Merquisha Auguste

To the Defenders of the Union 1861-1865 “The Soldiers’ and Sailor’ Memorial Arch” located at Grand Army Plaza. Designed by John H. Duncan and completed in 1892, becoming Brooklyn’s best Known Civil War icon. These sculptures were all completed over a period from 1898-1901. On January 1, 1863 proclamation that freed slaves in southern territories was controlled by the Union Army by which this executive proclamation by President Lincoln also committed the Union to the abolition of slavery. On August 6, 1889,  William R. Ware and  Charles B. Atwood  who had been appointed by the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Commission, selected  John H. Duncan’s design for the arch from 36 designs submitted the previous year.

This sculpture depicts the winged goddess of victory, following victorious combat (The Civil War) with instruments of war: sword, colors, flagstaff, and  quadriga  (the Union Army). Winged attendants are seen removing two of the four quadriga horses for peacetime use (postbellum recovery) while trumpeting the victory and freedom  (Emancipation). The arch was designated a landmark in 1973, and the crowning sculpture was restored after the chariot’s figure fell out in 1976.

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