With the Memorial Day & Independence Day holidays still fresh in our memories, I thought it might be a good time to re-acquaint ourselves with the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument that stands on the front lawn at Philipse Manor Hall. Originally built in 1891 during Philipse Manor Hall’s tenure as Yonkers City Hall, the monument features four bronze statues signifying Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry and the Navy, and is topped by a granite statue of a flagbearer. The $11,500 it cost to complete was raised through donations ranging from 3 cents to $1050. To the left and right of the monument which reaches a height of 46 feet stand two Howitzer cannons from the Civil War era that have recently been moved to their present location as a part of the near completed site renovation.
Interestingly, the State of New York was responsible for providing more soldiers to the Union effort than any other state whilst simultaneously experiencing explosive resistance to the war effort which culminated in the draft riots of 1863. Ultimately, New York State’s contribution to the Union proved to be a decisive factor in winning the war for the Union side. The monument commemorates the service and sacrifice of Yonkers’ residents who fought to defend the Union during the “Great Rebellion”. The inscriptions under each of the four statues read:
“Patriotism-To honor the men of Yonkers who fought to save the Union 1861-1865
“Endurence- The Union is the Palladium of our safety and prosperity. (Washington)
“Valor-My paramount object is to save the Union. (Lincoln)
-Let us have peace. (Grant)”
“Courage-The Union must and shall be preserved. (Jackson)- The Union Saved.”