Winfield Scott Statue

Affectionately known as “Old Fuss and Feathers,” General Winfield Scott’s career in the US Army spanned more than half a century.

Erected in 1874, this equestrian statue of Brevet Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott was the first memorial honoring a Civil War general to be installed in one of DC’s public traffic circles or squares. Throughout his decorated career in the US Army, General Scott led forces during the War of 1812, Mexican–American War, Seminole Wars, and in the early years of the Civil War. Having served under every president from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln, General Winfield Scott holds the record for the longest tenure as the army’s chief officer.

On March 2, 1867, Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing a statue of General Winfield Scott to be erected, naming Henry Kirke Brown as the sculptor. Scott is portrayed wearing the field uniform of a lieutenant-general, including a hat and long jacket with fringed epaulets and decorative sash. Brown had planned to depict General Scott riding his preferred horse, a mare; however, shortly before the statue was to be cast, members of Scott’s family protested the design, complaining that no other general had been portrayed riding a mare and that a stallion would be more befitting. Perturbed by the request, Brown made minimal modifications to his design, resulting in Scott, a tall and heavy man, riding a disproportionately small and anatomically inaccurate horse.

The statue was cast from bronze cannons captured by Scott’s army during the Mexican–American War and sits atop a 150 ton block of granite, the single largest stone ever quarried in the United States up until that point. The statue was quietly installed in 1874 with little fanfare and no formal ceremony to mark the occasion in the center of Scott Circle.

DC Inventory: March 3, 1979
National Register: September 20, 1978
Within Sixteenth Street Historic District



Scott Circle NW