15. General William Tecumseh Sherman
The site for the Sherman monument stands near the spot where the general reviewed his troops during the Grand Review. Watching his men was, according to Sherman’s memoirs, one of the happiest, most satisfying moments of his life.
The Monument, the largest and most complex of the DC Civil War monuments, stands behind the Treasury Building. The composition includes the equestrian statue, four life-size soldiers (representing infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers), bas-relief panels, inscriptions, and portrait medallions.
Dedicated on October 15, 1903, the monument was unveiled by William Tecumseh Sherman Thorndike, the general’s grandson. During the parade, President Theodore Roosevelt could hardly contain his excitement and kept leaping out of his chair to wave and shout to the units passing by.
During his speech, Roosevelt told the men – the thousands of men who had done the ‘mighty deeds of the past’ – the men then in their seventies, their ranks thinning, that their hard-won victories would guide the nation into a glorious future that they would not live to see but the destiny of which they had guaranteed. His promise of a sort of immortality stirred their blood and the men of the armies of the Tennessee, Cumberland, Ohio and Potomac rose as one to give him ovation after ovation.