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The Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is
War monument located in Detroit,
Michigan. This example of civic sculpture stands in a prominent
downtown location on the southeast tip of Campus
Martius Park where five principal thoroughfares -- Michigan
Avenue, Monroe Street, Cadillac Square, Fort Street, and Woodward
Avenue -- convene on the reconstructed traffic circle in front of
Headquarters. It was listed on the National Register of
Historic Places in 1984.
In 1865, the Michigan Soldiers'
and Sailors' Monument Association was established by Governor Austin Blair in order to collect funds for
a monument commemorating Michigan's sailors and soldiers killed
during the Civil War. Voluntary subscriptions from citizens were
collected and sculptor Randolph Rogers, who had created
similar Civil War commemorative monuments in Ohio and Rhode Island, was chosen as the artist for
the monument. The state's foremost Civil War monument was unveiled
on April 9, 1872.
Attending the dedication were Generals George Armstrong Custer, Philip H. Sheridan and Ambrose E. Burnside.
In 2005 a re-dedication ceremony was held following the
completion of the new Campus Martius plaza in downtown Detroit. The
time capsule contained in the monument was opened, and the list of
Michigan War Dead was updated to reflect all those killed from the
Civil War up to April 2005 in Iraq and Afghanistan. Civil War
re-enactors, members of the Grand Army of the Republic and
associate organizations, representatives from the Detroit City
Council, the Michigan National Guard, and the Second Baptist Church
men's choir participated in the ceremony.
The Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is situated within
the traffic circle of the intersection of Woodward Avenue, Michigan
Avenue, Monroe Street, Fort Street, and Cadillac Square. The
property is open to the public. The monument was repositioned on Campus
Martius Park traffic circle for the restoration of the
Rogers' design consists of a series of octagonal sections that
rise up from the base of the monument.
The lowest sections are topped by eagles with raised wings that
guide the eye upward to the next section which is surmounted by
four male figures depicting the Navy, Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery branches of the United States
Army. Four female allegorical figures, resting on pedestals,
are above the male statues and represent Victory, History,
Emancipation, and Union were not added to the monument until 1881.
Local lore claims Rogers used Sojourner Truth, the famous
African-American abolitionist, as his inspiration for the
Emancipation statue, but little evidence exists to document this
belief. There are also four plaques containing bas-reliefs of the
Union leaders Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, and Farragut. Capping
the monument, the heroic "Amazon figure" 
Michigania, or Victory, brandishes a sword in her
right hand and in her other she raises a shield, prepared for