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.
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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.
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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.