The Soldiers Monument in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney, Illinois, is just one of many memorials erected by city, township, county, and state governments or organizations in the latter part of the 1890s and early 1900s. The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) and the Woman's Relief Corps (W.R.C.) were behind many of the efforts to raise money and erect the monuments that served as memorials to the men who fought for the Union during the Civil War.
The Sidney monument's base has large smooth stone panels on all four sides outlined by rough Bedford stone. Eleven rows of stones form a pillar with a larger stone cap, topped with the statue of a soldier at parade rest.
Carving in the stone on the south side toward the top of the Sidney monument reads "Erected By Sidney G.A. R. Post No. 317 and Sidney Township in 1898."Newspapers articles and C.N. Clark Monument Co. records indicate that the monument was started in 1898 but may not have been completed as pictured until 1902.
The first 21 names and unit numbers of deceased veterans were carved in 1910. The names of deceased infantry on the south side and the names of cavalry on the east side. An article that appeared in the Sidney Times on July 22, 1910, incorrectly states that the cavalry names were carved on the west side.
The monument today contains a total of thirty-seven names carved into the South, East, and North sides. Although there are other Civil War soldiers buried at Mt. Hope, the stone's West side remains blank.
- Karla Gerdes