Saving History Saturday – Grant’s West Point Legacy Preserved in New Monument

The official dedication ceremony for the West Point Grant monument. (Courtesy of the United States Military Academy.)

Ever since the deadly protests at Charlottesville in August of 2017, many public Civil War monuments have been removed or reinterpreted nationwide. Because of these controversies, we rarely hear of new Civil War monuments being erected. This week, though, the United States Military Academy at West Point unveiled a new monument of Union war hero, General of the Armies, and President of the United States Ulysses Grant.

Sculpted by internationally-renowned artist Paula Slater, the monument depicts a larger-than-life Grant in his full U.S. Army general’s uniform, just prior to his presidency. To depict the general as accurately as possible, Slater worked closely with West Point curators and historian Sherman Fleek. Unlike many Romanticized statues of Civil War generals, Grant’s humility, resilience, and disheveled campaign look are front and center atop a four-and-a-half foot pedestal.

A detailed close-up of the Grant monument. Courtesy of Paula Slater.

To West Pointers, Grant exemplified the meaning of service and sacrifice. Col. Ty Seidule of the Academy’s Department of History reflected on what this monument will mean “The Grant statue will inspire generations of cadets to become leaders of principle and integrity for the nation.”

This honor was long overdue and certainly shows us why monuments to our heroes still matter. Grant’s legacy at West Point – his alma mater – will forever be preserved with a beautiful monument like this one.

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9 Responses to Saving History Saturday – Grant’s West Point Legacy Preserved in New Monument

  1. Mark Harnitchek says:

    A great American…thanks for the post.

  2. Meg Groeling says:

    This is one of the most human images of Grant I have ever seen. Just stunning!

  3. waverlytrust says:

    The True General of the United States Army during the winning of the Civil War. Poor Halleck must be turning over in his grave… while Gen Halleck served the nation well as an assistant to Grant, Gen Grant did replace him and went on, with Pres. Lincoln to aa successful completion of the war.

  4. John Pryor says:

    Great statue. In the weariness and burden on that face he looks uncannily like Lee depicted at Appomattox.

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  6. Thomas R Place says:

    GREAT LIKENESS AND OVER DUE . THANK YOU . MAY PEOPLE REMEMBER WHAT MONUMENTS ARE FOR AND NOT KEEP TEARING THEM DOWN FOR THEIR OWN PERSONNEL AGENDA
    . I PRAY IN 150 YRS FROM NOW THIS ONE STILL IS STANDING FOR WHAT IT WAS PUT UP FOR ,

  7. West Point Museum says:

    Mr. Fleek is not the Curator of the West Point Museum. Please fact check your article.

    • Mike Maxwell says:

      Pithy. Terse. Concise. The above is a near-perfect facsimile of the sort of orders General U.S. Grant would issue during his esteemed career (except Grant would not have said, “Please.”)

    • Sarah Kay Bierle says:

      My apologies for any misinformation; it was not intentional to cause offense. Is it accurate to say that Mr. Fleek is a historian who was consulted on this project? It seems that the text wishes to credit curators and this historian, and perhaps the wording or punctuation was not quite correct.
      Sincerely,
      Sarah Kay Bierle
      Managing Editor

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