Monument to General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson

21 Jul

Monument to General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. Richmond, VA. Until 2020, the 37’ tall equestrian statue of bronze on a base of granite stood at the intersection of Monument Avenue and the Boulevard (now Arthur Ashe Boulevard) since 1919. Strength, stability, and self-discipline were characteristics often attributed to Jackson who was born into poverty, orphaned at 6, rose to near the top of the class at West Point, and was a model soldier before the Civil War. The sculptor Sievers manages to portray both horse and rider as motionless, calm and focused. Oak leaves adorn the statue base and may be a reference to the characterizing of Jackson as stoic. There is an art deco (Greek styled) frieze lining the top of the base. The inscription on the north side of the base reads, “BORN 1824 / DIED AT CHANCELORSVILLE / 1863. The sides facing Monument (east and west) are inscribed with his nickname given by General Bernard Bee, “STONEWALL JACKSON”. The statue was erected following the end of WW1 and may have represented more of a “young brave soldier” archetype to people who had just witnessed the return of another generation of soldiers. During the unveiling ceremony, the Governor and Jackson family were driven to the site in automobiles. Robert E. Lee’s grandson spoke and Jackson’s granddaughter and the sculptor’s son pulled the ropes to unveil the statue. A parade of VMI cadets, Virginia National guardsmen, and school children marched to the site.