General George B. McClellan Statue

This bronze equestrian statue of General McClellan stands at the crest of a hill overlooking Connecticut Avenue. McClellan distinguished himself at the battle of Antietam and as head of the Army of the Potomac.

Here he is mounted on a horse in the military dress of the Union Army, his right hand poised on his hip. The pedestal is very high and is enriched by eight escutcheons honoring McClellan's battles. The two principal sides are decorated with bronze trophies representing cannon, flags, and arms. At each of the four corners, eagles bear garlands of oak and laurel. The statue stands nine feet above the base. It was erected at the expense of the government for $50,000. The Society of the Army of the Potomac provided funds for the improvement of the site. Cast in France, the statue was erected in accordance with an Act approved March 3, 1901.(31 Stat. 1174), and dedicated May 2, 1907. The McClellan statue is located in a small area bounded by Connecticut Ave.,N.W., Columbia Road, N.W., and California St.,N.W., Reservation 303.

Prominent in the city of Washington are a large number of heroic memorials to military figures of the Civil War. These commemorative tributes of bronze, granite and marble are largely cast in the form of equestrian statues and occupy many of the circles and squares in Pierre L'Enfant's original design of Washington. They stand as silent sentinels to remind succeeding generations of a time when Washington was a seething armed camp of soldiers, bivouacs, and munitions caught in the center of Civil War. The omnipresence and very number of these statues across the city suggest the preoccupation with Civil War memories for many decades after its end. They bear mute witness to a national trauma which scarred the national consciousness for a century.

Erected 1907 (Frederick MacMonnies, sculptor; James Crocroft, architect)
National Register Nomination: September 20, 1978



Connecticut Avenue and California Street, NW