The Civil War Monument

The Civil War Monument of Milk Row Cemetery, Somerville, Massachusetts

In the central part of the cemetery on Somerville avenue, on a slight elevation of land, stands a soldiers monument, fifteen feet in height, resting upon a base forty-five inches square. Much of historic interest is associated with this monument, the claim being that it is the first memorial shaft erected by citizens as a public tribute to those “fallen heroes” who gave their lives in the service of their country during the civil war. The monument was placed in position during the summer of 1863. At the apex of the shaft is a representation of an American eagle, with outspread wings. On the top stone is wrought military emblems surmounted by the letter B, the enlisted men of the town forming Co. B, 5 the Regiment. Inscribed on the base is the following: S.L.I. Incorporated A.D. 1853 There are tablets on three sides, bearing the names of Somerville soldiers who died or were killed in the war. On the front is a tablet with this inscription: “Their warfare is over, they sleep well.” Erected by the Somerville light infantry with the balance of a fund generously contributed by their fellow citizens in aid of the company on entering the United States service for three months, April 19th, 1861, in memory of all from the town who have fallen in the service of their country.

From Haskell’s Historical Guide to Somerville, Massachusetts

The sides of the monument are engraved with the names of Somerville enlisted men who died in the Civil War, where they died, and the dates of their death. In most cases the regiment is also indicated.