Civil War memorial in Mattoon dedicated

Phil Kepp, foreground left, and Steve Thompson, foreground right, raise the flag at the
Civil War memorial ellipse in Mattoon on Saturday.
(Kevin Kilhoffer, Jornal Gazette & TImes-Courier)

Story by Jarad Jarmon

MATTOON -- Phase two of the Mattoon Civil War Memorial Ellipse honoring the units that were formed at Camp Grant in Mattoon from 1861-64 was dedicated Saturday.

Five infantry regiments were formed near the memorial site at North First Division Street and Shelby Avenue.

In the second phase of this project, walkways were created in an ellipse with stone monument markers of regiments that were formed in the area along the pathways. Benches and a flag pole were also installed.

Included on these markers are bugles, which was the Union infantry symbol in the war.

Phil Kepp, donor, said he is proud to be a part of recognizing the history that occurred in Mattoon.

"I think it's wonderful to have a place to memorialize this and to make the city of Mattoon know that this was here," Kepp said. "It is amazing how many people don't know all the things that Mattoon's famous for."

The dedication also marks the commencement of phase three of the project. This phase will focus on raising funds to install a "Last Sentry" monument in the center of the memorial's walkway.

The 14-foot monument of a soldier will be made of granite and bronze. This phase will cost about $135,000 to complete, according to organizers.

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