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In March 1866, several residents of Deerfield, Massachusetts, formed a committee to erect a memorial to those who had served and sacrificed their lives in the Civil War. Within 18 months the monument was completed at a cost of just over $3,000. On September 4, 1867, a series of poems, prayers, and speeches accompanied the official unveiling of the monument. The Union Battery of Springfield, Massachusetts, repeatedly fired their cannon to mark the solemn event. The bill for paying the Battery was written on the letterhead of the largest hotel in town by Smith R. Phillips (b. 1837), brother of the hotel's owner.