Austin Wood and the Civil War Monument in Mendon

    Austin Wood's gift to the town in 1891 was a reflection of his generosity and love of his
    country.  It had concerned him that by 1890, twenty-five years after the Civil War had
    ended, no memorial had been erected to honor the Mendon soldiers who had sacrificed
    their lives for their country. Losing twenty of the town's finest young men in the war of
    Rebellion had been devastating, and to Austin, it seemed appropriate that a permanent
    memorial be created to honor them.

    The victory of the Union Army over the Confederacy came at the price of a variety of
    war related casualties. Mendon soldiers met their fate on the battlefields of Antietam,
    Bull Run, Cedar Mountain, and the Wilderness. Some men died of typhoid and
    dysentery. Others died as prisoners of war in the dreaded Andersonville Prison. The
    war left the town of Mendon stricken with sorrow !!!

    Austin worked with the Boston Stone Company from Worcester to design a memorial
    made of granite. It is  fourteen feet tall with a cannon ball on top. Its base is four feet
    square. The names of the deceased soldiers are inscribed on the sides. He had it
    placed at the entrance to the village at the top of Maple Street as a perpetual tribute.

    In the darkest days of our history, the threat of the United States being dismantled by
    the secession of the South loomed a reality. With our country's existence at stake,
    President Abraham Lincoln, at the somber battlefield at Gettysburg,  elegantly orated,
    "They gave their lives that our nation may live.........that from these honored dead, we
    take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of
    devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that
    this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the
    people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Austin
    Wood's granite monument is a reminder of this.

    Richard Grady
    September 27, 2013

                                                                 
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Dedication of the monument - October 5, 1891

The following is from Dr. Metcalf's Annals of Mendon.

Milford Daily News - September 25, 1891

    To plan and organize the dedication ceremony, a committee was formed. The members
    were H. W. Brown, A. V. Gaaskill, L. Freeman, J. A. George, and H. W. Darlilng, The town
    appropriated $250 for the event. The 32-piece Worcester Brass Band was hired for $80.