Civil War Memorial, Peoria, Illinois

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Dedicated in 1899, the stunning Civil War Memorial in Peoria is one of the more unique and memorable monuments to the war I have seen, and I can assure you I’ve seen plenty living in Washington, DC. The monument was sculpted by Fritz Triebel, cast in Pistoia, Italy (not Pistojo [sic] as mentioned in some sources), with marble quarried in Maine. Triebel traveled extensively in Europe, and in particular in Italy, which I could tell the second I laid my eyes on it. The bronze casting is impeccable, and the detail on the monument is some of the best I’ve seen in American sculpture.

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The most outstanding figure in the monument is the woman (Columbia? Liberty?) in the process of writing a bronze inscription on the granite with her right hand. Her left hand juts back elegantly, as huge swaths of drapery roil on the ground below her.

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The large bundle of laurel wreaths, the symbol of victory, frames a banner with a dedicatory inscription.

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While on the other side of the plinth is a bronze plaque naming the dead from Peoria and its environs.

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The first of two sculptural groups on the base of the monument, which allude to Stiebel’s formal title, Defense of the Flag.

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And the second of the two sculpture groups.

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The top of the granite Corinthian column is topped with an interesting, unconventional bronze capital and eagle.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Maher-Kirkwood says:

    THANKS for ALL of the photos, Chris!
    I’m always interested in Civil War memorials, as my g-g-grandfather was killed at Pea Ridge (Missouri-Union).
    He has no known grave.

  2. Tim Griffith says:

    Nice images. Contained in my web link are pictures I captured in May 2014 of Peoria, IL, which includes the memorial you show.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Thanks, Tim!

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