My original idea was to portray the powerful bond between men on active service with a soldier carrying his dead comrade. However after working on the sculpture for some time the piece began to have a strong spiritual meaning for me. The dead soldier is limp as if his body had just been lifted from the battlefield. The figure holding the dead man began to have the presence of the Angel of Mercy. He is perfect—there are no battle scars on him and he is untouched by the grim conflict. I am not a religious man, but working on this sculpture I felt a strong spiritual guidance.
This memorial was erected on grounds that have remained unchanged since the days of the battle. The memorial was commissioned, thanks to the generosity of Nimrod T. Frazer, by the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation, an Alabama foundation that purchased what remains of the fortified farmhouse of the Croix Rouge and some of the land where the battle took place. Before being erected on these hallowed grounds, the memorial statue was exhibited in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts in London during its 2011 Summer Exhibition.
The memorial includes the following inscription: “In filial piety, Nimrod Thompson Frazer erected this monument in the name of his father Sgt. William Johnson Frazer of Greenville, Alabama, a member of the D Company Assault Force.” The bronze casting was done by Black Isle Foundry located in Nairn, near Inverness, Scotland. The statue offers a moving tribute to the men who fought so valiantly.
Visitors are welcome at the memorial site; for more information, please see its website at http://croixrougefarm.org/.
This article was originally published in Alabama Heritage Issue #112, Spring 2014.
President of the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation, Monique Brouillet Seefried, a French and American citizen, holds a PhD in history from the Sorbonne.