Here at the DPPC we have been researching the Soldiers and Sailors Monument as part of its restoration project. Project Manager Kat Boots, has been spending her time poring over books in libraries around the city, and unearthing many bits of information about this beautiful monument.
Kat has found transcripts from the original dedication ceremony, the music played at its dedication and is unearthing stories of the Rhode Islanders who died in the Civil War. The men memorialized on this statue. These personal stories are the most touching, and bring these soldiers to life. They are more than just names on a statue. They were fathers, sons, and husbands who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
One Rhode Islander’s letter, that by Sullivan Ballou, was featured in the 1990 Ken Burns documentary, The Civil War. Ballou wrote to his wife Sarah, home in Smithfield, Rhode Island with two small boys, the night before going into battle.
“Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.”
Listen to the whole letter, and think of Sullivan and Sarah the next time you’re walking past this monument as you’re bustling through town.
If you’d like to be a part of the restoration of this monument, make a tax deductible donation today.