One of the many Civil War commemorations around Washington, DC, are a series of statues to the heroes of the war: Grant, Sherman, Farragut, McPherson and… Albert Pike?
Who the heck is Albert Pike? In all my years of study, I’ve never found a reason to remember that name. A quick glance at his Wikipedia page shows us he was a pro-slavery former Know-Nothing who became a Confederate brigadier (not even a major) general, and whose wartime service was so spotty he resigned even before the war got started.
That takes care of the who, but doesn’t cover the why; Why would such a now-forgotten military figure receive such a huge honour? Masonic influence must go a long way. There’s no other reason I can cite for this otherwise forgettable Confederate occupying a pedestal in a city where pedestals are highly contested territory.
Albert Pike (December 29, 1809–April 2, 1891) was an attorney, Confederate officer, writer, and Freemason. Pike is the only Confederate military officer or figure to be honored with an outdoor statue in Washington, D.C.