In honor of the St Johnsbury volunteers who
sacificed their live for the defence of the Union"
"Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Winchester,
Spottsylvania, Wilderness, Port Hudson
Williamsburg, Cold Harbor, Petersburg,
Lees Mills, Cedar Creek"
"To the honor and glory of
the men and women of St Johnsbury
who served their country in
The World War
1914 - 1919
and in memory of these noble dead
Their name liveth for evermore"
The statue of Columbia atop the Civl War honor rolls is a very interesting piece, She stands holding an unsheated sare in her left hand. An eagle, representing the United States, stands ready for flight at her feet and just in front of the sabre. Columbia is looking out, presumably at the fallen represented upon the shields and is preparing to toss a funeral wreath to them.
Four shields hold the honor rolls, eighty men in all. Their surnames are what would be expected of Vermont in the 1860's, a mix of English, Scots, French and a few Dutch. It is probable that their grandfathers fought in the American Revolition.
For the families of the 80 waiting for word was a constant agony. Casualty lists and war news would appear in "The Caledonian" every day. On June 17th, 1865, a published list revealed that Lt Dustin Walbridge, Co A of the 11th Regiment, had lost his right arm in battle on the 4th of the month. The next sentence of the report from Walter Harvey indicated that many wounded simply would not survive the injuries. Walbridge didn't.
Also in that day's "Caledonian" was an article that Union surgeons had noticed an increase in the number of men reporting to the hospital tents as wounded in battle with a single finger or toe missing. Oddly, the skin around the wounds showed burns and gunpowder residue. When the surgeons reported this to their officer corps orders came back that patients would no longer be given any aneshetetic before the wounds were treated. In addition, the soldiers so wounded would be "punished" by immediately sending them back to the line of battle.
Rebel sharpshooters are becoming a problem for officers on the battlefields in 1864. According to "The Caledonian" the Southern soldiers are especially adept at hitting a moving target from quite a distance. They presume the reason is "That many of the poor whites of Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia get much of their subsistance in hunting, and their unering aim is a matter of worldwide notoriety; while the slaveholders and aristocracy of the South become skilled in the use of deadly weapons for the pleasure they seek in the chase, or the self protection, or both."
The article goes on to mention the loss of Capt Edwin Frost on the 3rd of June as an example of the danger of a good sniper. The piece concludes with the assumption that many Union regiments are disadvantaged by the lack of experience with firearms by most of the New England men. It suggests that two lessons are evidents; boys and young men should learn the use of a rifle and that officers "...should not needlessy expose themselves to the fatal bullet of the emissaries of Slavery.
Two old parrott canon are part of this display, one was aboard USS Magnolia and the other aboard USS Kanawha during the Civil War. They are great examples of how primitive the weapons of war were in 1860. The canon from Magnolia was cast in 1795, a 65 year old gun when the war started. Both Magnolia and Kanawha were used to thwart Confederate blockade runners during the war. Magnolia seems to have spent more time in the yards that at sea, but Kanawha routinely scored hits upon merchantmen trying to work the Confederate port at Mobile.