A group of history buffs and others in the Sunbury area have worked diligently for the past 2 1/2 years to have a statue honoring Civil War Gen. William S. Rosecrans erected on the Town Square.
Those folks, who include area Civil War re-enactors, plan to see that dream realized Sept. 28.
That's the scheduled date of a ceremony to dedicate a statue of Rosecrans, a native of Kingston Township who commanded union troops during the war. Rosecrans, a former U.S. Treasurer, is the only significant general from the Civil War without a statue.
The Rosecrans Headquarters, a committee of the Big Walnut Area Historical Society, has raised $176,400 as of Monday, Jan. 28, said committee member Polly Horn. About $12,100 remains to be raised, but the committee has some pledges and some events going on that should cover that amount, she said.
"We knew we were going to do it. We are excited about this," Polk said Thursday, Jan. 31, of raising enough money for the project. "We hope to bring Civil War (enthusiasts) from all over the country" for the dedication.
A 54,000-pound, glacial granite boulder was set in place last summer on the northwest corner of the Town Square as the base for the statue, which currently is being sculpted. A brick walkway to the statue also has been completed.
The 13-foot bronze statue depicts Rosecrans astride his horse.
Zanesville artist Alan Cottrill was commissioned to sculpt the statue.
Polk thanked the Delaware County commissioners for approving a $20,000 donation for the statue in mid-January. Students in the Big Walnut School District currently are holding a penny drive to raise funds. So far, $1,350 has been raised. The penny drive ends Feb. 12.
Many others also donated money and time to the project, which gained support from Village Council in 2011 when it approved placing the statue on the square.
Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield hailed the success of the fundraising drive at council's meeting Wednesday, Jan. 30.
"This is something that is going to be a big deal" for Sunbury, he said. "There will be a general on a horse on a rock on our square. This will attract visitors."