Matt About Town: This obscure DC monument honoring one of America’s greatest generals has a bizarre (and slightly risqué) back story

Explore the backstory behind this obscure equestrian monument in DC

At the intersection of Massachusetts and Rhode Island avenues along 16th Street, you’ll find a monument that has what might be D.C.’s most wild back story.

In today’s episode of “Matt About Town,” WTOP’s Matt Kaufax heads to Scott Circle in Northwest D.C., alongside everyone’s favorite National Park spokesman (and recurring MAT guest) Ranger Mike, to explore the baffling tale behind the Scott Statue.

Dedicated to American General Winfield Scott — perhaps one of the most celebrated early military commanders in our nation’s history other than George Washington — this monument caused some controversy after its completion in 1874.

Its sculptor, Henry Kirk Brown, was a world-renowned artist who is also responsible for several of D.C.’s 10 major equestrian statues that exist in the city today. But Brown found himself in the crosshairs of Scott’s family after he built the statue depicting General Scott riding a mare (a female horse).

As Matt found out, Scott’s family wanted their late patriarch depicted riding a stallion (a male horse), even though it was a well-known historical fact that Scott himself preferred to ride mares.

So, what did the world-renowned sculptor do to acquiesce to the family’s wishes? You could say … he found himself in a bit of a pickle.

Come along with Matt on this hilarious journey to explore what happens when some … parts are added after the fact.

“Matt About Town” airs every Tuesday and Thursday on WTOP at 7:45 a.m. and runs throughout the rest of the day on 103.5 FM. His video pieces are always posted on wtop.com.

You can also find Matt’s videos on Instagram (@wtopnews and @mkaufax) and TikTok (@wtopnews and @mattabouttown_).

If you’ve got an idea for a feature story Matt should cover, reach out via the WTOP “contact us” page to submit your idea.

You can also contact Matt directly. His contact information is listed below. 

Check out more of “Matt About Town” on WTOP.

More Videos

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

Federal News Network Logo