Revolutionary Morristown beautifies Civil War monument for 150th anniversary

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Most people associate Morristown with its revolutionary past.

But for this July 4th, the administrators of Morristown Green have turned their attention to the park. Civil war monument.

Newly illuminated Civil War Monument on Morristown Green, June 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The obelisk, towering nearly 50 feet and topped by an ever-vigilant sentry, was dedicated with great fanfare on independence day 150 years ago.

COVID-19 has stifled plans for a birthday celebration. But the trustees carried out a $ 19,000 cleanup of the monument last October. Volunteers added new landscaping, irrigation and lighting last month.

“I cried when I first saw the lights illuminating all of these Civil War battle sites,” said Alice Cutler, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Inscribed on the monument are the names of a dozen battles involving Morris County soldiers: Atlanta, Fort Donelson, Cold Harbor, Shiloh, Wilderness, Malvern Hill, Roanoke, Winchester, Gettysburg, Antietam, Vicksburg and Appomattox.

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Civil war monument

Many people and organizations contributed to the restoration.

A grant of $ 7,700 from New Jersey Committee of Garden Club of America went to shrubs, perennials and irrigation. Morristown Rotary donated $ 2,500 for the projectors. Bruin & Sons landscaping launched.

Landscape architect Carolle Huber, left, and Alice Cutler, chair of the Green Trustees, at the Civil War Memorial on Morristown Green, June 14, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Landscape architect Carolle Huber, co-founder of Grow it green Morristown, proposed medicinal plants and shrubs from the Civil War era for the base of the monument, where four cannons were burnished to achieve a coppery sheen.

Blue Boa Hyssop, Blue Wood Aster, Virginia Bluebelle, Pale Purple Coneflower and New Jersey tea – a substitute for the war of independence for Chinese tea – are among the plantations.

On a sweltering afternoon in June, Adrienne kirby of the Garden Club was among the volunteers who dug.

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Volunteers plant native and medicinal plants at the Civil War monument on Morristown Green, June 14, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“You are entering your zone,” she said. “The colors are going to be so pretty and will draw attention to this magnificent monument.”

Adrienne Kirby and Robert Bensley volunteer in a garden around the Civil War monument on Morristown Green on June 14, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Nearby, newlyweds Romes Radvila was spending his honeymoon participating in this project.

“Every Lithuanian is a gardener by birth! He explained, like his wife, Ginger Brennan, provided moral support. They had married two days earlier, in (where else?) A garden behind Macculloch Hall.

Cutler said the monument’s anniversary could be recognized in September, when the Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival returns to Green.

HONEYMOON: Two days after their wedding, Romas Radvila and Ginger Brennan helped replant the garden around the Civil War monument on Morristown Green on June 14, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Formerly prairie, the Green was sold by the Presbyterian Church in 1816 at the Directors of Morristown Green, a private organization that has overseen the public use of those 2.62 acres ever since. The church has stipulated that the Greens must “remain as a Common forever.”

Thousands of people flocked there for the hanging of 1833 Antoine LeBlanc, a henchman accused of murdering the eminent family who employed him.

But the Green is best known for its revolutionary history, commemorated by The patriot’s farewell fountain and The Alliance, life-size statues of Washington, Hamilton and Lafayette.

Cannon at the base of the Civil War Memorial on Morristown Green, June 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

For years, until the pandemic, colonial reenactors recited the Greens’ Declaration of Independence for July 4.

Yet the Civil War, which preserved the nation created by the Founding Fathers, also deserves its due in Morristown, Cutler said.

“It’s part of our history. It doesn’t matter which side you are on, the story must be told.

Civil War Monument, Morristown Green, June 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Civil War Monument, Morristown Green, June 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Civil War Monument, Morristown Green, June 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Carolle Huber, co-founder of Grow It Green Morristown, helps plantations at the Civil War Memorial on Morristown Green, June 14, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morristown Civil War Monument on the Green, pre-cleaned in July 2020. In the background is the Presbyterian Church, which sold the Green in 1816 with the stipulation that it “remains a common for always”. Photo by Joey Viola
Crowds gathered at the Civil War monument on Green, Memorial Day 1915. Photo from the Frederick Curtiss Collection at the North Jersey History and Genealogy Center.
WHERE ARE ALL THE FLOWERS? Morristown Green, Civil War Memorial, May 2, 2020. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Civil War Cannon, Morristown First Snow, Holiday 2020, December 9, 2020. Photo by Kevin Coughlin


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