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New Orleans - City Park: General Beauregard Equestrian Statue

The General Beauregard Equestrian Statue, standing within a circular plot situated at the foot of Esplanade Avenue between Bayou St. John and the entrance to New Orleans City Park, was built in stages, with the base being dedicated on May 28, 1913 and the statue on November 11, 1915. Alexander Boyle's bronze statue depicts the Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard astride a prancing horse. The entire ensemble stands a total of 27 feet in height. The dark gray granite base is 10 feet tall, rising from a one-foot foundation. The statue is 16 feet tall.

 

The statue is one of three in New Orleans--the other two being the Robert E. Lee Monument and the Jefferson Davis Monument--to represent the Cult of the Lost Cause. Although Robert E. Lee was the centerpiece of the cult, another integral component was theveneration of other Civil War generals.

 

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (May 28, 1818 – February 20, 1893), was a Louisiana-born general for the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Known as the "Napoleon in Gray," he was also an author, civil servant, politician, and inventor. Beauregard was the first prominent Confederate general. He commanded the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, for the Battle of Fort Sumter in 1861, and three months later was the victor at the First Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia. He also commanded armies in the Western Theater, including the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, and the Siege of Corinth in northern Mississippi. His arguably greatest achievement was saving the city of Petersburg, Virginia, and thus also the Confederate capital of Richmond from assaults by overwhelmingly superior Union Army forces in June 1864. However, his influence over Confederate strategy was marred by his poor professional relationships with President Jefferson Davis and other senior generals and officials. Today he is commonly referred to as P.G.T. Beauregard, but during the war he rarely used his first name and signed correspondence as G.T. Beauregard.

 

City Park, a 1,300 acre public park, is one of the largest and most visited urban parks in the United States. Established on the former site of Allard Plantation facing Bayou St. John along the remains of Bayou Metairie in 1853, it is also one of the oldest parks in the country. In the early 20th century, the City Park Improvement Association built many of the park's landmarks like the Casino, the Peristyle, Popp Bandstand, Lelong Drive and the Issac Delgado Museum of Art, and expanded the park's boundaries through land acquisitions. In the 1930s a master plan, by Bennett, Parsons & Frost of Chicago, guided developed of the enlarged space with the aid of federal relief agencies, such as the Works Progress Administration. Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage to the park in 2005, flooding it with anywhere from 1-foot to 1-feet of water that remained for two to four works, damaging building and toppling over 1,000 trees. A new master plan was conceived following Katrina to rebuild and renovate.

 

National Register #99000233 (1999)

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Taken on May 2, 2008