Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Located in Campus Martius Park, the Michigan Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument honors the 90,000 Michigan troops who fought for the Union in the Civil War, as well as the 14,823 who did not return home from battle. Shortly after the Civil War ended in 1865, Michigan Governor Austin Blair established a committee to gather funds for the erection of a monument dedicated to the Michigan-born soldiers that served with distinction during the war. After raising more than $70,000 over the course of two years, the monument was finally built in 1867 by Randolph Rogers, a renowned sculptor of numerous other Civil War monuments.

The monument is composed of four tiers with unique ornamentation. The lower sections feature four eagles with raised wings. Next, the midsections are topped by four male figures that represent the four branches of the United States Army: Navy, Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery. Above these male figures are four female figures that were added to the monument in 1881, which represent Victory, History, Emancipation and Union. Finally, the top of the monument is home to 11-foot heroic Native American warrior representation of “Michigan,” who holds a sword in her right hand and raises a shield in her left signaling that she is ready for battle. Additionally, the monument includes four plaques containing bas-reliefs of the Union leaders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William Sherman, and David Farragut. 

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is currently located at the southeast tip of Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. The monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places May 31, 1984. It was moved 125 feet from the original location after completion of the 2005 renovation of Campus Martius, where it gained a new granite base and fountain.



The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, 1973 - 2008.033.264

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument prior to the addition of female figures, 1885 - 2008.112.156

View all items related to the Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument