Area Civil War Monuments
With fidelity, the Private Silas Gore Camp #141 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War have, over several years, dedicated themselves to tending to the Civil War monuments in the local area. Towards that aim, the members have set up a program of cleansing the stones in an effort to prevent their deterioration. Following are some of the monuments in Bradford County, Pennyslvania.
The oldest monument in Bradford County, it was placed in Riverside Cemetery, Towanda, and dedicated on the very first Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, the thirtieth day of May, 1868 by members of post #68, of the Department of Pennsylvania of the Grand Army of the Republic, “To show their appreciation of and to keep alive in the memory of their descendants, the good deeds of their companions in arms who fell during the great rebellion.”
Post 68 was the Watkins Post located in Towanda. Named for Guy Hulett Watkins, Lt. Col who was instrumental in organizing the 141st PVI and was killed, June 18, 1864, at Petersburg, Va. in the area loosely referred to as the Hare House. During a charge he was mortally wounded, carried back to the lines, requested a reading from the Bible of the 14th chapter of St John and peacefully breathed his last breath while cradled in the arms Capt Atkinson.
On May 26, 2018, membership of the Private Silas Gore Camp #141 of the Sons of Union Veterans, held a ceremony after constructing a pavilion roof over the tablet. The camp duplicated, as near possible, the original dedication ceremony held 150 years ago.
This $1000 marble monument was dedicated September 14, 1871 by generous donations from citizens. It originally stood 16 feet high with a base which measured three foot square. Subsequently, a larger base was installed. The faces of the obelisk have carved on them the names of all the Smithfield residents who perished in the war.
An inscription reads: “This monument is erected by citizens of this township, to perpetuate the memories of fifty four of its soldiers whose names are here on inscribed, and who with patriot zeal, left their homes at the call of their county, and lost their lives in its service. "Honor to the Brave"
Bradford County Soldiers & Sailers Monument
"In memory of the soldiers and sailors of Bradford County, who defended their country in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1865"
This grand monument, standing near 35 feet high, was dedicated November 26, 1901. It was born from an idea conceived at a GAR encampment during the East Towanda “County Encampment” held in 1877. It was ultimately funded by investment interest and tax dollars raised within the county.
The cost was a staggering $18,000, and took the better part of twenty years to finalize and erect the memorial. It includes 5 statues, depicting the infantry, navy, cavalry, and artillery beneath a color bearer. On the north side is a bronze plaque of Antietam while the south sports another portraying Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg while beneath the monument is a time capsule.
Major General Dan Sickles was on hand for the ceremony and spoke eloquently. In closing he said, "The men to whom this monument is erected gave their lives for the Union. We come not to mourn for them but to rejoice for and to honor them."
US Highway 6
Major William L. Anderson, Jr., of the U.S. Army conceived the idea of designating U.S. 6 the Grand Army of the Republic Highway to honor the Union forces during the Civil War. Based on his recommendation, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War began promoting the idea in April 1934.
Because the highway was owned by the States, the organization asked each State to act on the proposal. The first to do so was Massachusetts in 1937. Over the years, the States gradually adopted the name. Pennsylvania designated the State's segment of U.S. 6 in 1948.
A formal dedication of the Grand Army of the Republic Highway took place on May 3, 1953, in Long Beach, California. The occasion was a gathering of the five related service organizations, including the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Henry J. Madill Distinguished hero of the civil war Born Mar 30, 1828 Died June 29, 1899
Major 6th Reserve Pa. Vols.; Colonel 141st Regiment Pa. Vols.; Brigadier General Commanding 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps; Brevet Major General of Volunteers
Erected 1906 by devoted members of the Regiment, 6th Reserve and Patriotic citizens.
Major General Henry J. Madill was feted by the placement of this monument shortly after his death. The monument was officially dedicated August 29, 1906. The Reverend David Craft spoke and said (in part) "We come to praise our general, to keep his memory resurrected, and he is worthy of our praise."
Soldier's Monument, Athens PA
"Pro patria et gloria Erected to the Memory of Our Soldiers who fought in Defense of the Flag"
Depicts bare footed drummer boy with a flag over his shoulder, and a tall, strong, fearless soldier, his right hand grasping a musket which points to the ground across the inside of his knee.
This grand bronze monument was dedicated Saturday, June 14, 1902 and stands on the site of the Old Academy, of which the song writer Stephen Foster was a student. The project was funded by donations and cost $10,000. It stands 11’ 8” tall. The base is Stoney Creek Granite from Branford Connecticut and is 25’ square. When the flags were removed from the monument, the Packer Band played the Star Spangled Banner.
Guy Hulett Watkins
Stained Glass window dedicated by Almira Watkins, mother to Lt. Colonel Guy Hulett Watkins of the 141st PVI.
Lt. Col. Watkins was a lawyer from Towanda who was tireless in organizing efforts to form the 141st.
At a meeting held in Terrytown to muster troops he spoke eloquently that he had decided to go to war because one day when his granddaughter sat on his knee and asked him what he did in the war he could say he did his duty.
He died near Petersburg, Va. June, 1864 while leading a charge.
Erected by the soldiers and citizens of Ulster Township through the efforts of Gilmour Post 227, G.A.R. 1898. An inscription reads, “All honor due our nations defenders 1861--------1865”
The dedication ceremony took place May 14, 1898. A newspaper account reported it was a beautiful day and “the town was decorated with bunting, flags, etc.”
The monument cost $1000 and featured New Westerly Granite from Westerly, Rhode Island. It stands 7’ ½” tall and the base measures 4’2” x 3’2”
Local Graves Project
The Private Silas Gore Camp #141 has a history of helping people connect with their Civil War ancestors. If you wish to inquire about your ancestor being buried in our surrounding area, please contact for information. We have extensive lists of Civil War soldiers and their burial locations for our region.(open pdf listing here)
In some cases, we already have pictures of headstones on file! These can be sent to you electronically at no charge. If you wish a picture of a stone that is not in our files, we request a $10.00 donation to help defray costs. Checks may be made payable to:
Pvt. Silas Gore Camp, c/o Steve Hall, 992 McNeal Road, Towanda PA 18848
If you know of a Civil War soldier's or sailor's grave in the surrounding area that is not marked or may be unknown, please also contact us and let us know where this grave is. We will review the information you submit and seek recognition for this fallen warrior.
For graves out of our local area, visit the following National Graves Project.
National Graves Project
The SUVCW National Graves Registration Project was established in 1996. Since then, hundreds of dedicated people from within and without the Order have graciously devoted thousands of hours of their time and energy visiting cemeteries, recording, verifying, researching and entering the final resting places of Civil War veterans.
To view the fruits of their labor, visit the online program at www.SUVCWDB.org. You will find it is separated into a Public Area (for viewing/searching only) and a Submitter Area (for those with approved accounts and allowed to enter registrations).
It is the hope that the online database program will promote increased interest in the SUVCW National Graves Registration Project and take the organization to an entirely new level of achievement.