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COBWEB CORNERS: What happened to the city's Civil War memorial?

By Mel McFarland

Oct. 24, 2018
       With some statues of Civil War soldiers being removed around the country, I was reminded of Colorado Springs one-time Civil War memorial.
       There was once - and actually, as you will learn, twice - a cannon mounted to commemorate the Grand Army of the Republic's soldiers on a corner downtown. It was placed there after the new courthouse was built in the early 1900s when, as I have been told, Colorado Springs founder General Palmer had his Civil War reunion. A number of the city's leaders had been associated with the general's unit that fought for the North, and hundreds of aging veterans came to town for the reunion. A Civil War cannon barrel was brought and mounted on a stone base in a grand dedication.
       The barrel, however did not stay. During a metal scrap drive in World War II, it was removed and donated. Following the war, another Civil War barrel was searched out, but none could be found.
       A barrel from a World War II cannon was offered, and Camp Carson soldiers moved it from the Pueblo Ordinance Depot to the Santa Fe station. It was eventually placed on the old base at to the northwest corner of the courthouse block. Even though the memorial had a different barrel, the old lettering on the stone was preserved.
       (Note: Another cannon memorial, in a Manitou Springs park, displays a French gun from World War I, not to be confused with this item.)
       There is no sign of the courthouse memorial anymore. The cannon was removed in the mid-1970s, when the courthouse was standing empty and the Pioneers Museum had not yet relocated there. I do remember some discussion then of the need for such a memorial, and it had nothing to do with the current reasons for taking down statues. I do not think the cannon was placed at Evergreen Cemetery, which had been a suggestion. Maybe one of you can share more of this story.

(Opinion: Cobweb Corners)

       Editor's note: Local historian Mel McFarland has been writing his Cobweb Corners column in the Westside Pioneer since 2004. To see past columns, go to the Pioneer's Archives. Either look for desired articles under the Cobweb Corners category for any year, or search by keywords in the Find box.

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