22. Major General Winfield Scott Hancock

The sculptor, Henry Jackson Ellicott, was the great-grandson of Andrew Ellicott, who had assisted Pierre L’Enfant in laying out the capital of the nation in 1791. He specialized in military subjects and among his most notable pieces are the First and Second Pennsylvania Cavalry Monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield.

On the day of the unveiling, May 12, 1896, all federal employees were to be dismissed in order to attend the ceremony. However, officials learned that the Barnum and Baily Circus was in town and, fearing that employees would use their time off to go to the circus, the early dismissal was rescinded.

Although the Washington Star reported that “immense crowds” attended the ceremony, those in attendance were mainly officials and veterans, especially those from Hancock’s postwar commands. Gwynn Hancock, a nephew of Hancock and a West Point Cadet, pulled the cord, dropping the drapery covering the general’s statue. President Grover Cleveland addressed the crowd, calling special attention to the sacrifice of the aging veterans in the front rows, who stood up a little straighter at the praise.