Location: 60th Street and Fifth Avenue (Grand Army Plaza)
Artist/Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens; Alexander Phimister Proctor, designer of the horse
Materials: Gilded bronze, granite
Funding: Citizens of New York under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York
This depiction of General William Tecumseh Sherman was one of the last works of the talented American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. In 1888 Sherman, who lived in New York City after the Civil War, posed for Saint-Gaudens. After Sherman’s death in 1891, Saint-Gaudens was commissioned to do this equestrian grouping, and he used the 1888 bust for Sherman’s likeness. Saint-Gaudens completed the grouping in 1903.
The gilded statues of Sherman, his horse, and the allegorical figure Victory, coupled with the Pulitzer Fountain and the statue of Pomona directly to the south, form a grand entrance or “forecourt” to Central Park. In the Saint-Gaudens work, Sherman is led by Victory, who bears a palm frond suggesting peace. Sherman’s horse treads on a pine bough, representing the Confederate state of Georgia. Sherman led the Union Army’s devastating 1864 March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. He coined the phrase “War is hell” and is credited with helping to end the Civil War.
William Tecumseh Sherman
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