Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
Public Art : Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
Sculptor: © Henry Merwin Shrady (October 12th, 1871 –
April 12th, 1922)
Description: The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial was
erected in honour of American Civil War general and 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant
(April 27th, 1822 – July 23rd, 1885). The Grant memorial consists of three distinct sculptures, The Artillary
Group, the Cavalry group and the Equestrian .
The central being a 17.2 feet bronze equestrian statue standing on a marble pedestal. The stillness
of this sculpture juxaposes those on either side. Grant is depicted on his stead, calmly sitting while
watching a battle somewhere in the distance. This sculpture was completed in 1920. Known for his cool demeanor in
times of turmoil it isn't surprising that the central statue is flanked by those showing the stress and
ravishes of war.
The Artillary group consists of a caisson (a two-wheeled cart designed to carry artillery
ammunition) with a cannon, pulled by three horses. Two war weary soldiers sit hunched over at the front of the
caisson while another two soldiers sit astride their horses. One soldier is holding up a flag while the other has
his cloak flying around his head as his horse rears upwards. The horrors of war are etched in various ways on both
the men and the horse's faces. If you look closely from behind you can see the index finger of one of the hunched
soldiers slipped into a strap of the cart's canopy in a desperate attempt to hold on. The sculptor used West Point
cadets , Fairfax Ayres, James E Chaney and Henry Weeks as models for this piece. The sculpture was completed in
The Cavalry Group consists of seven soldiers from a cavalry regiment riding into battle. One
of the horses has fallen and a soldier clings on. Henry Shrady spent a great deal of time attending
military parades and studying Civil War history to create this. The sculptures was completed in 1916.
Date Unveiled: The Grant memorial was dedicated on
April 27, 1922, on the centennial of Grant's birth and two weeks after Shrady's death (from overwork). It had taken
20 years to complete. Vice President Calvin Coolidge and John J Pershing General of Armies gave dedication
speeches. A military parade from the White House to the Capitol was also part of the celebrations.
Trivia: Henry Shrady's father was one of the
physicians who attended Ulysses S. Grant during his struggle with throat cancer.