Site Logo

Virtual Museum


The picture on the opposite page represents one view of a design for a National Monument, dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies in acknowledgment of the good work accomplished by these organizations toward keeping alive the flame of patriotism which brought victory to the Union Army during that memorable struggle for the preservation of our Union.



(See a variation of this lithograph)

This monument will be erected to the Brave Boys in Blue, regardless of rank, as the central figure of a group of State monuments, to be styled the Union Soldiers' and Sailors' National Park. It will be temporarily constructed in October, 1898, at Bridgeport, Conn., where it will remain until the location of said Park shall have been determined by the sale of the "Easel Monument Souvenir," as hereinafter explained.


This monument, which is to be built of "White Bronze," will consist of three sides, each of the three sides to represent substantially the appearance of an easel, and the three sides to be practically the same, so that the general view of the monument will be the same when approached from any direction. Hence its name, '*The Triangular Easel Monument."


The funds with which to pay for this monument and the State monuments to surround the same are being raised by the sale of a picture or engraving, entitled '' The Triangular Easel Monument (size 22x30 inches), representing one view of the monument as it will appear when erected, with the exception of the large panel in the center of the shield on which is engrossed, by means of expert penmanship in India Ink, the name and personal Army Record, Regimental Record or a copy of the Honorable Discharge of any soldier desired by the person ordering the picture, instead of the epitaph which will occupy this space on the monument proper; also by the sale of Q. small colored engraving entitled 'The Easel Monument Souvenir' (size 15x20 inches), on which there is merely room sufficient to engross the soldier's name, company, regiment and State, date of enlistment and discharge referring to "Carnahan's Manual of the Civil War,'" a companion to this style of picture, where ample space is provided for a full and complete Record of Service, a copy of the soldier's Honorable Discharge and such other facts concerning his regiment, reminiscences of the War, etc., etc., as he may desire to hand down to future generations; also by the sale of a third and very popular style of Souvenir or colored engraving, intended for distribution among patriotic citizens of all classes, representing the Easel Monument as it will appear when erected, and engrossed, by expert penmen, in such a way as to make it a unique form of certificate of membership to The Easel Monument Project, recording the name of the subscriber and number of votes to which the holder is entitled in the contest for the location of the Union Soldiers' and Sailors' National Park.

In this way each contributor to The Easel Monument Project gets value received for his money in the way of a beautiful work of art and history combined with a double meaning, namely: a picture of the most unique monument ever designed, and at the same time a certificate showing that the purchaser is a contributor toward the erection of the monument which the picture represents, and mentioning the name of the individual who is to assume the responsibility of handing the Souvenir down to posterity - a Souvenir which will be retained in the family as an heirloom, and one which will have a tendency to awaken an interest, along the line of patriotism, in the minds of the rising and future generations and help them never to forget the debt of gratitude which we, as a Nation, owe to the "Brave Boys in Blue" who on laud and sea volunteered their services during that memorable struggle for the preservation of our Union, and early learn to appreciate the sacred meaning of their birth-right of freedom.


"The Union Soldiers' and Sailors' National Park" will be located in which ever State in the Union the greatest percentage of Easel Monument Souvenir sales is made as compared with its Grand Army membership, in good standing, according to the statistics of 1893

(see "Carnahan's Manual of the Civil War," page 18). Every copy of the Easel Monument picture sold, delivered and paid for, no matter who orders it, counts one vote in favor of the State in which the subscriber lives or lived at the time the order was given. In other words, each contributor will be entitled to as many votes as he orders souvenirs ; and inasmuch as the location will depend upon the largest percentage of sales in comparison with the Grand Army strength of the State, a small State will have just as good a chance to secure this park as a large one. For example, we will take the State of Ohio as compared with the State of Rhode Island. For the sake of argument we will say that Ohio has a G. A. R. membership, in good standing, of 50,000, while the membership of Rhode Island is but 3,000. Now according to the plan adopted for deciding the location, if there are 40,000 Souvenirs of the Easel Monument sold in the State of Ohio and 4,000 sold in the State of Rhode Island, Rhode Island would be successful in the contest, because 40,000 sales as compared with a membership of 50,000 is only four-fifths of 100 % or 80 % of the Grand Army strength of the State, while 4,000 sales for the State of Rhode Island as compared with a G. A. R. membership of 3,000 would mean four-thirds of 100% or 133 1/3 %.

A separate record of the names and addresses of the contributors from each State is being kept by the Association, and after each State has been thoroughly and systematically canvassed by counties the vote will be counted by a committee made up of a representative from each State participating in the contest. After it shall have been decided which State is entitled to the Park, all the contributors from that State will be given an opportunity to cast their vote or votes in favor of any city or location of their choice within the State. The greatest number of votes in favor of any place within the limits of the successful State shall decide the exact location.


The monument is to consist of three hexagonal columns inclined towards a common center and supporting three shields and twelve statues, each of the three faces of the monument to present, substantially, the appearance of an easel, and the three to be practically the same, so that the general view of the monument will be the same when approached from any of the three sides. The photograph, a reproduction of which appears opposite page 4, shows a general view of one face of the monument, and each face is to be the same, except that one face will show statues of Columbia and History, one face History and Peace, and one face Peace and Columbia; the emblems on the columns are to be selected by J. Worth Carnahan, the author of the design. In round terms, the diameter of the base of each column will be five feet four inches, the length of the shield twenty feet, the width of the shield sixteen feet, and the total height of the monument, including statues, about fifty-three feet.

Material: - The whole monument, including statuary, is to be composed of "White Bronze," excepting the inside frame work to support and strengthen the structure, which will be of iron or steel or both.

Workmanship: - The whole structure is to be substantially and thoroughly built in a workmanlike manner, and all seams and joints to be nicely fitted, and wherever practicable, to be fused together; the inside frame work to be of a heavy and substantial character, so as to give ample strength and support to the structure ; the models of the statues of Columbia, History, and Peace, all badges and relief work to be subject, while in clay or plaster, to the approval, in writing, of J. Worth Carnahan or his representative.


- Each of the six faces of the lower part of each column is to have a sunken panel, to receive a badge or emblem of some military organization, designs of which are to be furnished by said Carnahan.

Each shield is to have two tablets, the large for inscription, the wording and style of type to be selected by said Carnahan, and the small for a relief scene representing an "Infantry Charge," "Cavalry Charge," and "Naval Engagement." In each corner of the shield is to be a relief scene, entitled respectively, "Good-Bye," "On the Field," "Woman's Work," and "Lessons in Patriotism." In the left panel, on each shield, will appear the badge of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in the right panel the emblem of the National Association of Naval Veterans. At the left of each shield under the arch will stand the statue of the American Soldier, life size, and at the right that of a Sailor. At the top of each shield is a scroll surmounted by the statue of the American Eagle; the inscription on the scroll to be selected by said Carnahan. The three columns, above the shields, representing the three standards of the easel, are to be surmounted by statues of Columbia, History, and Peace respectively, each statue to be four feet sis inches in height.

Each of the three central columns, above the eagles, is to be surmounted with an ideal statue, representing "The Defense of the American Flag;" the height of this statue, to top of flag-staff, is to be eight feet seven inches. There is to be a covering or roof at the top of the shields, closing the open space between the columns with suitable provision for carrying off water, also a ceiling at the bottom of the shields which will take the nature, as far as practicable, of a groined arch, and will be suitably ornamented on the under side. In this ceiling there will be a removable panel, or man-hole, but this panel will be part of the ornamentation itself, which will be practically the same in each arch.

The above specifications have been somewhat abbreviated, all reference to the drawings and photographs which are attached to the original being omitted. The models of the American Soldier, Sailor, and ideal statue representing the "Defense of the American Flag "have already been approved and accepted.


"The Triangular Easel Monument" will be permanently erected in the center of a group of subordinate monuments, representing the different States participating in this patriotic project. We cannot, of course, at this writing, say anything definite as to the designs to be made use of to represent each of these States, as this will in all probability be decided by State committees made up of contributors to the Easel Monument project. The importance of the design representing any one State, however, will depend entirely upon the sale of "The Easel Monument Souvenir" within its limits, as each State, in this way, virtually pays for its own monument Each State monument will be surmounted by the State's coat-of-arms, so that a visitor to the park need have no difficulty in distinguishing, at a distance, the representative monument of each State We think our readers will agree with us when we say that a National Park of this kind where each State is represented by a monument of moderate height, so that the inscription on each can be read from the ground, is preferable in many ways to the expeuditure of a vast sum of money toward the erection of a great, high structure which would necessitate the use of a balloon in order to enable one to approach near enough to read with the naked eye some of the inscriptions, or to appreciate the sculptor's art.


The Easel Monument Association was incorporated in February, 1895, under the laws of the State of Illinois, with an authorized capital of $50,000.00, for the express purpose of carrying out the "Easel Monument Project." Said Association has agreed to deposit in the Illinois Trust & Savings Bank of Chicago, 111., to the credit of an account known as "The Easel Monument Fund," all the money accruing from the sale of any style of a pictured representation of a monument to be known as "The Triangular Easel Monument" over and above its actual cost to them, including the expense of the agents selling and delivering the same, until such time as the contract price of the said monument shall have been deposited in said bank to the credit of the said account; after which time the said Association agrees to deposit to the credit of said account 20% of its gross receipts from all subsequent sales of the Record of Service style of said picture, in addition to the entire profit accruing to it on the sale of any of the "Souvenir" styles, said funds to be made use of in the building of a permanent foundation and an appropriate pedestal for the said Triangular Easel Monument, the construction of State Monuments to surround the same, and the beautifying of the grounds.

This means that, until the contract price of "The Triangular Easel Monument "shall have been raised, the running expenses of The Easel Monument Association, such as rent, officers' salaries, advertising, etc., will be paid from money received from its stockholders and not from the funds accruing from the sale of said picture. It further means that, until the said Monument has been paid for, the stockholders of The Easel Monument Association will get no returns whatever for money invested; the inducement held out by the managers of the Association to its stockholders, in order to get them to invest money in the Easel Monument Project, being the prospective profit to the Association from the sale of "The Easel Monument Record of Service" picture, over and above the sale necessary to realize the contract price of the said Monument and the 20% of the gross receipts above mentioned in addition to any profit, which might be realized from the sale of "Carnahan's Manual of the Civil War'' as a companion to the "Souvenir" style of the Easel Monument picture.

The capital stock of The Easel Monument Association has all been subscribed for by reliable parties. These stockholders are subject to assessment, from time to time, for the money necessary to pay the running expenses of the Association until "The Triangular Easel Monument" has been paid for. They are also held under private bond to The Monumental Bronze Co. of Bridgeport, Conn., who have the contract for building the Triangular Easel Monument, to insure a deposit to the credit of "The Easel Monument Fund" of not less than fifty cents per copy on the first sixty thousand copies of "The Triangular Easel Monument" picture sold, delivered and paid for, in addition to 20% of the cash receipts on all subsequent sales. And to make assurance doubly sure, the Treasurer of the Association is bonded for the faithful performance of his entire duties by the American Surety Co., the strongest institution of the kind in the world.

The money deposited from time to time, to the credit of "The Easel Monument Fund" account, can be withdrawn only by check or order signed by the president of The Easel Monument Association, the president of The Monumental Bronze Co. and a majority of the following described trustees: T. S. Rogers, late Captain Co. B, 105th III., Commander Post No. 468, Aide to Nat. Commander, 1895-96, Downer's Grove, 111.; P. C. Hayes, late Brig.-General of the Union Army, ex-Congressman Seventh Illinois District, President Joliet Republican, Joliet, 111.; C. L. Davidson, R. R. Commissioner, Past Dept. Commander G. A. R., and President of State Bank of Hull, Iowa; William Simmons, National Historian and Past Commander of the National Association Naval Veterans, Philadelphia, Pa.; A. P. Davis, founder of '' S. of V. U. S. A.," late Captain 11th Me. Inf., breveted Major March 13, 1865, East End, Pittsburg, Pa.; Mrs. Emma R. Wallace, Past National and Department President of the "Woman's Relief Corps," Chicago, 111.; W. H. Carnahan, Superintendent of the manufacture of the "Triangular Easel Monument" picture, Apollo, Pa.

None of the trustees above described, excepting W. H. Carnahan, are in any way financially interested in this enterprise. They are all well known in Grand Army circles, and as disinterested parties have been chosen by the Association to look into the nature of the security furnished by the Easel Monument Association, to insure the banking of the money above provided for, and to satisfy themselves, in behalf of the people who patronize the Easel Monument enterprise, that the bond to be given by the Monumental Bronze Company, upon payment from "The Easel Monument Fund," is ample security for the proper application of the same.

We cannot, of course, guarantee that sufficient funds will be raised from the sale of the Easel Monument Souvenir to enable us to build a monument to each state, as herein outlined; but as "great oaks from little acorns grow," we cm at least plant the acorn, which, in this case, is "The Triangular Easel Monument," relying upon a patriotic people to aid us in carrying the entire project through to completion, if not from the sale of the Easel Monument Souvenir, then by legislation or any other feasible plan which future developments may suggest.


Extracted from: J. Worth Carnahan, Manual of the Civil War and Key to the Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies, (Easel Monument Association, Chicago, 1897), pp. 246-355.