Whitley County Civil War Memorial, built on the County Courthouse, was established in 1896 and was erected by the G.A.R(Grand Army of the Republic) to honor citizens of Columbia City Community who fought in the Civil War and lost their lives. The Civil War Monument has long been an object of pride for Whitley County. The inscriptions on the walls of monument consists on each side displays the year, date and name of the fighters who fought in the Civil War as a tribute to them.
The monument was found to be in grave danger by a foundation in the County that depicted severe cracks all around its base. Immediately, foundations in County began with the fund-raising, to restore the monument and it was moved to the entrance of the Court House. This monument was mounted back on May 19, 1897 and this day was announced as the Memorial Day. In April, 1916, the monument which had made its place on the Courthouse was enlarged to add more names of the civil war soldiers on the walls. The walls were enlarged to add 96 more war veterans.
The statue mounted on top of this monument is called as the ‘Infantryman Statue’. This statue was crafted in 1896 in Italy to honor the soldiers of Whitley County Civil War. The G.A.R. of Whitley County, specially ordered this statue to be the major cap-stone of the Civil War Memorial. It was shipped from Italy to Columbia City on November 11, 1896.
A few steps away from the Civil War Monument is the ‘Replica Civil War Cannon’. The cannon has muzzle markings that indicates that it was manufactured at Fort Pitt Foundry, Pennsylvania in 1861. It is unsure whether this ornamental replica cannon indicates the origin original Civil War Cannon or emulation of canons and guns at that location during Civil War.
Whitney County Civil War Memorial has made its mark in the history of Whitley County and still stands proud at the Columbia City’s Whitley County Court House.