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J.E.B. Stuart Monument

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()

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Sculptor Frederick Moynihan designed this tribute to Confederate Major General James Ewell Brown (J.E.B.) Stuart (1833-1864). The monument was unveiled in 1907, the same year as the nearby Jefferson Davis Monument. The Stuart and Davis monuments joined the equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee on Richmond's Monument Avenue, which served as a public glorification of the Confederacy, its heroes, and its southern (Anglo-Saxon) values.

Other historic sites surrounding Stuart Circle include First English Evangelical Lutheran Church and St. John’s United Church of Christ.


J.E.B. Stuart Monument
Portrait of J.E.B. Stuart (source: Library of Congress)

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Stuart was born to a well-known military family in 1833. His great-grandfather served in the Revolutionary War, and his grandfather in the War of 1812. He studied at West Point, where he met Robert E. Lee. Prior to the Civil War, Stuart took part in the "Bleeding Kansas" conflict, fought between pro- and anti-slavery forces during the 1850s. Stuart belonged to the pro-slavery camp, and was involved in the capture of abolitionist John Brown.

In 1861, Stuart left the U.S. Army to join Confederate forces, where he served under Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and was quickly promoted to Colonel and later Major General. He earned a reputation for his skill in reconnaissance and in commanding troops, though his lack of success during the Gettysburg Campaign tarnished his reputation. In 1864, he was shot in the Battle of Yellow Tavern in Henrico, Virginia, near Richmond, and died the next day.

The statue of General J.E.B. Stuart on Monument Avenue was funded by the city of Richmond and the Veteran Cavalry Association of the Army of Northern Virginia, founded in 1891 specifically to erect the Stuart monument. The statue was unveiled May 30, 1907, in a ceremony attended by the widows of Stuart and Stonewall Jackson, along with a crowd of Confederate veterans. Stuart's aide de camp, Theodore Garrett, gave the address (the full text of which is available in the links). Garrett's speech extolls Stuart's "patriotism and pure life," "heroic spirit," and "glorious memory," and recounts his military encounters from before and throughout the Civil War. The Stuart monument's dedication was part of a larger trend, the "Lost Cause" movement, which sought to minimize the horror of slavery and the central role of slavery in the South's attempt to secede. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a sharp increase in public art dedicated to the Confederacy, particularly in the South. During this time, states were enacting oppressive, segregationist Jim Crow laws while the Ku Klux Klan (formed immediately after the Civil War) revived dramatically.

Along with the other Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, the Stuart statue has been scrutinized in the wake of the shooting at the African American church in South Carolina in 2016, and more so since the nearby Charlottesville protests in August of 2017. The statues of Lee and Davis have both been spray-painted on multiple occasions since 2012, and the weekend after Charlottesville, pine tar was splattered across the Stuart monument. Because of the activities of white supremacists at Confederate monuments since August, Richmond's mayor, the Virginia attorney general, and the NAACP have called for the removal of the Monument Avenue statues to a more appropriate location.

Sources

Landsman, Daniel. "Lee's Cumbersome Cavalry: J.E.B. Stuart's Troubled Ride to Gettysburg." Civil War Trust. Accessed February 20, 2017. http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/gettysburg/gettysburg-history-articles/lees-cumbersom.html?refe....

"J.E.B. Stuart." Civil War Trust. Accessed February 20, 2017. http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/jeb-stuart.html?referrer=https://www.google.de....

"Monument Avenue Historic District." National Park Service. Accessed February 20, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/richmond/monumentavehd.html.

Spears, Katarina. Richmond's Landmarks. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2012. p. 35.

Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff. "Pine tar splattered on base of J.E.B. Stuart statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond." August 26, 2017. Accessed September 6, 2017.

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/pine-tar-splattered-on-base-of-j-e-b-stuart/arti...

J.E.B. Stuart MAJOR GENERAL Commander of the Cavalry Corps Army of Northern Virginia CSA AN ADDRESS Delivered at the Unveiling of the Equestrian Statue of General Stuart at Richmond Virginia May 30 1907 BY THEODORE GARNETT HIS AIDE DE CAMP. New York and Washington THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY 1907.

Southern Poverty Law Center. "Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy." 2017. Accessed August 20, 2017. https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/whoseheritage_splc.pdf.


Address
J.E.B. Stuart Monument
Richmond, VA 23220
Tags
  • African American History
  • Military History
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This location was created on 2017-02-20 by Amelia Kennedy .   It was last updated on 2017-09-25 by Sara Marian .

This entry has been viewed 1083 times within the past year

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