The Illinois State Memorial is located on Union Avenue at milepost 1.8, tour stop #2. Dedicated on October 26, 1906, the monument was transferred to the United States by Governor C.S. Deneen and accepted by J. S. Schofield of the United States War Department. It was erected by the firm of Culver Construction Company with William B. Mundie contracting the designers and sculptors. The design was by W. L. B. Jenney and sculptor was Charles J. Mulligan. Jenney served with discinction as a major in the Union Army during the Civil War as an engineer. Jenney himself is honored for his military service at Vicksburg through a bronze relief portrait on Graveyard Road, sculpted by Theo Kitson in 1911.
'In designing the memorial, the decision was made to construct not only a grand and imposing commemorative structure worthy of the State of Illinois, but a temple of fame as well, within the walls of which will be preserved in enduring bronze and stone the name of every soldier from Illinois who participated in that memorable and decisive campaign and siege."
Stone Mountain (GA) granite forms the base and stairway. Above the base is Georgia white marble. There are forty-seven steps in the long stairway, one for each day of the Siege of Vicksburg. Modeled after the Roman Pantheon, the monument has sixty unique bronze tablets lining its interior walls, naming all 36,325 Illinois soldiers who participated in the Vicksburg Campaign. Atop the memorial sits a bronze bald eagle sculpted by Frederick C. Hibbard of Chicago, who would also sculpt the statue of General Ulysses S. Grant in the park.
The monument stands sixty-two feet in height and originally cost $194,423.92, paid by the state of Illinois.
Last updated: August 7, 2019