26 May 2010 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 10 comments

My office is located in a suburb of Columbus called Pickerington. There’s a strip shopping center in Pickerington where there’s a Mexican restaurant that Susan and I like. We had dinner there on Sunday, and then we walked a block to a Rita’s Italian Ice store for dessert.

I have been to that shopping center previously, and I knew that there was an odd open spot in the middle of it. I never noticed what fills that odd opening before Sunday night. As we walked by it, I noticed a white column that said “Sherman”, so it got my attention. I went to look at it, and it was a monument to William T. Sherman that I have never seen before. However, the monument is missing its head and the figure of Sherman is missing its left hand. The monument indicates that it was placed in 1918, and mentions the names of four members of the Union Veteran Legion who placed the monument.

After thinking about it for a couple of days, I called my friend Mike Peters today, and Mike turned up some interesting information. Thanks to Mike for sharing it with me.

I had never heard of the Union Veteran Legion. Mike found that the Union Veteran Legion was formed in 1884. The requirements for membership was that UVL members were to have “volunteered prior to July 1, 1863, for a term of 3 years, and were honorably discharged”. Service in the military had to be of at least 2 years in duration if the discharge was due to wounds encountered on the battlefield. Given these requirements, the membership of the UVL was many times smaller than that of the G.A.R. So, this monument was erected by some of Sherman’s boys.

Mike also ascertained that the monument was vandalized in 1968, meaning that Uncle Billy has been headless and handless for 42 years.

One of the fellows I practice law with has lived in Pickerington for his entire life and had absolutely no clue that that monument exists.

The poor condition and poor security for the monument bothers me a great deal, so Mike and I agreed that we’re going to see what we can do about (a) relocating the monument to a place where it can be seen and have some security (it has NONE now), and (b) fixing it so that Uncle Billy is no longer headless or handless. We’re going to see what we can do.

I will keep everyone posted as to our progress.

The following pictures were taken by Nancy Peters, and are used with her permisson:

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Steve Basic
    Thu 27th May 2010 at 12:16 am

    Eric,

    Have been to Pickerington many times during my days at Ohio University, and I had no clue about this monument either. If I can be of any help in this endeavor, please let me know.

    Did Mike come across any phtos of it before it was vandalized?

    Hope all is well.

  2. Stan
    Thu 27th May 2010 at 8:40 am

    Sherman was known to lose his head now & again.
    There’s also that story about somebody famous losing their left arm “but I have lost my right.”?

    Was the sculptor one of those confused “realists”?

  3. Mike Peters
    Thu 27th May 2010 at 10:24 am

    Base,

    Was unable to find a pre-vandalism photo. Plan to consult microfilm, if available, from the Pickerington-Violet Township and Ohio Historical Societies for a picture of the 1918 dedication, as well as a blurb on the 1968 vandalism.

    Mike Peters

  4. Christ Liebegott
    Thu 27th May 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Eric,
    A very worthy cause. Let us know if and what we can do to help.
    Christ

  5. Thu 27th May 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Would be glad to help. Keep us posted.

    Phil

  6. Thu 27th May 2010 at 8:44 pm

    That no entry exists for the memorial in SIRIS affirms my concern about gaps in that resource. I cannot locate any pre-vandalism photos through any of the other photo repositories on line.

    The location is, well, odd. Wonder if that used to be a cemetery? Or park? Just an odd place to put up an Uncle Billy statue.
    – Craig.

  7. Steve Basic
    Thu 27th May 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Mike,

    Spent some time last searching as well. Could not find anything either. Keep me posted.

    Hope all is well.

    Steve

  8. Deb
    Tue 01st Jun 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Oh poor WTS!

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