerical error blamed as Armstrong inmate is released
- School supplies, equipment on the auction block in former Kittanning school gym
- Armstrong County Jail warden resigns
- Schall descendants gather in Plumcreek
- Ford City could soon have a police chief
- Funds needed to designate Allegheny River as a Pennsylvania Water Trail
- Worthington American Legion to host open house, spaghetti dinner
- Armstrong coroner: Cause of West Shamokin High student’s death undetermined
- Talent show, concert to benefit Kittanning man
- Ford City will advertise for police chief, officers this week