What you need to know about these 3 big Civil War monuments in Dayton

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What you need to know about these 3 big Civil War monuments in Dayton

As the war soldiers on in the South over what to do with memorials to Confederate generals and soldiers, we are reminded that Dayton has its own towering monuments. 

None, however, pay tribute to those who died in service to the Confederacy. 

Ohio History Connection, a nonprofit formed in 1885 as the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, says 310,654 Ohioans served as part of the Union Army in the Civil War.

That was the third largest number of soldiers from any Union state.

More than 35,000 Ohioans died fighting the war, the organization’s website says.

Here are three Dayton-area memorials that remind us of their efforts. 

THE DAYTON PRIVATE 

The Civil War Soldiers Monument was relocated in 1948. “As it reached the ground, the 9 1/2 ft. statue was literally mobbed,” reported the Dayton Daily News. “The intersection of Main Street and Monument Avenue was one mass of people, all striving to get in close for a look or a picture.” DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

More than 100,000 people watched Montgomery Country dedicate the Union Soldiers’ Monument on Main Street on July 31, 1884. 

The ceremony came less than two decades after the end of the Civil War. 

Its model was Pvt. George Washington Fair, a Dayton-born carpenter and bricklayer who mustered into the Union Army in 1861 and out in 1865.

The marble monument was moved to Sunrise Park on Riverview Avenue in 1948 and returned to Main Street in 1991.

It was damaged by the elements and replaced in bronze form. The original statue of Private Fair is now located under a portico at the VA Hospital.

The Civil War Soldiers Monument was carved in the likeness of Pvt. Fair, a carpenter and bricklayer born in Dayton who mustered into the Union Army in 1861 and out in 1865. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE
The symbol to the Civil War stood at the intersection of Main and Water Streets until 1948 when it was relocated to alleviate traffic congestion. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE Staff Writer
This Civil War Soldiers Monument is located on Main Street in downtown Dayton and includes a bronze reproduction of originally marble sculpted Pvt. Geroge Washington Fair. TY GREENLEES / STAFF Ty Greenlees

HONEST ABE 

The statue of President Abraham Lincoln is lifted into place on Courthouse Square in Downtown Dayton Monday night. (Regina Payne/Staff)

A beardless scultpture of slain U.S. President Abraham Lincoln that transformed Courthouse Square was unveiled Saturday Sept. 17, 2016. 

The 11-foot-tall bronze tribute commissioned by the Lincoln Society of Dayton shows Lincoln before his election as the nation’s first Republican president. It commemorates his speech in Dayton on the steps of the Old Court House on Sept. 17, 1859 as part of his tour of Ohio.

The speeches Lincoln gave laid out his arguments against slavery and are credited with helping him win his party’s presidential nomination. 

Elected in 1960, Lincoln was president during the Civil War over slavery and states’ rights. 

John Wikes Booth assassinated Lincoln on April 15, 1865 in Washington D.C.’s Ford Theatre.  

Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army just five days before Lincoln’s murder, ending the Civil War.  

Sculptor Michael Major of Urbana created this bronze sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln as he looked in 1859 when he spoke on the steps of Montgomery County’s Old Court House. The sculpture was unveiled Saturday at Courthouse Square in front of the historic courthouse downtown Dayton. LYNN HULSEY / STAFF Staff Writer

THE FIRST MAJOR 

President Lincoln appointed Martin Delany field rank major in 1865. He was the highest-ranking African American officer in the Civil War and the only one to attain his rank. He is buried in Wilberforce. Lisa Powell

Martin Robison Delany was inducted into the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame on Sept. 22, 2016. 

President Lincoln appointed Delany field rank major in 1865. He was the highest-ranking African-American officer in the Civil War and the only one to attain his rank.

The Hall of Fame is in Dayton’s Wright-Dunbar neighborhood. 
>> Neighborhood Guide: Wright-Dunbar 

Delany was born in Charles Town, Virginia in 1812 and died January 24, 1885 in Xenia. Delany, an abolitionist, physician, and editor in the pre-Civil War period, advocated black people emigrating out of the country to achieve equality.

President Lincoln appointed Martin Delany field rank major in 1865. He was the highest-ranking African American officer in the Civil War and the only one to attain his rank. He is buried in Wilberforce. Gettysburg National Military Park Museum

In his time, he had been both a Democrat and Republican. 

His papers were destroyed in a fire at Wilberforce University on April 14, 1865, according to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Encyclopedia Virgina, “leaving scholars forever to wonder which of his writings they haven't read and what other directions his mind might have taken him.

A friend of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Delany’s gravesite can be found at Massies Creek Cemetery near Wilberforce, where he practiced medicine until his death on January 24, 1885. 

A newer monument to Delany was erected near the Civil War-era tombstone that misspelled his last name.

A marker was installed near the PPG Place complex in downtown Pittsburgh in 1991, recognizing Delany’s historical importance. 

We show you a few of the many Veterans Memorials across the Miami Valley
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