Washington Artillery Monument

Original glass negative image of the Washington Artillery monument

done by Mugnier of New Orleans, circa 1880s

 

  During the Reconstruction era, veterans of the Washington Artillery thought enough of their organization and fallen comrades to raise the funds needed to erect a monument in their behalf. A monument committee was formed and consisted of W. I. Hodgson (chairman), J. B. Walton (then commander), B. F. Eshleman, L. A. Adam, and H. V. Ogden.

Flyer inviting the public to the dedication ceremonies

 

  The monument was unveiled on the celebration of George Washingtonís birthday on February 22, 1880 which also happened to be the organizationís 40th anniversary. The unveiling ceremony celebrated  and commemorated the services of the Battalion Washington Artillery and honored the memory of its comrades who had been killed in battle.

Invitation to the unveiling and ceremonies February 22, 1880 

 

  The Washington Artillery monument, which now rests in Metairie Cemetery outside of New Orleans, is a memorial cenotaph; that is, a monument without burials within its earthen mound. It was designed by Charles A. Orleans, a representative of the Hinsdale-Doyle Granite Co. of New York. The sculptor of the gray New England granite work was George Doyle. The monument was erected on a low-lying earthen mound surrounded by granite cannon barrels linked by granite chain.

Souvenir postcard with image of WA monument.

Notice oval roadway, once the dirt track of the Metairie Horse  Racing Track, converted after the Civil War to a cemetery.

 

 James B. Walton, the unitís then commander, served as the model for the artilleryman at the top of the monument.

Then...

And Now.

 

 

 

The staff/rammer of the artilleryman was originally constructed from a single piece of white granite two inches by eight feet, a difficult feat at the time. Unfortunately, it was broken during Hurricane Betsy and is now shortened by two feet.

The base of the monument lists all of the engagements of the Washington Artillery, including its most recent, Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as the names of all members who lost their lives in active service, the most recent, Sgt. Lee Myles Godbolt.

Battalion ceremonies during the unveiling of the Sgt. Godbolt inscription on the monument

 

  Installed in the four corners of the monument are miniature granite mortars and stacked cannon balls. On the front of the capstone facing east is the Washington Artillery seal/logo, a laurel-wreathed tigerís head. The north face of the monument has the bust of George Washington. The west side has the Louisiana State Seal and finally, the south side has the badge of the unit. 

 

The active battalion returns yearly to the Washington Artillery monument in tribute to its ancestors.

5th Company, Washington Artillery re-enactors ready for a ceremonial cannon fire at the annual tribute event

5th Company, Washington Artillery buglers play echo taps

Members of the Washington Artillery Veterans Association pose next to a bronze 6pder cannon of the 5th Co. WA

A veteran, whether on active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve, is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the "United States of America" for an amount of "up to, and including his/her life." 

Now, that is HONOR!

 

The Washington Artillery toast:

"To our soldier comrades who have paid the supreme sacrifice in battle

and our many friends who have passed away.

To our command with it's long and glorious history-

May we match and exceed their deeds.

To our famed tiger crest and our motto "Try Us!"-

May they ring fear in the hearts of our enemies and lead our men to victory.

Gentlemen, the Battalion of the Washington Artillery."

 

 

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