SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Civil War memorial statue returned to Saratoga’s Congress Park after it was vandalized last summer. The work that went into repairing the installation is now another chapter in its long history.
Over a year after it was broken into many pieces, the 77th Infantry Regiment Monument went back up in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday. “It’s amazing what they have done,” said Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly. “I never thought they could restore something like this.”
A small crowd of people came out to see its reinstallation, including a descendant of Orin Rugg, who fought in the 77th. “He was promoted to being a captain, so he was fighting, and he came home and was decorated,” said Leslie Kettlewell. “He had a child that I’m descended of, and he went back to the war and was killed.”
The monument was originally dedicated in 1875 to honor and recognize locals who volunteered for the war effort. After the statue was vandalized last July, the community rallied together to help bring it back. They included members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, who helped raise funds to repair or replace it.
“Lot of people don’t realize the cost to replace and repair something like this and what damage it does to memories of families,” said Brian Castler, department commander of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. “My great grandfather was a Civil War veteran.”
Kelly says a lot of that community support helped improve security surrounding the monument to help make sure this doesn’t happen again. “Now we have cameras. we have lights. it’s going to be safe,” she said. “If anybody has a problem, or touches it, they’re going to be caught on camera this time.”
The monumental is the only in honor of a regiment that is not located in a battlefield.