501 US-1 ALT, Washington, DC 20002, USA
Here’s our first destination, the statue of General Nathaneal Greene. Ever heard of him? Not a lot of people have. He was a Major General of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. One of his claims to fame was that George Washington thought of him as his most dependable and gifted officer. Pretty cool! Keep driving around the park as I tell you what I know. General Greene was born in Rhode Island in 1742 into a family of devout Quakers. He loved to read and had a pretty large library. But when he added military books to his collection, it drew a lot of disapproval from the Quaker church. Quakers are pacifists. They don’t like war. So when Greene showed up at a military parade in support of a violent rebellion against England, he was expelled from his church. He got married to Catharine Littlefield, who by the way was 12 or so years younger than him, and they had 6 kids together. But back to his military career. He was so successful leading troops and fighting battles in the Revolutionary war that the state legislature voted to gift him 10,000 guineas. What is a guinea? Well they are basically like really loud, dumb chickens. But they are tasty. So I suppose that’s a pretty cool gift. General Greene retired from his military service and settled on a plantation with his wife and children. Unfortunately though, he went on a business trip a year later and stopped by a friend’s plantation to see his rice fields. He spent a little too much time in the sun riding his horse around this rice plantation and actually died of heat stroke just a few days after his trip. He was only 44 years old. We don’t know anything about the horse in the statue here. I’m hoping it isn’t the one he was riding when he got that heat stroke that killed him, but who knows. Turn right on Maryland AVE heading west, then left on 1st St NW.
60 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA
This next statue is a fun one, because we have some good information about the awesome horse that Ulysses S. Grant is riding. Try to pull off to the side of the road somewhere to get all the info that I have. We are going to end up driving past the statue, looping around Garfield circle up ahead, and coming back this way. When we are done here we will exit on Pennsylvania Ave, which kinda looks like you will be driving the wrong way through a parking lot, but that’s ok. Just go with it. Alright, Ulysses S. Grant’s horse’s name was Cincinnati and he was Grant’s favorite steed. Cincinnati’s sire was Lexington, who at the time held the record for the fastest 4 miles in horse racing. He was a gift to Grant from a gentleman who claimed Cincinnati to be the finest horse in the world. The man asked Grant to promise him that this trusty steed would never be ill-treated. Grant made that promise and Cincinnati was his. This beautiful horse was chestnut in color and stood 17 hands tall. For those of you who don’t know horse measurements, that’s about five and a half feet at the horse’s shoulder. So Cincinnati was a big big boy! He was known to have a quiet, almost lazy personality except during war time. It seemed that the sounds of battle got his blood racing and he was always eager to run into the thick of it. Ulysses S. Grant was so fond of Cincinnati that he only allowed two other people to ride him. Admiral Daniel Ammen and President Abraham Lincoln. When this beloved mount reached his senior years he was taken to Admiral Ammen’s farm in Maryland to live out the rest of his days. The statue itself is the second largest horse statue in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. If you were curious about the guy riding Cincinnati, that’s the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. He led the Union Army to a victory over the Confederacy during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. Here’s a fun fact for ya. He was named a few weeks after his birth at a family gathering where everyone put names in a hat. The name “Ulysses” was randomly drawn from the hat and there ya go. That’s how the 18th American president got his name. He had a special bond and love of horses from the time he was a child and developed an amazing ability to ride and manage horses. While attending West Point, Ulysses set a high jump record on horseback that lasted 25 years! Way to go President Grant!! Ok, if you’ve already driven around Garfield Circle, keep following 1st Street and go around the circle that is just north of the Ulysses S. Grant memorial. Exit the circle by heading west on Pennsylvania Ave NW. Remember, it kinda looks like a parking lot. And btw, that huge domed building opposite the memorial is the United States Capitol.
PENNSYLVANIA AVE & 7TH ST NW fs wb, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Hey there! Ahead on your right is the horse statue of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock. It’s an awesome statue but we aren’t gonna spend much time on it since we don’t know anything about the horse. Winfield Scott Hancock is most famous for his time as a commander at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was wounded in the battle when a bullet hit the pommel of his saddle, causing wood fragments and a large bent nail from the saddle to pierce his inner thigh. He suffered from the effects of the battle wound throughout the rest of the war.
1275 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Alright. We are coming up on our next destination. Just past this intersection on your right is Freedom Plaza. If you want to slow down or pull over and park to get a better look, feel free! Here is the statue of General Casimir Pulaski. Who? Yeah, I hadn’t heard of him either until recently, but he’s a really cool dude. I wish I had some good information about the horse he’s riding but I don’t, so I guess I’ll tell you about General Pulaski. He was known as the “Father of American Cavalry” even though he was born in Poland back in 1745. By age 8 he was already practicing his horse back riding and shooting skills in preparation for war. At the ripe old age of 15, he joined the cause of revolting against the Russian Tsars that were wreaking havoc in Poland. Unfortunately for Pulaski, after 10 long years of fighting, his revolution was crushed by the overwhelming power of the enemy. And what do you do when that happens? You move to France, which is what he did. While there, Pulaski just so happened to run into a guy by the name of Benjamin Franklin, who just so happened to be looking for a few good military commanders to help him with his fledgling revolution against the crown. He took the first ship to America where George Washington immediately appointed Pulaski as commander of his personal bodyguard unit. Guess his reputation for being the best cavalryman in Europe did him some good. He started his military career in America by saving George Washington’s life. Apparently the British broke through the American lines and were going straight for George when Pulaski charged a 30 man cavalry unit right into combat. Pulaski was wounded in that attack but saved George Washington, who we all know ended up becoming the first president of the United States. Washington rewarded Pulaski for his bravery and skill by making him the first commander of all American cavalry forces. Pulaski wrote a book on American cavalry tactics, organization and strategies that are actually still used in current US cavalry operations. I’d say that’s pretty awesome! Turn right on 14th st and then take an immediate left.
1469-1499 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Turn left here and you will see a big park on your right with a horse statue in the middle of it. If there’s anyway you can park and go get a closer look, I say do it. This is General William Tecumseh Sherman. He was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. But again, this is a horse statue tour so I managed to find some fun info about General Sherman’s steeds. First there was Sam. A few horses were wounded at the Civil War battle of Shiloh in 1862 and Sam was one of them. Sam recovered from his wounds though, and later had the reputation of being “always hungry and never lame”. Supposedly Sam was General Sherman’s second favorite horse. There was also his horse Lexington, but he probably didn’t see any battle time. Another mount of the General’s was Dolly. She was reportedly a feisty, temperamental mare. During a Confederate raid, Dolly was captured. Sherman’s response for losing his horse? He was pleased to think that Dolly would break the neck of the first Rebel who tried to ride her. Guess she was never a “favorite horse”. And finally there was Duke. I’m guessing that Duke is the horse seen here carrying the General, because he was Sherman’s favorite. Duke was a bright bay color with a white blaze on his forehead and one white sock on his left hind leg. Sherman said Duke was the horse he rode everyday in Atlanta. He also had a portrait painted of Duke after the war, and had it hung in his office. Now, if you want to hear a little bit about General Sherman, here are 10 facts that you might not know: He was named after a Shawnee Indian chief and went by the nickname “Cump” as a child. He married his foster sister. Sure did. He dropped out of the military to become a banker. He played a big role in sparking the California Gold Rush. He joined the military again after President Lincoln called for 750,000 volunteers to enlist after the Civil War began. He had a mental breakdown during the war and was labeled as “insane” by many newspapers in that time. He was best friends with Ulysses S. Grant. Although he was fighting for the Union, he had sympathy for confederate slave owners and their way of life. So yeah, he was NOT an abolitionist. He was a lifelong fan of the theater. Shakespeare’s Hamlet was one of his favorites William T. Sherman coined the term “War is hell” So there ya go. Hope you learned something.Our next horse statue is around the corner. Turn right on Constitution Ave, then right on Virginia Ave, then right on 18th St NW.
Constitution Ave & 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA
You should be driving past a super tall pencil shaped building on your left. That’s the Washington Monument. UCPlaces offers a Tour of Washington DC that includes this monument along with other notable DC landmarks. You should check it out. But as long as we are just driving with no horse statues to look at for a minute, I’ll give you a few fun facts about the Washington Monument. It is constructed of three different kinds of granite and sandstone and there is no cement holding the bricks together. The very top of the monument is made out of aluminum. The first elevator ride to the top took a long 20 minutes. Also, back in those days people thought that the elevator was too unsafe for women and children, so only men were allowed in. And finally, from the top of the monument you can see for over 30 miles! Cool! Now stay on Constitution Ave until you reach Virginia Ave and turn right.
201 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
This next destination on your right isn’t an American war hero and horse, but it’s still a neat statue and I’ve got some information about the horse, so let’s talk about it! But make sure you turn right when you get to 20th St NW. This statue is of Latin American Liberator Simon Bolivar and his beloved horse Palomo. And like we do, let’s talk about the horse first! Palomo was white, very tall, and had a tail that almost reached the ground although the statue doesn’t really do the actual tail justice. The legend of how Palomo came to be goes like this: Simon Bolivar visited Santa Rosa in early 1814 on his way to report his wartime setbacks in Venezuela. As he rode into town, his horse became exhausted and refused to continue. Bolivar asked a local guide to lead him into town and along the way, this guide told Bolivar about a dream that his wife had in which she saw herself giving one of their recently born colts to a famous general as a gift. The guide actually didn’t realize that Bolivar was a famous general until after he told him about the dream. So when Bolivar left town he asked the guide to tell his wife to keep the colt for him. Five years later Bolivar returned and received the colt as promised. The name Palomo means “cock pigeon”. Horses that are white are typically born dark grey and then get lighter every year. So as a young colt, Palomo was grey like a pigeon and that’s how he got his name. Great story, right? So what about this Simon Bolivar guy? Well he was a Venezuelan political and military leader in the early 1800’s. He actually liberated what are now known as the republics of Venezuela, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru from the Spanish Empire. That’s five whole states! Seen as a national icon these days in South America, he is also considered one of the great leaders of the Hispanic independence movements. So there ya go. On to our next horse statue! Continue along 20th St and then turn left on Pennsylvania Ave NW.
820 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Hey there! Don’t forget to turn left on Pennsylvania Ave NW. We are heading to Washington Circle now and not so coincidentally there is a statue of George Washington and his horse right in the middle of it! Don’t forget, you can drive around and around the circle to get all the details of this beautiful statue. George Washington was the first president of the United States. But this is a horse tour, so let’s talk about his horse! George Washington had two favorite horses during the American Revolutionary War. One was named Nelson and the other was named Blueskin. Nelson was the horse that George Washington typically rode in battle because he was more calm around gunfire and cannon blasts. He was a very tall horse, chestnut in color, with a white blaze on his face and white legs. Washington loved this horse and retired him to his farm after the war ended.
2207b K St NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Even though Nelson was the favorite horse, the horse depicted in this statue is probably Blueskin. He is the white horse you will see in most portraits of George Washington on horseback. Blueskin was actually a blue roan horse - meaning he had dark skin and lighter colored hair. During the summer when his coat was shorter he appeared to be bluish in color. In the winter months when his hair would grow thick he looked white. Blueskin was a gift to George Washington from his personal friend Colonel Benjamin Dulany. Washington returned Blueskin back to Dulay after the war so he could live out the rest of his days roaming his original owner’s farm. So George Washington was well known for being an amazing horseman but he also loved and valued all of his animals. He started the tradition of the Presidential Pets. That tradition is still alive today! Good one George! Like I said before, George Washington was the first president of the United States and one of its founding fathers. He was liked and respected by most everyone for his progressive ideas for the time and strong leadership. When he retired from the presidency in 1797 he was relieved to return to Mount Vernon where he devoted his time to his plantations and other business interests. And by other business interests I mean his distillery. Actually the last time he left his house before his death was to ride his horse at his farm, inspecting the livestock. Unfortunately for Washington, he did this while it was snowing. He returned late to dinner soaking wet but refusing to change his clothes because he didn’t want to keep his dinner guests waiting. Later that evening he started feeling sick with a sore throat and chest congestion. He woke up the next day having trouble breathing and his throat was really inflamed. The common practice of the day was bloodletting, which is basically having the patient bleed pints of blood to get the infection out. Doctors bled out 6 pints of Washington’s blood and he died soon after. Depending on which textbooks you read, some say he died of throat inflammation, and others say he died from loss of blood. No one really knows but my guess is that losing 6 pints of blood isn’t really conducive to staying alive when you are already sick. Regardless, I’m glad I could share some interesting things with you about President George Washington and his horses. Ok, if you have been driving around in circles for a while now, it’s ok to come out. Just make sure you come out the way you came in by heading east on Pennsylvania Ave. Follow that to H St NW and turn left. Our next horse is at Lafayette Square.
AKA White House, 1710 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Coming up on your right is Lafayette square. In the middle of that square is a statue of Andrew Jackson and Duke. Duke is the horse, Andrew Jackson is the man, and the 7th president of the United States. But first let’s talk about Duke. We don’t know much about him except that he was the horse that Andrew Jackson rode during the Battle of New Orleans. That statue is supposed to be of Duke but, the sculptor - Clark Mills, used his own horse as the model for this statue. Olympus was his name, and Mills taught him to rear up on his hind legs and pose during the modeling process. A couple of interesting facts about this statue - It was the very first bronze statue to be cast in the United States AND it was the very first horse statue in the whole world to be balanced on the horse’s hind legs. The statue was cast into ten separate parts and the total weight of the sculpture was 15 tons! It was dedicated in Lafayette Park on the 38th anniversary of the battle of New Orleans. It’s too bad we don’t have more information about Duke the horse, but really not much has been written about him. I do however, have a story about one of Andrew Jackson’s other horses named Sam Patch. Jackson named this horse after one of America’s very first celebrities. The man Sam Patch was a daredevil who became famous by jumping into the Niagara River near the base of the Niagara Falls. So when President Andrew Jackson was given a white stallion as a gift from the city of Philadelphia, he named the horse Sam Patch, after the famous daredevil who actually died during another jump into the Niagara. Ok so here’s some stuff about President Andrew Jackson. Again, he was the 7th president of the United States. Most of us know that. But did you know that he was the first US President to survive an assassination attempt? Sure was. A certain Richard Lawrence, an unemployed painter from England, pulled two pistols on President Jackson as he was walking out of a funeral. Luckily for the president, both pistols misfired when Mr. Lawrence tried to shoot them. The attempted assassination really made Jackson mad and so he attacked Mr. Lawrence with a cane. After intensive interrogation Mr. Lawrence was deemed insane and was sent to the looney bin. Who wants to see some more horses?? If you keep going east on H St, turn left on Vermont Ave, and cross over I St, you will be at McPherson Square which is our next destination.
810 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20420, USA
Ahead and to your right is McPherson Square and the statue in the middle of it is Major General James B. McPherson and his horse. Real quick, did you know that his middle initial “B” stands for Birdseye? Yup. Major General James Birdseye McPherson. I think that’s pretty cool. I wish I could tell you something about his horse but honestly there just isn’t any info. I searched the internet from the beginning to the end and got nothing. So be patient with me as I tell you a few things about the man and not the horse, and then I’ll make it up to you with a surprise at our next destination. So James B. McPherson was an officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War. He was shot dead during the battle of Atlanta and was actually the second highest ranking officer to be killed during the war. He was shot in the back while retreating after unexpectedly running into some confederate troops along his way to check on his soldiers. That’s about all I have for you here, so now it’s time for a treat! Take a right on K street and a left on 14th.
Tower Building, 1401 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
It’s treat time! Find a place to park because on your left just after the alley is Point Chaud Cafe and Crepe at 1012 14th St NW. Not sure if I pronounced “Point Chaud” correctly, but I do know how to pronounce “Crepes” and that’s what we are after here. Get out of the car and get in there and indulge. They have both sweet and savory crepes, along with ice cream, coffee and lots of other stuff. You deserve a break so take one now! When you are done you can keep heading north on K St and stay to the right until you hit the roundabout on Thomas Circle NW. That’s our next destination. See you there!
1133 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
Seems like a lot of these horse statues are found in the middle of roundabouts. Am I right? This one is no exception. Stay to the right as you follow 14th St into the circle. Again if you wanna drive in slow circles while I talk, or park somewhere to get a better view, have at it! To exit this circle you need to take a right on Massachusetts Avenue. It’s hard to see the street sign, but it is there after the National City Christian Church and before you get to the tall light brown office buildings with the pillars. Hope that helps you out. In the middle of Thomas Circle Park is The statue of Major General George Henry Thomas. Who’s that horse he’s riding? Well that’s Billy and he was named after the general’s good friend William Tecumseh Sherman. Remember him? We visited his statue a few stops ago. Quiz time - Do you remember the name of Sherman’s horse? That’s kind of a trick question because we talked about four of his horses. They were Sam, Lexington, Dolly and Duke. But let’s go back to Billy. He was a bay colored horse which typically means dark in color with lighter colored legs and face. Billy was a big strong horse - and he would have to be because General Thomas weighed over 200 pounds. He was also as big as he was calm. Gunshots and cannon fire didn’t really bother him that much. Even in retreat it was said that he just sorta moseyed away from the enemy. That’s one chill horse! Interesting fact about the statue itself though - it was originally designed to be a mare - a female horse. But after it was pointed out to the sculptor that General Thomas ONLY rode stallions, he made a few adjustments to the statue, however the statue still bears the slender neck and head of a mare. Ok, so who was George Henry Thomas? He was a US Army officer and Union General in the American Civil War. His biggest success was his defense at the battle of Chickamauga in 1863. There he saved the Union army from being completely decimated and that earned him the nickname of “the Rock of Chickamauga”. He was born in the south, in Virginia, but decided to join the northern Union army, much to the disgust of his family. After the war he commanded a few different military departments and used troops to protect places that were threatened by Ku Klux Klan violence. He died of a stroke in 1870 and none of his blood relatives came to the funeral because they couldn’t forgive his loyalty to the Union. So there ya go. Ok, let’s get out of this circle and on with our tour. Head west on Massachusetts Ave. Wouldn’t you know it, we are headed to another circle! I’ll meet back up with you when you get to Scott Circle NW.
1515 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
We are about to enter yet another circle, and in the middle of this cute little circle is a statue of Army General Winfield Scott and A horse. I don’t say and HIS horse for a reason. And I have to admit, the story behind this horse statue gave me a good laugh and I’m excited to share it with you. You may need to drive around the circle a couple of times while I talk. The sculptor’s name was Henry Brown. When his design for the statue was first presented, descendants of General Scott hated it. The thing was, that Scott liked to ride small female horses for some reason but his descendants complained that no other general was portrayed riding a mare. They thought it was disrespectful and said that a stallion with flared nostrils and an arched neck would be more suitable. Sculptor Brown was irritated that the family complained about his design so he just made a few minor changes and went ahead with the project. The result was a 6ft 5, 300 pound General Scott riding a small mare with the external genitalia of a stallion. Isn’t that so fantastic??!! When the statue was installed, critics were appalled at the portrayal of Scott being “old, fat, stiff and short legged”. They also said he looked like “an old sack of flour” and that his horse looked like it was “suffering slightly from ringbone lameness and not daring to travel faster than a walk”. I’m not done yet. Critics also said the horse was “too light, too delicate, too thin, too timid, and dreadfully proportioned”. Remember General Philip Sheridan? Reportedly when he saw the statue he told his wife to make sure to “never let him be immortalized in such a manner”. Also Civil War monument enthusiasts have considered this statue to be the worst horse statue in the city. OUCH! Anyway, General Scott served as a general in the US Army longer than any other person in American history. He served for 53 years and took part in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Mexican - American War, the Second Seminole War and the Civil War. All that and his memorial is known as the worst horse statue in the city. Poor guy. But, moving on…I’m thinking we should head to yet another circle. We are starting to get really good at this. Exit Scott Circle by heading west on Massachusetts Ave. We are headed to Sheridan Circle, and Massachusetts will take you right into it. On your way however, you will drive by some foreign Embassy buildings Look for the flags from different countries. There’s the embassies of the Philippines, Peru, Columbia, Chile, and Uzbekistan - all on the left hand side of the street before you get to the DuPont Circle roundabout. I’ll catch up with you when you reach that point and make sure you are still headed in the right direction.
1785 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
So far so good. Follow the roundabout to the right but be sure to exit the circle on Massachusetts, continuing West. By the way there’s a statue in the middle of this circle as well, but it doesn’t have a horse so we aren’t talking about it. UCPlaces DOES have a tour that includes this monument so check it out!! It’s called the DuPont Circle tour! It’s a good one. There are a lot of embassies on both sides of the street on this stretch until the next destination. Look for the flags from Portugal, Indonesia, Sudan, the Bahamas, Turkmenistan, Greece, and Ireland.
2201 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Ok horse statue fans, this next one is one of my very favorites. You are gonna wanna stay in the roundabout for a few laps while I talk. In the middle of the circle just ahead is the General Philip H. Sheridan statue. But I think it should be called the Winchester statue. That’s who that horse is, but his name wasn’t always Winchester. At first it was Reinzi and he was a gift to General Philip Sheridan from the Second Michigan Cavalry back in 1862. Reinzi was a 3 year old Morgan horse - jet black with three white ankles. Morgan horses are typically 5 feet tall at the shoulder. But Reinze was huge at 5 feet 8 inches. It must have looked like quite the show when General Sheridan would mount up, seeing as how he was only 5 ft 5 inches. That means the General’s head didn’t even reach Reinzi’s shoulder! Isn’t that fantastic? So this bronze sculpture depicts Reinzi and General Sheridan gathering the troops during the battle of Cedar Creek in 1864. The partners had just raced 20 miles from Winchester, Virginia to reach this battle just in time. To honor his brave horse after winning this battle, General Sheridan renamed him Winchester, which is easier for me to pronounce. Sheridan and Winchester were partners in more than 40 other battles during the Civil War. Despite being wounded in battle numerous times, Winchester lived to the ripe old age of 20 years. After his death, Sheridan had him preserved and mounted, and check this out - you can go see Winchester at the National Museum of American History right here in Washington DC!! Go say hello to old Winchester! Ok I suppose I could give a little information about General Sheridan now. Like I said, he was only 5 ft 5 inches tall. Abraham Lincoln described him as “A brown, chunky little chap, with a long body, short legs, not enough neck to hang him, and such long arms that if his ankles itch he can scratch them without stooping”. Well that wasn’t very nice, Abe. General Sheridan spent his life serving in the United States military as an army officer and then as a Union general in the American Civil War. He was a close friend of General-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant. Also it was Sheridan’s cavalry that chased General Robert E. Lee and forced his surrender at Appomattox. Here’s an interesting little story about the statue itself: The original design was done by Sheridan’s friend John Quincy Adams Ward. But Sheridan’s wife Irene HATED it, saying it looked like a “stout old officer atop a stilted horse”. The job was later given to Gutzon Borglum, who is best known for his work at Mount Rushmore. Irene loved Borglum’s design of her late husband and his trusty steed and the statue was then completed and dedicated in 1908. Ok, let’s get out of this circle and head to our next statue - General George B McClellan and his horse. I think I’ll take you on a little detour to the Spanish Steps just in case you want to get out and stretch your legs a bit. Continue out of the circle on Massachusetts Ave heading west and then turn right on 24th St NW and then right on S Street NW.
2230 S St NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Hey there! The next street on your right will take you to the Spanish Steps if you wanted to check them out. There aren’t any horses there, but there is a cool lion head fountain at the top of the steps. The Spanish Steps themselves were built back in 1911 to provide pedestrians a link between S street and Decatur. They were designed after the original Spanish Steps that were built in Rome, Italy way way back in 1725. The fountain and railing up at the top of these steps were actually destroyed from a car collision a while ago but luckily the whole thing was restored in 1999. Please turn left on Phelps Place and then right on Bancroft Place and then left on Connecticut Ave.
1815 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Just ahead of you is a small triangle shaped grassy area with a big horse statue in the middle of it. Follow the fork in the road to the right so that you are on the right hand side of the park. This will put you on Columbia Rd NW. That beautiful statue is Major General George B. McClellan and his favorite war horse named Daniel Webster. I don’t know about you, but I love when people give their pets both first and last names. George McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the Army of the Potomac. He also unsuccessfully ran against Abraham Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election. Let’s talk about this awesome horse named Daniel Webster though. General McClellan’s staff nicknamed him “that devil Dan” because they had a hard time keeping up with his pace. He was dark bay in color and stood 17 hands tall. That’s 5 and a half feet tall at his shoulder, so he was a big, big boy. He was said to be extremely handsome and showy, and that he had extraordinary horse sense and that he never got tired. Dan also had the reputation of knowing exactly when dinner time was, so General McClellan tried to avoid riding him around that time because Dan would bolt for the stable as soon as he heard the sound of oats pouring into his grain bucket. Dan retired from battle after the Civil War was over and lived the rest of his days out as the family horse at general McClellan’s house in Orange, Virginia. General McClellan really loved that Devil Dan and had wonderful things to say about him. He once wrote, “Dan was one of those horses that could trot all day long at a very rapid gait, which kept all other horses at a gallop. Dan was the best horse I ever had. He was never ill for an hour, never fatigued, never disturbed under fire. The dear old fellow survived the war for many years, dying at a ripe old age. No matter how long we might be parted - once for nearly four years - he always recognized me the moment we met again and in his own way showed his pleasure at seeing me. Even on the day of his death, which was a painless one, he still attempted to rise and greet me, but unable to do so, he would lean his head against me and lick my hand. No soldier ever had a more faithful horse than I had in Daniel Webster.” Oh my gosh now I’m crying!!!! What a beautiful and touching tribute. Get a kleenex and dry your tears, while I do the same, and let’s continue on our tour. Turn right on Wyoming Ave and left on Columbia Rd.
1800 Biltmore St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Only one more horse statue to go! I’m thinking you might be getting hungry at this point for some actual food. So remember where we are and come back this way after the tour. There are lots of restaurants on 18th St NW, just south of Columbia Rd. But don’t stop yet! You don’t want to miss the last horse statue! Keep going straight.
1610 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
3033 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Last one! Ahead on your left is the statue of Francis Asbury on horseback. Pull off to the side of the road and listen up. I’m not sure which horse this is but Asbury’s favorite horses were Little Jane and Little Fox. One thing to notice about this statue is that instead of prancing proudly with wild eyes, arched neck and flared nostrils, like the statues we’ve seen so far, this horse is bending down to lick his own front leg. I find that odd. Do you? I thought so. But I suppose a passive horse, walking slowly and licking his own leg makes sense because Francis Asbury wasn’t a war hero at all. He was actually a travelling Methodist missionary. John Wesley appointed Asbury to travel America preaching Methodism at the young age of 22. It is said that he went through storms of wind, hail, snow and rain; climbed hills and mountains, traversed valleys, plunged through swamps, swollen streams, lay out all night, wet, weary and hungry, held his horse by the bridle all night, or tied to a limb, slept with his saddle blanket for a bed, his saddle-bags for a pillow. Wow. That sounds rough! It makes sense then that Francis Asbury had a reputation for being sarcastic, gloomy, depressed and pessimistic. Geez, well now I’m feeling depressed. And when I’m depressed, I want to eat. Hey remember a few minutes ago when I told you to remember where you were so you could head back there and eat? If you are hungry, now is the time. Just get back to the corner of Columbia and 18th and head south on 18th. There’s a ramen bar, a falafel shop, a BBQ place and much more. And sadly, this is where my time with you ends. Unless of course, you come back for more UCPlaces tours in Washington DC! We have some really awesome ones, so check them out! Thanks for letting me give you a tour of horse statues in DC. I hope you learned something and had a great time as you did it! Don’t forget to give us a fantastic review after the tour ends. Hope to see you soon. Until then, so long, and happy touring!