Tuesday, March 11, 2008

McPherson Square

Gen. James McPherson--highest ranking officer to die during the Civil War

Yep, it's another Dead Guy Memorial! This one is of General James McPherson who served in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. This equestrian statue is located in the center of McPherson Square, one block north of the White House and bordered by the infamous K Street--home to many of Washington's lobbying and special interest groups. But enough of that.

McPherson, as I mentioned, served in the U.S. Army and was the highest ranking officer to die during the Civil War. He fell during an ambush by Confederate skirmishers at the Battle of Atlanta. Loved by his troops, he was greatly missed by his soldiers and his death brought profound sadness to his boyhood friend and Confederate peer, John Bell Hood.

McPherson Square is also the name of a Metro stop located across the street. Ironically, this square is also where many of Washington's homeless and mentally ill hang out. It isn't uncommon to see K Street policy wonks walking across the square past the destitute and downtrodden. They each keep their respectful distance, but the contrast is stark. Twice a day, a van from a local soup kitchen pulls up and dispenses food to the homeless.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 2/08


The Artful Eye said...

Thank you, Gen.James McPherson for for your service, thank-you soup kitchen for aiding the needy and thank-you Janet for all these wonderful photos and history tour.

Jess said...

Wow, I had no idea about McPherson's background. Thanks for sharing.

Homelessness seems to be the topic of the day--I wrote about DC homeless people today too. Although in bus stops, not McPherson Square.

D.C. Confidential said...

AE: Hear! Hear! And thank you for the compliment!

Jess: I didn't either, which is what I love about doing this blog. I learn some much interesting stuff, which really comes in handy when people visit. As for homelessness, it's an irony and a shame in a democracy like ours.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that grand image of the General James B. McPherson monument at McPherson Square and the additional information. There is an interesting story of how it was erected in Washington, D. C. while - for many years - no monument was erected over his gravesite in Clyde, Ohio, his birthplace. You can read more at Ohio's Yesterdays blog. http://ohiosyesterdays.blogspot.com/2008/02/general-james-b-mcpherson-monument-at.html

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Anon: Thank you for the information on McPherson's gravesite in Ohio. The monuments to Civil War leaders from both sides are so fascinating. If you do a search on my blog for Stonewall Jackson, CSA, you can see the monuments for him in Lexington, Virginia. I've also posted a picture of the monument to Gen. Philip Sheridan, USA.

In future posts, I'll includes monuments to (U.S.) Grant Circle and the Grant Monument in front of the U.S. Capitol, (Winfield) Scott Circle, (John) Logan Circle, (Samuel Francis) Du Pont Circle, and (George Henry) Thomas Circle.