Filed Under Wartime

Willoughby Civil War Soldiers' Monument

Starting in the 1880s, many cities and towns across the country began creating monuments and memorials in order to honor those who gave their lives During the Civil War. Willoughby was one such place. The G.A.R Post #74 of Willoughby, also known as the A.Y. Anston Post, decided to build this monument. This fraternal group of local Union Army Veterans appointed George W. Clement as head of the building committee that would oversee construction. Willoughby Civil War Monument is located in downtown Willoughby, Ohio at the intersection of River Road, Euclid Avenue, and Erie Street. It pays tribute to the 160 Willoughby men who served in the Civil War.

This monument was created to honor those local Union soldiers who lost their lives fighting for liberty. Therefore, Clement and the building committee took care in the contractor. They held a competition, and in March 1885 they accepted the design of Carabelli & Braggini. Joseph Carabelli was the primary sculptor. The total cost of the monument was billed at $1400.

The 18-foot-high Willoughby Civil War monument, hewn from Richmond Granite, consists of a three-tiered stage and column that is 12 feet tall and topped by a statue of a 6-foot-tall soldier standing at "parade-rest." Inscribed on the second tier are the four names of famous battles: Perryville, Chickamauga, Wilderness, and Antietam. Each battle has its own side of the square base. These battles are significant for the city because each of these battles featured soldiers from Willoughby. Etched on the third level are the individual names of all 160 Willoughby Civil War soldiers. They are listed alphabetically around each side of the monument. Extending from the third base is a shaft that is four feet high. The United States' coat of arms is carved into the north side of this pillar, meanwhile, on the west side, the artillery emblems of cannon and balls. Additionally, the south side of the pole includes a set of crossed anchors and crossed sabers, and finally, on the east side there is a representation of Fort Fisher. The Union soldier stands on top of the column.

The Willoughby Civil War Monument was dedicated on July 4, 1885, but the final addition to the monument was not made until July 4, 1901, when a 125-foot flagpole was raised. The dedication ceremony consisted of about six to eight thousand people. The most important addition came fifteen years later when the town's surviving Civil War veterans dedicated a ten-inch Columbiad cannon as an additional memorial to the monument area. The cannon has an interesting story. It was not a replica, but instead had great significance. The cannon came from Baltimore's Fort McHenry, which ties Willoughby and its role in the Civil War with the pivotal role that Fort McHenry played in another war, the War of 1812.


Civil War Soldiers' Memorial and Cannon
Civil War Soldiers' Memorial and Cannon The monument faces north and resides in Wes Point Park in Willoughby, Ohio. The soldier and the pedestal that is under him were dedicated in 1885. The cannon and the flagpole were later additions, in 1900 and 1901, respectively. Source: Historical Marker Database Creator: William Fischer, Jr.
Close-up View
Close-up View The soldier atop the column was carved to mimic a soldier at "parade rest." Additionally, the coat of arms of the United States is carved into the front of the monument, along with the name of the battle of Perryville. Perryville was one of four battles in which soldiers from Willoughby fought. Image courtesy of William Fischer, Jr., Historical Marker Database.
Soldiers' Names on Side of Memorial
Soldiers' Names on Side of Memorial The people of Willoughby commemorated their contribution to the Union army by inscribing an alpabetical list of the soldiers' names into the side of the monument. Additionally, the names of four battles are listed at the bottom of the monument. Chickamauga is one of the four battles in which Willoughby soldiers served. Image courtesy of William Fischer, Jr., Historical Marker Database.
Fort Fisher Carving
Fort Fisher Carving Fort Fisher is one of four additional carvings on the four sides of the monument. Image courtesy of William Fischer, Jr., Historical Marker Database.
Portrait of Joseph Carabelli
Portrait of Joseph Carabelli In 1885, the building committee of G.A.R. Post #74 held a competition to see who would build the monument. They commissioned the design of Carabelli and Braggini, and Joseph Carabelli became the sculptor of Willoughby Civil War Monument. Image Courtesy of the Johns Carabelli Co.


Euclid Ave at River Rd, Willoughby, OH


Doug Barber and John Horan, “Willoughby Civil War Soldiers' Monument,” Cleveland Historical, accessed June 23, 2024,