Sitting on the north side of the Johnson County Courthouse in Franklin, Indiana is a striking memorial/fountain commemorating the valor of Union Soldiers from Johnson County during the Civil War. John Vawter was a businessman and banker from Franklin. He donated the memorial in 1905. It includes a bronze statue by artist Rudolph Schwarz.
This is a wonderful memorial to the men who served in the Civil War. The anachronism? As a history nerd who has been interested in, and studied military history, I need to point out that the arms and accoutrements on the cavalry trooper looking out over the battlefield are of a kind that did not even exist in 1861 to 1865.
The carbine is a Springfield “Trapdoor” that fired a 45/50 cartridge. This firearm was not invented until 1873, and was issued in both rifle and carbine lengths. The cartridge box on the trooper’s belt appears to also be from the 1870’s and designed for brass cartridges. The statue is a very good portrayal of a trooper from the mid 1870’s on.
This is an impressive memorial, complete with all branches of the services represented under the lion heads fountains. It is interesting that the statue artist picked the wrong model for his rendition of the trooper. It doesn’t take away from the honor given to the Civil War soldiers from Johnson County.