I pass by this monument every day on my way to Jamaica Pond for my morning run. It was dedicated on September 14, 1871 and commemorates the 46 men of West Roxbury, “who lost their lives in the service of their country during the Rebellion.” It has quickly become my favorite Civil War soldier monument. I love the simplicity of it, including its smooth surfaces and clean lines. The soldier embodies the virtues of the citizen soldier that northern towns embraced by war’s end. He seems tired, but resolute as well as contemplative and just a bit sad. In short, he did his duty when his nation called.
There are four names around its arches, including that of Lincoln, Farragut, Andrew, and Thomas. The Jamaica Plain Historical Society suggests that the Thomas in question is none other than George H. Thomas of Virginia (the Rock of Chickamauga), who supposedly donated the land for the monument. Perhaps someone can explain to me the connection given that he died in San Francisco and is buried in New York. Now that would be an interesting Virginia – Massachusetts connection.[Click here for more information about the monument from the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.]