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Greenfield, Mass. Soldiers Monument and Second Congregational Church
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Shortly after the end of the Civil War, towns throughout the United States began to erect monuments to soldiers who had served and died for their country. Built in 1870 on Greenfield's town common, this Civil War monument is dedicated to the 500 Greenfield men who served in the Civil War, with emphasis on the fifty who died while in service. It stands twenty-seven feet tall and is topped by a large eagle, wings outstretched, which is pouncing on serpents invading its nest. Not coincidentally, the columnar shape and Egyptian Revival capital resembles the graveyard statuary of its time. Towers such as this, enclosed by wrought iron fences, were often used in 19th century New England cemeteries to mark family plots.
<BR>This monument stands across the street from Second Congregational Church, also built in 1870. Patterns of settlement in New England towns can often be traced to splits in the local church, and Greenfield is no exception. In 1817, forty-eight members of First Congregational Church, weary of the one and one-half mile trek to their place of worship, established their own church. Pictured is the second church building on the site.
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