Deep in Mount Vernon, New York just a few blocks from the Wakefield section of the Bronx stands a Solitary Sentry from a different time. With the not to distant sound of ambulance sirens piercing the quiet morning, Our Sentry stands in the shadow of Mount Vernon Hospital at the corner of North 7th Ave and Roosevelt Square North. He stares out onto the city with his weathered face and eyes. Those eyes ever scanning a very busy city. The Sentry seems almost an anachronism to the time and place. At a time in our history when smartphones, ipods and google glass are the important items in life, our valiant solider still watches over his city, but one must wonder if the people who pass him buy know who he is or even care about his story and the sacrifice his contemporaries made.
This beautiful monument is surrounded by brick columns and wrought iron fencing, gating the monument in. The morning I photographed this, a city worker arrived to hoist the colors. He gave me full access to the site and I was honored that he asked if I would assist with the flag. Around the site are also small cannon.
Mount Vernon’s silent sentry is that of a solitary Union infantry solider. Standing a silent vigil since 1888 at Farnsworth Park on the triangular piece of ground which now is in front Mount Vernon Hospital. In his 8 foot splendor , he stares off into the city forever at parade rest, wearing a kepi and great coat, prepared for the harshest of weather.
The four sided base of the monument is ringed with 4 bronze medallions , on fore each branch of the service; Army, Calvary, Artillery and Navy. The heavy green patina shows the age of several of the medallions with their condition slightly eroded away.
The main pedastal is about 10 feet tall and it is inscribed on two sides. One side states ““Erected by the Citizens of Mount Vernon to her loyal sons who fought for the Union.” On the obverse side it recognizes the many contributions of the women of the Civil War. “To the noble women who, from home, hospital and field contributed to the preservation of the Union.”
Colonel Henry Huss a Bavarian immigrant who served in the battles of Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and the Florida campaign. Following the War he was President of the City Board of Trade and deeded the plot that that accommodates the monument. (1)
The monument was dedicated May 30, 1891 and cost around $2000.
To visit the site bring quarters for the meter. Here is the map page.
The entire set of photos can be seen here