Minnesota monument getting help from Minnesotans

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One of the giant monuments in the Vicksburg National Military Park — this one only a half-mile from the main entrance on Union Avenue — will be dressed up, thanks to a gift from residents of its home state.

Twin Cities Civil War Round Table in Minnesota has sent $9,200 to spruce up the 102-year-old bronze monument to Minnesotans who fought in the Vicksburg Campaign in 1863.

“These actions will serve to restore the monument to its original splendor and ensure that it reminds future generations of Americans of the selfless devotion to duty of the citizen soldiers of Minnesota whose actions at Vicksburg helped forge our nation,” said Monika Mayr, park superintendent. 

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The monument is a statue of a woman, “Peace,” sculpted by William Couper. She holds a shield and a sword to symbolize the North and the South armies placing their weapons in her keeping at the end of the Civil War and a wreath to signify victory.

The 90-foot-tall vertical Mount Airy-granite monument was dedicated in 1907 by then-Minnesota Gov. John A. Johnson to the soldiers of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Minnesota Infantry Regiments and the 1st Minnesota Battery who served in the Vicksburg campaign in the Battles of Raymond, Jackson and Champion Hill and throughout the siege of Vicksburg.

Bronze tablets with inscribed names of the infantry leaders are embedded on two sides of the monument.

The Twin Cities Civil War Round Table is an organization founded with a mission statement to promote education and understanding of the history of the American Civil War and to support local and national efforts to preserve and restore Civil War related monuments and sites.

Monument preservation and restoration with connections to the Civil War is a priority with the organization.

The process will begin with a pressure wash of the stone, a task that needs to be done about every five years.  Next, “Peace” will need to be pressure-washed to loosen dirt and grime from the metal before a hot wax is applied to restore the color. 

Then, a cold wax will be applied to protect the statue from effects of the weather. 

Iron screws which affix the bronze tablet will also be replaced with a non-rusting metal.

The work, expected to take about two weeks, will begin later this year. 


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at mchanprasith@vicksburgpost.com.