The Battle Monument at West Point
The Battle Monument at West Point was erected in 1896 by Civil War Union veterans. The monument was estimated to cost $45,000, to be funded by contributions from enlisted men and officers. However, the monument's completion was reportedly delayed by a mostly-undocumented disagreement between former General George McClellan, Secretary of War Stanton, and Colonel Bowman. The monument was finally created in 1896 at a cost of $75,000. The monument bears the names of 2,042 men and 188 officers who lost their lives during the war.
Backstory and Context
The West Point Battle Monument features an octagonal plateau with stairs of 5 steps. Each of the eight corners contains 8 plinths of granite. Each plinth carries a large granite ball. Each granite ball contains a tablet that bears the names of the fallen soldiers. On each sides of the granite balls are two bronze cannons each. There are a total of 16 bronze cannons. Stony Creek Quarry was the provider of the shaft of the monument. The granite measure to be 41 feet and 6 inches long. It is 5 feet and 8 inches in diameter at the bottom and at the top it narrowed to 4 feet and 9.5 inches in diameter. This shaft came to weight an amazing 72 tons. On the very top of the monument, is the figure Fame, a winged and draped angel. The total height of the monument is 75 feet and unmistakable on the Hudson River.
The West Point Battle Monument serves as a symbol of sacrifice by those who have trained at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It serves as a reminder of tradition as well as sacrifice for cadets.