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Oldest existing Civil War Monument is in Louisville, Ky.

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  • Joseph R. Reinhart
    August 18, 2010 (Louisville, Ky.) The nation’s oldest existing Civil War memorial arrived at its new home Wednesday, the Frazier International History
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 21, 2010
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      August 18, 2010 (Louisville, Ky.) The nation’s oldest existing Civil War memorial arrived at its new home Wednesday, the Frazier International History Museum. Known as the “Bloedner Monument,” the 3,500-pound limestone memorial is of exceptional national and historical significance, especially as the country approaches the Civil War’s 150th anniversary in 2011.

       

      The Bloedner Monument, whose official name is the 32nd Indiana Infantry Monument, was carved in the weeks following the 1861Battle of Rowlett’s Station near Munfordville, Ky., and recently was conserved following decades of exposure at Cave Hill National Cemetery where it had been since 1867. It now is on display in the Frazier Museum’s lobby, where visitors can see it for free.

       

      The Battle of Rowlett’s Station was a one-hour skirmish on December 17, 1861 during which the 32nd Indiana Infantry, a regiment of German-Americans, warded off a Confederate attack. Union Pvt. August Bloedner used a natural outcrop of limestone to fashion the monument to honor 13 of his fellow soldiers killed in battle. It was placed on the graves at Munfordville before the infantry marched on. In 1867, the remains of 11 of the soldiers and their monument were moved to the northwest corner of historic Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville.

       

      In December 2008, the fragile Bloedner Monument was transported to a curatorial facility at the University of Louisville where it was conserved by Conservation Solutions, Inc. A new monument designed to pay homage to the original will be returned to Cave Hill next year with informational markers. Both the location selection and new monument design were determined by project partners in consultation with the public, veterans and representatives from Kentucky Civil War military sites. The Bloedner Monument is on loan to the Frazier Museum for a minimum of 10 years.


      Note: The Hazen Brigade Monument at Stones River is the oldest C. W. "intact" monument.

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