Last updated: August 21, 2022
In 1972, backhoe excavations for sewer and telephone lines along James Street uncovered the remains of eight adult males. This occurred in conjunction with the archeological excavations going on at the site of Fort Stanwix itself. Further investigations concluded that they were the remains of soldiers serving at the fort during the American Revolution as their uniform buttons were identified. It was decided to reinter the remains near the future site of Fort Stanwix National Monument. However, their cause(s) of death remain unknown.
Former Camden NY resident Lorimer Rich was contacted to design the the 19-foot tall obelisk. The choice of the obelisk, similar to the nearby Oriskany Battlefield monument, is a symbol mean to draw a connection between the grave and the heavens. As there were soldiers from other states who served at Fort Stanwix, the original plans for the monument called for it to be surrounded by stones from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York. Rich had earlier designed the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldiers would be his last architectural work.
The tomb was officially dedicated on July 4, 1976, when a contingent of staff and volunteers from Fort Stanwix National Monument laid the eight soldiers in their final resting place at the tomb.
The Tomb stands on a small park plot on the corner of North James and West Liberty Streets in Rome, New York, and is located near the northwest corner of the restored Fort Stanwix National Monument.
Adjacent to Fort Stanwix National Monument sits the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldiers. Designed by the same person that created the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, it was dedicated on July 4, 1976.
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