Editor’s Note: Bill Morgan, the author of The Civil War Lover’s Guide to New York City (published by Savas Beatie), was kind enough to offer up his list of the top 5 most overlooked Civil War sites in the Big Apple as a series of guest posts here at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog. Bill’s introduction will be followed by one overlooked NYC site per week, every Monday for the next five Mondays. Join Bill here at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog, as he counts down his list.
The Top 5 Most Overlooked Civil War Sites in New York City
by Bill Morgan
#2 ADMIRAL DAVID FARRAGUT MONUMENT
Madison Square, near East 26th Street
One of the most perfectly executed public memorials in the city is the statue of Admiral David Farragut (1801–1870), also located in Madison Square. In 1881, Augustus Saint-Gaudens placed his statue here on a pedestal designed by the noted architect Stanford White. In this case, the black granite pedestal is nearly as interesting as the sculpture it supports. The figure shows Farragut standing in the wind on his ship’s prow, ready to give the command “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” This order would help Farragut win the battle of Mobile Bay and make him the Civil War’s most famous naval officer. Three members of the crew of Farragut’s ship Hartford took part in the memorial’s unveiling. A neighborhood in east central Brooklyn was named for Farragut as well. This bronze composition was Saint-Gaudens’ first public commission and helped establish him as the country’s foremost sculptor. As a tribute to Saint-Gaudens himself, a nearby playground on Second Avenue at East 20th Street has been named in his honor.