Friedrich Hecker Monument - Benton Park - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 35.830 W 090° 13.321
15S E 741929 N 4275735
Quick Description: Routed as a Revolutionary leader in German, led the Konstanz volunteers in the Civil War
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 10/7/2014 5:55:12 AM
Waymark Code: WMMM6B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of monument: St. Louis Independent City
Location of park: bordered by S. Jefferson Ave., Arsenal St., Wyoming St. & Illinois Ave.
Location of monument: Wyoming St. side, near Illinois Ave., Benton Park, St. Louis
Artist: Charles Steubenraugh, sculptor
Architect: Ernest C. Janssen, Ernest C.
Contractor: Hurricane Granite Company

Proper Description: "Monument to Friedrich Hecker in the form of an obelisk decorated with medallions, torches, and stars. One of the medallions formerly featured a bronze bust of Hecker in high relief, which is now missing." ~ Smithsonian American Art Museum

Remarks: "Donated by Hecker Monument Association. Cost: $5,000. Friedrich Hecker was a German revolutionist who came to St. Louis in the 1840s. Hecker commanded a brigade of local German-Americans during the Civil War. Charles Steubenraugh was the sculptor of the portrait of Hecker, which is now missing." ~ Smithsonian American Art Museum

"Friedrich Franz Karl Hecker (September 28, 1811 – March 24, 1881) was a German lawyer, politician and revolutionary. He was one of the most popular speakers and agitators of the 1848 Revolution. After moving to the United States, he served as a brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

"After moving to the United States, Hecker always maintained an acute interest in events in Germany. In the spring of 1849, the Baden revolution re-ignited, and Hecker returned to Europe to participate. However, he only made it as far as Strassburg when word came that the insurrection had been defeated by Prussian troops and he returned to Illinois. In 1851 he wrote a foreword to the German translation of Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man which was published in Leipzig in 1851.

"However, like most Forty-Eighters, his attention became increasingly focused on domestic political issues in the United States, and in particular the issue of abolishing slavery. When the Illinois Republican Party was organized at a convention in 1856, German-American Forty-Eighters were everywhere conspicuous in the proceedings; Hecker and Abraham Lincoln were selected to be the two electors-at-large if John Frémont were to win the state (which he did not). The Republicans attracted a wide array of political perspectives, with often strongly divergent views except for their opposition to slavery, and the interests of the immigrant Forty-Eighters was in conflict with the nativist Know Nothings. The influence of Hecker and the other German-American leaders was critical in keeping the party unified in regard to its most important principles.

"After the Battle of Fort Sumter, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers from among the state militia. The Illinois allotment of 6,000 volunteers was exceeded in five days. By June, ten regiments had been accepted, one of which was the 24th Illinois Infantry Regiment, commanded by now Colonel Hecker. The 24th Illinois was the first unit mobilized from Chicago, and was made up of German, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak immigrants, mostly Forty-Eighters. In the early days of the war, the 24th Illinois primarily was assigned to garrison and other rear echelon duties in the western theaters. Under the conditions of dreary guard duty, and not being professional soldiers, morale and discipline faltered, and Hecker resigned his command on December 23, 1861. The 24th continued on, still under the informal name of "Hecker's Old Regiment," and saw action throughout the western theater, including at Chickamauga.

"In October 1862, he became colonel of the 82nd Illinois Infantry Regiment. Approximately two-thirds of its members were German immigrants and most of the other third was composed of immigrants from various countries. Company C was entirely made up of European Jews, and Company I was all Scandinavians. The unit served in the eastern campaigns, and Hecker was badly wounded at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. After recovering from his wounds, he later served at the Battle of Missionary Ridge and in the capturing of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Hecker resigned this command on March 21, 1864, but like the 24th Illinois, "Hecker's Second Regiment" continued on active duty for the remainder of the war.

"When Hecker returned home, almost immediately he became involved in a political split in the Republican Party. Dissatisfaction among radical republicans with Lincoln's middle political road came to a head in May 1864 when Hecker led a faction of Frémont supporters to oppose Lincoln's renomination. The Lincoln faction won, and Hecker and others organized an independent convention in Cleveland to nominate Frémont (Frémont ultimately withdrew). The effect, in the end, was to strengthen Lincoln's candidacy among mainstream Republicans"

~ Wikipedia

Date Installed or Dedicated: 9/1/1882

Name of Government Entity or Private Organization that built the monument: Hecker Monument Commission

Union, Confederate or Other Monument: Union

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