Located in front of Greene County Supreme Court building in the village of Catskill, the World War I Doughboy statue titled “Over the Top at Cantigny” commemorates those who have served in 10th New York Infantry between July 15, 1917 and July 8, 1919. The Battle of Cantigny, during May 1918 in France, was the first American battle and victory of World War 1. American Army and Marine soldiers of the era were known as “doughboys”, with historians theorizing about several different possible origins of the term.
The life size bronze statue, set upon a tall granite pedestal with commemorative plaques, poignantly details a “World War 1 soldier holding a rifle aloft in his proper right hand as he runs with his proper left leg taking a step forward. At his feet are rocks and barbed wire. The soldier is dressed in his uniform, including a helmet, and carries a pack on his back. Around his neck he wears a square pouch and hanging from his ammunition belt are a canteen and his bayonet. The sculpture rests on a square base with two steps at the bottom.” (Smithsonian American Art Museum.)
The Doughboy statue was designed by John Paulding (1883-1935), a prominent American sculptor well known for his World War 1 memorials. Paulding created four variations in his “Over the Top” series of sculptures. Three of the four variations can be found throughout the United States, but only two versions of Model 2043-C (with the soldier holding his rifle overhead) are known to exist, the one here at Catskill, New York and the other at Astoria, Oregon. The sculpture was manufactured by the American Art Bronze Foundry in Chicago.