|Location:||Center of Public Square|
|Architect/Builder:||Henry B. Curtis|
|Original Owner:||City of Mount Vernon|
This iconic monument sits in the center of the Public Square. Designed by locally prominent attorney and gentleman architect Henry B. Curtis, it is a symbol of the Civil War's lasting impact on the citizens of Mount Vernon and the surrounding communities. In 1863, a group of young women form Mount Vernon created the Young Ladies' Union League. This organization wanted to erect a monument to memorialize the soldiers and sailors of Knox County, and instigated several fundraising ventures for this purpose. The Soldiers' Monument, under the efforts of what became the Mount Vernon Ladies' Monument Association, was erected and officially dedicated on July 4, 1877, to honor the men of Knox County who fought for the Union in the Civil War, in remembrance of those who perished, and in celebration for those who survived. This statue is the reason that the Public Square is sometimes referred to as Monument Square.
Rendered in gray Vermont granite, the statue consists of a square base supporting a tall, fluted column with a composite order capital, which in turn supports the standing figure of a life-size Union soldier looking reflectively toward the South. All four sides of the base are carved with inscriptions commemorating the men of Knox County who gave their lives for the Union cause during the "Great Rebellion." On top of each corner of the base is a small pyramid of cannonballs, also executed in granite. The monument, erected by a local marble works firm under the name of I. B. McKenna, is surrounded by a short, ornate wrought iron fence. The monument's hollowed cornerstone serves as a 19th-century time capsule. The following is a list of items that were encapsulated:
Also included within the time capsule was a list of names of the Grand Officers of various Masonic orders, as follows: