First Corps of Cadets Monument

December 5, 2011

The First Corps of Cadets Monument, designed by Theodore Colburn, was erected and dedicated in 1867.

The Boston Independent Corps of Cadets commissioned this monument in 1865 to honor the 16 members of the Corps who died in the Civil War. The Corps chose Colburn, a Boston architect, to design the 22-foot high monument.

Made of white Concord granite, the monument is topped by a life-size bald eagle, modeled from an Audubon painting. The eagle is the national symbol of the United States, but in funerary art also symbolizes courage and Civil War casualties. Mass memorials erected in public spaces were becoming popular at this time, and Mount Auburn played a crucial role in this tradition.

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