Monument to First Regiment of Virginia Infantry
WHAT: Monument to First Regiment of Virginia Infantry. Memorial to a state militia regiment formed in 1754, before the Revolutionary War.
LOCATION: Meadow, Park & Stuart avenues in Meadow Park, a triangular park in Richmond’s Fan District.
ARTIST: Ferruccio Legnaioli.
DEDICATION: May 1, 1930.
DESCRIPTION: A 7 foot high bronze standing figure of a colonial infantryman of 1754, the founding date of the Regiment. The figure is mounted on a pedestal 8 feet high which is lined with bronze plaques describing the history and service of the Regiment through seven wars.
This statue is just another reason why people love The Fan. The quirky roadways create space for little triangle parks with hidden gems. The Fan District has several parks and statues that often seem to go unnoticed by tourists and probably some Richmonders.
First Regiment of Virginia Infantry monument is one of my favorites of all the statues in Richmond. I love the uniform and the hat and the fact that there’s a statue in the middle of a neighborhood, much like the Richmond Howitzer’s statue, which has been absorbed as part of the VCU Monroe Park Campus now.
During the morning snow storm Feb. 9, 2010, that brought a little more snow than expected, I finally got a chance to shoot some photos in The Fan during the daylight hours while it was snowing. I’m quite pleased with the results.
J.E.B. Stuart on Monument Avenue
WHERE: Monument and Lombardy avenues in the Fan District, in the center of the intersection.
ARTIST: Fred Moynihan.
DEDICATION: May 30, 1907.
DESCRIPTION: A 15-foot-tall equestrian bronze statue mounted on a 7 1/2 half foot granite pedestal. The statue faces north and is the most animated of the Monument Avenue statues. The horse’s right foot is raised and Stuart is portrayed turned in the saddle to face east. It was unveiled by Virginia Stuart Waller, the general’s granddaughter.
Confederate General James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart was major general — chief of cavalry — in the Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate States of America.
While he cultivated a cavalier image, his serious work made him the eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee’s army and inspired Southern morale.
He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern in 1864 and died in Richmond just a few blocks away from where his monument is located at the intersection with Lombardy Street.
I’ve often heard the complaint from visitors and tourists what a shame it is that Stuart’s statue is facing the direction it is facing. Monument Avenue officially begins at this intersection. As the traffic heads east, the street becomes into Franklin Street and is one-way. That makes it tougher to drive by the monument and get a good look at Stuart, especially for tour buses. Traffic through the intersection also makes it tough to safely cross the street to get a closer look at the statue.
No matter. I’ve always enjoyed the confines in Stuart Circle. The intersection is the most busy, architecturally speaking. The statue came first, but then came First English Lutheran Church (1911), St. John’s United Church of Christ (1928), Grace Covenant Presbyterian (1920-23) – and on opposite corners, the old Stuart Circle Hospital (now apartments) and the attractive high-rise Stuart Court Apartments.
Dr. Hunter Holms McGuire at Capitol Square
LOCATION: Capitol Square, Northern Edge.
ARTIST: William Couper.
DEDICATED: January 7, 1904.
DESCRIPTION: A seated bronze figure 6 foot high in a heavy armchair on a 7 foot high granite base. Dr. McGuire was President of the American Medical and American Surgical Associations and founded the University College of Medicine which merged to form the Virginia Commonwealth University / Medical College of Virginia in 1913.
Dr. Hunter Holms McGuire (Oct. 11, 1835 to Sept. 19, 1900). The inscription on his granite base reads:
Hunter Holmes McGuire, M.D., LL.D., President of the American Medical and of the American Surgical Associations; Founder of the University College of Medicine; Medical Director, Jackson’s Corps, Army of Northern Virginia; an eminent civil and military surgeon, and beloved physician; an able teacher and vigorous writer, a useful citizen and broad humanitarian, gifted in mind and generous in heart, this monument is erected by his friends.
He is buried at Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.
Gov. William ‘Extra Billy’ Smith at Capitol Square
WHAT: Governor William ‘Extra Billy’ Smith at Capitol Square in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
LOCATION: Capitol Square, along the Northern Boundary.
ARTIST: William Ludwell Sheppard.
DEDICATED: May 30, 1906.
DESCRIPTION: Standing bronze figure 7 1/2 foot high on a pedestal 9 foot high. The pedestal is heavily inscribed on all four sides illuminating Smith’s career. He was twice Governor of Virginia and a member of the US Congress. Sculptor F. William Sievers enlarged in bronze Sheppard’s model.
William Smith was born Sept. 6, 1797 in King George County and died May 18, 1887. He was a lawyer, congressman, twice a Governor of Virginia and one of the oldest Confederate generals in the Civil War. He is buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.
He earned the nickname “Extra Billy” through one of his early career moves, according to Wikipedia:
He established a line of United States mail and passenger post coaches through Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia in 1831. It was in this role that he received his nickname. Given a contract by the administration of President Andrew Jackson to deliver mail between Washington, D.C., and Milledgeville, Georgia (then the state capital), Smith extended it with numerous spur routes, all generating extra fees. During an investigation of the Post Office department, Smith’s extra fees were publicized and he became known as “Extra Billy” in both the North and South.
So if that is the fact, why not preserve yourself as a statue.
They don’t go away and years from now, when no one remembers what the story is, you will impressively give awe to the common class.
More than a gravestone, a statue, preferably with a plaque giving great accolades to deeds, real or perceived, will give your statue “statue”.