One of the earliest monuments to soldiers of the Civil War stands at the junction of County Trunks E and FF in the Township of Rhine, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.
The Monument was erected in 1868, the year Memorial Day for the Civil War dead became official.
The Town Rhine Monument stands below the crest of a farm field, and over looks an expanse of marshland. The little park is heavily shaded by red cedars, fir, white pine and shagbarks. It is surrounded by an iron and concrete fence.
The monument itself is of palest marble. The original cast-bronze eagle atop the twelve-foot shaft, and one of the small Civil War cannons originally flanked the Monument ... were lost to vandals and thieves. The eagle has been replace with a cast iron model. [presently that too was lost to thieves].
The eagle was said to be a replica of "Old Abe", the bald eagle mascot of the 8th Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers in the Civil War. In bronze casting, it clutches two small flags which were renewed each Memorial Day.
The monument bears inscriptions which tell the story. On the south base, the dedication reads: "In memory of their fallen citizens in the war of the great rebellion, this monument was erected by the inhabitants of the Town of Rhine. July 1868"
The inscription on the south face of the marble shaft, attest to the community's pride in the personal bravery of these fallen heroes of the young mid-western state of Wisconsin:" You with to know the valor of the West; go ask the rebels for they know it best."
On the north face of the shaft is a German verse, understandable to Town Rhiners as their mother tongue, and is still the vernacular for many of the residents of the township, even today: "Von des Lebens Guetern allen, Ist der Ruhm das Hoechste doch, Wenn der Leib in Staub zerfallen, Lebt der grosse Name noch!" Which may be translated as follows: "Of all the good things in life, Honor is the greatest one. Though the body goes to dust, A great name lives on!"
The names of the patriotic young men honored by this cenotaph ... are carved into the base of the monument, according to regiments and companies. On the west base: "1st Rgt. Wis. Vol's Co. H, William H. Carver, Chaplin Hills, Ky. Oct. 8, 1862 4th Rgt. Wis. Vol's Co. C, Henry Gundy, Nov. 16 1864 8th Rgt. Wis. Vol's Co. B, Thomas M. Odell, Mar. 15, 1862 9th Rgt. Wis. Vol's Co. A, Henry Henkel, Sept. 21, 1862, Frederick Rossmann, Feb. 1, 1864 21st Rgt. Wis. Vol's Co. K, John Stallmann, Chaplin Hills, Ky. Oct. 8, 1862.
On the North: 26th Rgt. Wis. Vol's Co. H, Philipp Stamp, Oct. 26, 1862 Jacob Hartmann, Chancellorsville, Va. May 2, 1863 Frederick Woerner, Chancellorsville, Va. May 2, 1863 Cpl. Philipp Diefenthaeler, Gettysburg, Pa. July 1, 1863 Cpl. Philipp Mattes, Gettysburg, Pa. July 1, 1863 August Schwenicke, Dec. 2, 1863 Frederick Spranger, May 16, 1864 George Kuhn, Kenesaw Mn., Ga., June 22, 1864 Cpl. Philipp Nell, July 20, 1864 Valentin Muller, Aug. 17, 1864 Gottlieb Strutz, Averysboro, N. C. Mar. 16, 1865.
On the East: 27th Rgt. Wis. Vol's Co. B Horace Willis, Nov. 8, 1863 Peter Scherer, May 12, 1864 Cpl. Jacob Dessloch, Co. E, Sept. 22, 1864 14th Rgt. Ill. Vol's Co. H, Adam Best, Dec. 20, 1863 86th Rgt. Ill. Vol's Co. D, Reinhard Baumann, July 3, 1863 64th Rgt. N. Y. Vol's. Co. D, Jacob Schumacher, Petersburg, Va., May 12, 1864.
It may be noted here, that Thomas Odell was the first of these to lose his life, Mar. 15, 1862, and Gottlieb Strutz was the last, almost exactly 3 years later: Mar. 16, 1865.
Many monuments were erected for the 11th Corps. From the equestrian statue of Major General Howard on Cemetery Hill, down to monuments of each of the regiments. Each monument tell the events that took place those three days of battle. They also tell the history of the regiment throughout the Civil War. Unfortunately, there is not enough room on this page to fill them all, only the Krzyzanowski Battalion is shown.
There are many monuments throughout the battlegrounds of Gettysburg. All regiments have their own monument. These monuments stand where the 11th Corps, Third Division, Second Brigade stood for battle on the first day of Gettysburg. They are placed north of town on Howard's Ave. The road bends north towards Barlow's Knoll. Each regiment dedicated their own monument in 1888 on the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. From left to right they are: The 58th New York, the 26th Wisconsin, the 75th Pennsylvania, the Ohio 82nd, and the 119th New York. The 26th Wisconsin is the only one to have two 18 inch square blocks, one on each side of the monument, indicating the right and left flank. Most all monuments, like those here, have the regimental history inscribed on them.
The monument of Col. W. Krzyzanowski Brigade stands near the 26th Wisconsin. It inscribed the events that took place with within the four days of the Battles at Gettysburg. The inscriptions read: Army of the Potomac, Eleventh Corps, Third Division, Second Brigade, Col. W. Krzyzanowski, 58th, 119th New York, Ohio 82nd, 75th Pennsylvania, 26th Wisconsin Infantry. July 1 Arrived about 1 P. M. Marched through the town to the front and took position on the line of the Corps on right of First Brigade and was engaged with Brig Gen. Doles's Brigade Major Gen. Rodes's Division and other forcers for more than two hours. About 4. P. M. the Corps having been flanked and forced back by superior numbers it retired through the town to Cemetery Hill and took position behind stone walls . Skirmishers were actively engaged in houses from three to five hundred yards in front. July 2 In same position until between 8 and 9 P. M. when a fierce attack on East Cemetery Hill was made by Brig Gen. Hays's Brigade and Battery I 1st New York was momentarily captured but the 58th and 119th New York were hasten to its support and assisted in its recaptured and in repelling the attack. July 3 Not engaged beyond skirmishing but subjected to a heavy artillery fire. July 4 The 119th New York and the 26th Wisconsin made and reconnaissance going about two miles to the east of the town and captured many stragglers. Casualties Killed 12 Officers 63 Men Wounded 36 Officers 252 Men Captured or Missing 6 Officers 201 Men Total 669
Front (North) side: July 1, 1863, ON CEMETERY HILL July 2 and 3. EFFECTIVE STRENGTH 516, KILLED 46, WOUNDED 72
Right (West) side: MUSTERED IN AT MILWAUKEE Sept. 17, 1862. MUSTERED OUT JUNE 28, 1865. KILLED IN ACTION 128, DIED OF WOUNDS 56, DIED OF DISEASE 63
LEFT (EAST) SIDE: CHANCELLORSVILLE, GETTYSBURG, WAUHATCHIE, CHATTANOOGA, ATLANTA CAMPAIGN TO THE SEA, AVERYSBORO, BENTONVILLE
BACK (SOUTH) SIDE: 3RD DIV, 2ND BRIG
The equestrian statue of Oliver O. Howard is located on top of Cemetery Hill, across the street from the National Cemetery in Gettysburg.
You can purchase a replica of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry Gettysburg monument here.
You can purchase a brick inscribed to honor those who fought at Gettysburg here.