These guys pictured above were Bristol's last four surviving Civil War veterans, according to my friend Tom LaPorte, who spends enough time in the Bristol Room at the main library to know such things.
Tom tells me the photo was taken on May 30, 1926 in front of the West Cemetery Civil War monument. From left to right are: George H. Bates, George B. Chapin, Walter H. Hutchinson, and Edward H. Allen.
I talked with Tom and other members of a special committee earlier this week about plans to raise money for a new Civil War memorial, to be placed on the Boulevard and dedicated Memoria Day, 2011.
This dedicated committee, led by Peter Imperator, is starting to raise money for the monument. They told me the beautiful brownstone monument pictured above, and dedicated in 1866, less than a year after the end of the Civil War, is in danger. The stone rots from the inside out, they said, and the crumbling of the memorial is not a matter of if, but when.
They figure they need about $15,000 for a nice monument, with a brass plate for the names, which are eroding from the brownstone. If you can spare a donation, it's a noble idea.
I wrote a story about it for The Bristol Press and think it might be running in Saturday's edition. (www.bristolpress.com)