Colorado Soldier's Monument (Denver, Colorado)


Bronze figure of a standing Union soldier whose right hand holds the butt of a rifle, left hand holds the rifle barrel, and left foot thrusts forward. He wears an overcoat, boots and spurs, and a Union soldier's kepi hat. He has a strapped and shielded saber, a pistol holster, and under his coat, a canteen. The statue was originally mounted on top of a granite pedestal, with neoclassical ornamentation, facing west, at the west entrance to the Colorado State Capitol building in Denver. The statue was toppled by protesters on June 25, 2020. Current location (as of October 14, 2020) in the lobby of the History Colorado Museum

Monument type:

Statue - standing soldier


Designed by Captain John ("Jack") D. Howland, molded by J. Otto Schweizer

Dedication Date:








The granite pedestal contains the dates "1861-1865" on all four sides and below those dates, the words: "Erected by the State of Colorado." There are four brass tablets on the granite pedestal. The tablet facing west reads: "Colorado Territory Organized February 28, 1861 Colorado Admitted as a State August 1, 1876 Census of Territory in 1861 - 25,331 War Governors William Gilpin 1861 to 1862 Richard Ed. Whitsitt, Adjutant General John Evans 1862 to 1865 Military Organizations in the Civil War First Colorado Infantry Later First Colorado Cavalry Col. John P. Slough Col. John M. Chivington Second Colorado Infantry Col. Jesse H. Leavenworth Third Colorado Infantry Consolidated with Second Inf. to Form Second Colo. Cav. Col. James H. Ford Third Colorado Cavalry Col. Geo. L Shoup McLain's Independent Battery Volunteer Soldiers Credited to Colorado - 4, 903 Highest Average of Any State or Territory with No Draft of Bounty Battles and Engagements Val Verde, N.M. 1862 Apache Canon, N.M. 1862 Pigeon's Ranch, N.M. 1862 La Cloretta, N.M. 1862 Peralta, N.M. 1862 Cabin Creek, Ind. TY. 1863 Honey Springs, Ind. TY. 1863 Camden Point, MO. 1864 Fredericksburg, MO. 1864 Little Blue, MO. 1864 Big Blue, MO. 1864 Westport, MO. 1864 Marias des Cygnes, MO. 1864 Mine Creek, MO. 1864 Little Black, MO. 1864 Newtonia, MO. 1864 Trading Post, MO. 1864 Fremont's Orchard, Colo. 1864 Smokey Hill, Colo. 1864 Cedar Canon, Colo. 1864 Sand Creek, Colo. 1864 Gold Discovered In Western Kansas Territory, Commonly Called Pike's Peak, in 1858 By Green Russell, George A. Jackson, J.H. Gregory and Others" The tablets on the other three sides read: "To the Memory of Colorado Soldiers Who Died in the Civil War, as Follows:" (followed by the list of regiments and names). There is a newer plaque, placed in 2002, on the west side of the circular sandstone wall surrounding the memorial that reads: "The controversy surrounding this Civil War Monument has become a symbol of Coloradans' struggle to understand and take responsibility for our past. On November 29, 1864 Colorado's First and Third Cavalry, commanded by Colonel John Chivington, attacked Chief Black Kettle's peaceful camp of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians on the banks of Sand Creek, about 180 miles southeast of here. In the surprise attack, soldiers killed more than 150 of the village's 500 inhabitants. Most of the victims were elderly men, women and children. Though some civilian and military personnel immediately denounced the attack as a massacre, others claimed the village was a legitimate target. This Civil War monument, paid for from funds by the Pioneers' Association and State, was erected on July 24, 1909, to honor all Colorado Soldiers who had fought in battles in the Civil War and elsewhere. By designating Sand Creek a battle, the monument's designers mischaracterized the actual events. Protests led by some Sand Creek descendants and others throughout the twentieth century have led to the widespread recognition of the tragedy as the Sand Creek Massacre. This plaque was authorized by Senate Joint Resolution 99-017"

Want more Info? Click the Expand button below:

Conception Date:
Opening Date:
Bronze statue on granite pedestal
3.6576m x 3.6576m x 5.4864m
Captain John ("Jack") D. Howland (First Colorado Cavalry)
Cost / Value:
$15,000 (first legislative appropriation), plus an additional $3,500 (second legislative appropriation)
Erected by:
State of Colorado
Funded by:
Colorado Pioneers' Association and Colorado State taxpayers
Run by:
History Colorado Museum
Indigenous Land
Interim caretaker, History Colorado Museum, 1200 N. Broadway, Denver, Colorado.
Data Sources:

Read below for one of our contributor’s reflections on this monument

Entry Contributor(s):