In 1980, a statue of three American World War II soldiers was presented to the Academy and the Corps of Cadets by the classes of 1935 and 1936. It was dedicated "To The American Soldier" and became the first statue at West Point to honor our nation's enlisted personnel. The statue is north of Lusk Reservoir.
The nine-foot bronze sculpture was sculpted by Felix de Weldon, who also did the Iwo Jima Statue at Arlington National Cemetery.
Perhaps the most prominent and majestic monument at the Academy is the Battle Monument. It was dedicated in 1897 "in memory of the officers and men of the American Army who fell in battle," specifically the Regular Army casualties of the North during the Civil War. Battle Monument was designed by an architecture engineering firm that included Stanford White, one of the nation's foremost architectural designers of the late 19th century.
The shaft is reportedly the largest polished granite shaft in the Western Hemisphere. Some 2,230 names are inscribed on it. The figure at the top, "Lady Fame" or "Victory," was sculpted by Frederick MacMonnies, who also did the Nathan statue in City Hall Park in New York City.
The nine-foot bronze statue of Dwight D. Eisenhower was sculpted by Robert L. Dean Jr., Class of 1953, and erected in May 1983 on a pedestal of red granite.
Eisenhower was a 1915 graduate of the Military Academy and served as President of the United States from 1953-1961. He is one of our foremost modern examples of a leader who successfully integrated the highest virtues of the American soldier with the fundamental tenets of our democratic society.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish artillery officer, provided vital assistance for the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga -- the turning point in the American Revolution. In 1778, he came to West Point and spent two years designing and overseeing the construction of the elaborate fortifications here.
The base pedestal of the monument was erected in 1828 by the Corps of Cadets. In 1913, the Polish clergy and laity of the United States added the statue of Kosciuszko.
Douglas MacArthur, Class of 1903, compiled a distinguished record in American military history. His more notable contributions include command of the 42nd "Rainbow" Division in World War I; superintendency of the U.S. Military Academy; service as supreme commander of the southwest Pacific areas in World War II; his role as military governor of Japan after World War II; and his service as supreme commander of U.N. forces in Korea. In 1962, 40 years after he served as Superintendent, he returned to West Point to receive the Thayer Award. At that time, he delivered his famous "Duty, Honor, Country" speech, which was his lasting tribute to the ideals of this institution.
The statue was sculpted by Walter Hancock and dedicated in 1969 by General MacArthur's wife, Jean.
General George S. Patton Jr. graduated from the Military Academy in 1909. He served as commander of the 7th Army in North Africa and Sicily in 1943 and of the 3rd Army, European Theater, from 1944-45.
The Patton Monument, designed by James Fraser, was "erected by his friends, officers and men of the units he commanded." It was unveiled by Mrs. Patton and subsequently dedicated in 1950.
This memorial to Major General John Sedgwick from the members of his last command, the 6th Army Corps, was dedicated in 1868. Sedgwick was an 1837 USMA graduate who fought in many of the major battles of the Mexican War. During the Civil War Battle of the Wilderness, he rallied his soldiers to victory. Sedgwick was later killed at the Battle of Spottsylvania in 1864. His statue reportedly was cast from the Confederate cannon captured by his 6th Corps.
Legend holds that if a cadet is deficient in academics, the cadet should go to the monument at midnight the night before the term-end examination, in full dress, under arms, and spin the rowels on the monument's spurs. With luck, the cadet will pass the test.
Sylvanus Thayer, Class of 1808, served as Superintendent from 1817-1833, the longest tenure in Academy history.
Known as the "father of the Military Academy," Thayer put his mark on this institution to a greater extent than any other individual. He strengthened the caliber of the faculty and quality of the academic instruction, brought discipline to the military environment and recognized the importance of instilling honor and integrity in cadets.
The Thayer Monument, erected in 1883, was sculpted by Carl Conrad 50 years after Thayer's departure as Superintendent.
Washington was the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, the first President of the United States and "the father of his country." In addition, he recognized the critical importance of the military position at West Point. He spent much time in this area, especially near the end of the Revolutionary War. He was among the foremost advocates of the establishment of a military academy.
This statue was sculpted by Henry Kirke Brown and unveiled in 1916.