In the early part of 1886, several ladies from Potsdam and vicinity met in the Grand Army Hall on Raymond Street to organize a Women's Relief Corps. On October 16, 1886, the Marsh Women's Relief Corps, Number 91, came into being, taking its name from Lt. Col. Samuel Marsh.
The first president was Eunice Eastman, wife of Capt. George Eastman. The members gave freely of their time in relief work, sewing and raising money to help the comrades and their families who were in need.
On May 21, 1891, the Marsh Women's Relief Corps decide to start a fund to erect a monument in honor of Civil War soldiers buried in Bayside Cemetery. The first dollar for the Monument Fund was contributed by Mrs. Sarah McCormick. When the veterans associations met, the women served luncheons and turned the proceeds over to the fund. They served suppers at $.25 per person, sold aprons and held rummage sales. By 1903, they had raised $200, which they turned over to Commander Walling of the Marsh Post GAR, for the monument, which had been ordered.
The impressive statue of a Civil War soldier was dedicated on August 20, 1903. The main address was given by Judge H. T. Swift, and the Gettysburg Address was read by Carlton E. Sanford. The program also included remarks by General N. N. Curtis and by the chaplain of the 16th Regiment, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner who lived in Plattsburgh.
In 1961, the centennial of the Civil War, the Marsh Women's Relief Corps observed its 75 anniversary as part of the oldest patriotic women's organization in the United States, and the only one to serve through four wars.