The memorial to Lieutenant General Winfield Scott enjoys distinction as the first and only example of equine sex change statuary in Washington. The horse started off as a female and is now endowed with a stately bronze phallus.
General Scott was a hero of the War of 1812 and the highest ranking military officer at the start of the Civil War. Acclaimed sculptor Henry Jackson Ellicott faithfully captured the battlefield image of Scott seated atop his favorite mare, but just before it was set to be cast a family member came to the artist with a modest suggestion.
The family member thought that surely, a masculine mount would better befit the acclaimed strategist and architect of the war-winning Anaconda Plan. Would the artist be so kind as to add some “stallion attributes” to the general’s horse? The artist grumbled his displeasure but complied, slapping a penis onto the steed before sending it off to casting shops in Providence.
The finished sculpture was unveiled to great criticism in 1874, and the burrito-sized phallus has been staring down at pedestrians ever since. Authors and historians consider it to be one of the city’s worst equestrian statues because of its poor proportions.