Ancestry * Biography * History
A long time ago when I was a student there were many occasions to visit, in all its grandeur, The Boston Public Library, and it was always impressive. Fast-forward some forty years, and on the many occasions that I revisited the library in researching my book, The Colonel and the Vicar, the lion sculptures that flank the grand marble staircase took on new meaning. One of them honors the Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (shown) and the other the Second Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Both were commissioned by the veterans of their respective regiment.
The lions, sculptured in marble, are emblazoned in bronze with the names of the battles which each regiment fought during the course of the American Civil War, including Ball’s Bluff, the subject of a series of recent posts. The works were delivered by their creator, Louis Saint-Gaudens, to the BPL in 1891.
The lion sculptures are majestic symbols of an effort made 150 years ago to tell the stories of the brave young men who fought in America’s single bloodiest war.