Date of Visit

2023


 
United States

Vicksburg


Illinois State Memorial








Summary

The Illinois State Memorial is a public memorial that honours the Union Army soldiers from Illinois who fought in the siege of Vicksburg, the final major military action in the  Vicksburg campaign in the American Civil War.  The Memorial, modelled on the Roman Parthenon, commemorates all of the 36,325 Illinois soldiers who participated in the Vicksburg Campaign.




Located on Union Avenue at Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi, The Illinois State Memorial is a public memorial that honours the Union Army soldiers from Illinois who fought in the siege of Vicksburg, the final major military action in the  Vicksburg campaign that took place from March 29 to July 4, 1863, during the American Civil War (April 12, 1861  May 26, 1865). The Confederate surrender on July 4, 1863, at Vicksburg is considered a major factor in the outcome of the war.

In 1904, the government of Illinois decided to erect a monument on the battlefield, now known as the Vicksburg National Military Park. The monument was designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney and sculptor Charles Mulligan and construction began in mid-1906 and was completed by October of that year with the memorial being dedicated on October 26, 1906. The total cost for the memorial, paid for by the state of Illinois, was $194,423.92.

Modelled after the Roman Pantheon the memorial is constructed of Georgia white marble standing on a base of granite. The memorial stands 62 feet (19 metres) in height and is the largest memorial on the battlefield. It has 47 steps made of granite leading up to the doorway: One step for each day of the Siege of Vicksburg. 



The Building is circular with the entrance through a rectangular Portico supported by six Ionic columns with a bronze bald eagle sculpted by Frederick C. Hibbard of Chicago, on the top.



It is the Portico that provides the link with the rotunda. The Portico is adorned with a Pediment which contains a frieze depicting Clio, the Muse of History, flanked by maidens who represent the North and the South.




Like the Roman Pantheon, the memorial has an oculus at the top of the dome. Around its side walls are sixty unique bronze tablets naming all of the 36,325 Illinois soldiers who participated in the Vicksburg Campaign. 




In the 1980s, the memorial underwent a restoration that included repointing and cleaning the interior. In 1996, the statue of the eagle on the memorial was regilded, and several years later, additional gilding work was carried out to the memorial along with lettering and other details on the interior. On October 28, 2006, a rededication ceremony was held on the 100th anniversary of the memorial.





 

              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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