The Civil War Monument, or the Stinson Memorial, in the historic Eastern Cemetery, is a grave marker for Alonzo P. Stinson, a Union volunteer killed at the First Battle of Bull Run in Virginia on July 21, 1861. This Civil War battle represented the largest loss of life the United States had experienced in war up to this date, and it occurred just three months after the shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.
George E. Brown designed the granite sculpture depicting a soldier’s bedroll. The Hawkes Brothers of Portland sculpted it. Murdock-Shaw of Boston fabricated the medallion and the bronze plaque with the inscription. The monument was erected in 1908, and it was dedicated on July 4, 1908.
The soldier’s bedroll is a significant image of the personal reach of war. Civil War soldiers on both sides were issued knapsacks and bedrolls, but because of gruelingly long marches, knapsacks were jettisoned while bedrolls were kept. Soldiers would keep personal belongings wrapped inside their bedrolls.
The monument is located in the northern corner of the cemetery near the intersection of Congress and Mountfort Streets, and it can easily be seen from the sidewalk outside the wrought iron fence.
Eastern Cemetery was established in 1668, and it is the oldest major cemetery in Portland. Commanders of the USS Enterprise and the HMS Boxer, as well as crew from both ships that fought in the Gulf of Maine in the War of 1812, are buried together in Eastern Cemetery. Until 1820 the northwestern half of Eastern Cemetery was a public commons and gathering place, with the southeastern half used for graves.