Fact or Crap: Equestrian Statues and Their Feet


Andrew Jackson, who was not killed in battle. Washington, D.C.

During my first awestruck visit to Gettysburg Battlefield National Park many years ago (well, not that many), I clearly recall the tour guide explaining how the position of the horse’s feet on statues of mounted officers indicates how that officer died. For instance, one leg raised means the officer was wounded in battle, while two means that he died. Ever since, I’ve been checking out the legs on every equestrian statue I encounter. Well, turns out, like so many other factoids about history, this particular one is, well, crap. Aww, say it ain’t so. Now David Hiskey, writer at  the entertaining and informative website, Today I Found Out, has posted a well researched article about why it ain’t so. According to Mr. Hiskey, only 30% of such statues in Washington D.C. accurately identify the cause of death of their riders. He goes on to examine the facts in other parts of the world. The “Hoof Code” ain’t so. Who knew?

Today I Found contains volumes of fun info about history, science, and just about everything else you might be curious about. Check it out.



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