Scottish-American Civil War Memorial

This is really interesting story.***************************************************************************Edinburgh’s Scottish-American MemorialJohn McLean emigrated to America from Scotland as a young man and settled in Chicago. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as private in the 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. By the end of the war he had risen to the rank of Sergeant-Major, but his health was broken. Returning to Scotland, he married and soon had a family of three children. The times were difficult, his health was poor, and the family was never properly supported. When he died he was buried in a pauper’s grave.In 1890, his widow approached Wallace Bruce, U. S. Consul in Edinburgh, for help in getting his pension. Bruce, a sensitive man best known for his poetry, was appalled to learn that John McLean was buried in a potter’s field.Returning to the United States, he began to raise money for a proposed memorial. Donations came from such men as Waldorf Astor, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, William Rockefeller and J. Pierpont Morgan. The Illinois Saint Andrew Society made its contribution through Robert Clark, Jr., President.The monument was dedicated on August 21, 1893. It was a rainy, windy day. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders marched from the Castle to Waterloo Place at the east end of Princes Street. This Guard of Honor numbered 250 persons. It was to be an impressive ceremony in spite of the inclement weather.The monument was draped in the Union Jack, the Scottish Standard and the Stars and Stripes. Around the platform was an edging of heather. The highest officials from Edinburgh were present including the Lord Provost. Many American veterans from both sides of the war were in attendance.Mr. Lincoln stands life-size on a large pedestal with a freed black slave kneeling at his feet. Carved in Aberdeen granite are the words of Lincoln, “To preserve the jewel of liberty in the framework of freedom.”

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