19 December 2012 by Published in: General musings 15 comments

After all of the horror of the events in Connecticut last week, I thought it might be fun to lighten things up a bit.

With thanks to my friend Dan Mallock, the party responsible for this idea, we’re going to discuss the ugliest/worst Civil War monuments in America. Specifically, I want everyone to chime in and let me know which you think is the ugliest/worst Civil War monument that you’ve ever seen. I will gladly post photos if anyone wants me to do so. Just send them along.

nbfs2Here’s my nominee: the Nathan Bedford Forrest action figure along I-65 in Brentwood, Tennessee. This is, without doubt, THE most hideous, stupid-looking thing I have ever seen. It’s a horror.

Longstreet-4c_0410Dan, on the other hand, believes that the James Longstreet carousel horse monument wins the prize. It’s definitely my second choice, and it’s really pretty horrific too. From my perspective, however, it cannot hold a candle to just how horrendous that Forrest action figure is.

So, those are the first two entries in the competition. What do the rest of you think?

UPDATE, DECEMBER 21: Since it was nominated by Brian, here is the Stonewall Schwarzenegger statue on Henry House Hill on the Bull Run battlefield.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Scridb filter


  1. Sam
    Wed 19th Dec 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I love my pal Dan, but I have to go with Eric on this one. The giant Plaster-of-Paris (or is it plastic?) Forrest statue, with spotlights and surrounded by 14 illuminated state flags, literally beside the interstate highway near Nashville, is in a class by itself. The Longstreet statue at Gettysburg looks like a Michelangelo original compared to the Forrest thing.

  2. dan
    Wed 19th Dec 2012 at 10:31 pm


    With all due respect and consideration to you my dear friend and scholar…

    Michelangelo did lots of things in art really really well.
    He was certainly a master at perspective. The Longstreet abomination is all out of kilter perspective wise! Dang, the general is bigger than his horse!

    The Forrest horror on 65 is at least an honest attempt by a local artist to do right by Forrest. He missed, but his shot was loud!


  3. Brian L.
    Thu 20th Dec 2012 at 2:20 am

    I actually like the Longstreet monument. 🙂

    As for the worst, I’d go with the Stonewall Jackson monument at Manassas. It pains me to say that, since I am a great admirer of Jackson, but the monument makes him look like a football player on steroids or HGH.

  4. Dennis
    Thu 20th Dec 2012 at 6:35 am

    I usually see at least one cigar on the Longstreet monument when I visit Gettysburg. The statue seems naked without one!


  5. Mitch E
    Thu 20th Dec 2012 at 10:34 am

    Although i’ve never seen the Forrest statue in person, its definitely the worst of the two. Still no fan of Longstreet and his goat though(the statue anyways)

    Regards, Mitch.

  6. Thu 20th Dec 2012 at 10:57 am

    I’d vote for the Forrest statue … It looks like the guy is crazy & is sticking his tongue out .. It also looks like the house is a unicorn …

  7. J David Petruzzi
    Thu 20th Dec 2012 at 11:18 am

    The Forrest statue is indeed the worst. A Chinese knock-off attempt at a Civil War statue would look better than that one. Makes me cringe.
    Longstreet deserves the second spot – in addition to all of its other puke-inducing features, take a close look at Pete’s face sometime – Gary Casteel accidentally or otherwise made him cross-eyed. Hideous.

  8. J David Petruzzi
    Thu 20th Dec 2012 at 11:24 am


    The SCV folks are apparently pretty proud of that, uh, thing. Check out the page.

  9. Thu 20th Dec 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I saw that Forrest statue for the first time a few weeks ago. At first I thought it seemed a perfectly natural display for what was probably a fireworks store. But when I got a closer look… ugh.

  10. Scott Patchan
    Sat 22nd Dec 2012 at 1:29 pm


    I have to hands down agree with you on the Forrest. It looks like a character out of some farcical Shakespearean comedy.


  11. Jacob Jackson
    Sat 22nd Dec 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Longstreet looks like he borrowed his beard from the set of The Hobbit.

  12. Sun 23rd Dec 2012 at 7:46 am

    One has to see the Forrest monstrosity in all its glory, in person, and preferably when it is dark enough to be fully lit. It is a desecration of the term “art”

    I do make a point of visiting it every so often when I drive down to Chickamauga, just to make sure it is still there.:)

    As a runner up, I might nomimate the Lee statue at antietam – not because it is in itself so ugly, but because, IIRC, Lee is sited so as to be leading the Union V Corps onward to victory, and facing his own lines. Hobby horse monuments bug me.

  13. dan
    Sun 23rd Dec 2012 at 11:26 am


    Humbly, I think that the Forrest abomination is more an “insult” to art rather than a desecration.

    Best Regards,

  14. John Foskett
    Sun 23rd Dec 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I guess I’d vote for Old Pete mounted on that midget pony whose back is about to break undrr the load – only because of where it’s located. How that piece of junk was allowed to cross the NMP boundary defies explanation. At least Forrest the Wacky Wizard isn’t on hallowed ground.

  15. Carl Fields
    Sat 12th Jan 2013 at 10:25 am

    I was on a walking tour (led by a park ranger) of part of the Manassas/Bull Run Battlefield, several years ago. The ranger said Charles Atlas posed for the statue of Jackson back in the late 1920s. He joked that Atlas may have posed for the horse too. He said the horse has muscles in places that no real horse does.

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