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(Lbe Huirersity of Uoiih Carolina 

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K N D O W K 11 r. Y 

of the class of 1889 





Life and Character of the Late 

Judge David Schenck 

;livered at Guilford Battle Ground on the Occasion, 
of the Unveiling of a Monument to His 
Memory— July 4, 1904 

II frD 

Published by 

The Guilford Battle Grotjnd Co. 

Greenesboro, N. C. 





Life and Character of the Late 

Judge David Schenck 

Delivered at Guilford Battle Ground on the Occasion 

of the Unveiling of a Monument to His 

Memory — July 4, 1904 

cr\ y rro 

Published by 

The Guilford Battle Ground Co. 

Greenesboro, N. C. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


Mr. President, and Ladies and Gentlemen — 

From the busy haunts of men, from the din and bustle of 
the world, with all its restless activities and selfish strivings, 
where the highest and lowest aspirations "chase each other 
even as the sunshine and the shadow ' ' ; from out of the weary 
scenes of conflicting interests and classes, and often unholy 
warfare upon each other, we come to this quiet, hallowed spot 
with hearts full of reverence, to commemorate the deeds of 
those who fought and who died here to maintain that sublime 
declaration of human rights upon which this great Republic 
was founded. We come to renew our allegiance to those great 
principles, sealed with the blood of heroes, and to seek new 
inspiration to preserve in all its pristine purity and glory the 
priceless legacy they have bequeathed us. 

To those who stood here on this and other battlefields this 
would have seemed an easy thing to do. Their hearts were 
glowing with the fires of patriotism. They were standing, 
shoulder to shoulder, battling against the most powerful nation 
on earth, for the noblest cause that man can strive for. Theirs 
was a singleness of purpose, born only of a common cause and 
a common danger. All other considerations and interests 
sank into insignificance before the majestic shrine of Freedom, 
to which they had dedicated their lives, their fortunes, and 
their sacred honor. 

"Then none was for a party; 
Then all were for the State: 
Then the great man helped the poor, 
And the poor man loved the great." 

It is in such crucial hours as these that men become exalted 
and seem "to overleap the destinies of their mortal state and 
claim a kindred" with higher beings. It is in the cause of 
freedom and the defense of home and fireside that war, with 
all its horrors, is glorified by the sense of sacred duty. 

"The sword! — a name of dread! yet when 
Upon the freeman's thigh 'tis bound — 
While for his altar and his hearth, 
While for the land that gave him birth, 
The war-drums roll, the trumpets sound — 

How sacred is it then! 
Whenever for the truth and right 
It flashes in the van of fight — 

Whether in some wild mountain pass, 

As that where fell Leoniilas: 

Or on some sterile [tkiin and stern — 

A Marstou or a Bannoekburn: 

Or mill fierce crags and bursting rills — 

The Switzer's Alps, gray Tyrol's hills: 

Or, as when sunk the Armada's pride, 

It gleams above the stormy tide: — 

Still, still, whene'er the battle's word 

Is Liberty — when men ilo sta)id 

For Justice and their native land — 

Then Heaven bless the sword!" 

Inspired by the loftiest sentiments tliat ean animate the 
hearts of men, conscious of their unselfishness and devotion, 
risking all and daring all, these soldiers of the Revolution could 
not have conceived that the holy fires of patriotism could ever 
grow dim, and that the great i)rinciples for which they gave 
their blood and treasure could ever be endangered by the baser 
passions of the people. It is true that even they, soon after the 
achievement of liberty, met with great difficulties in so regu- 
lating its exercise as to prevent it from degenerating into 
license and anarchy, and in chrystalizing it into a government 
under which freedom in the highest sense might l)e preserved 
and enjoyed. But these difficulties did not long stand in the 
way. The same unselfish spirit that had united them in the 
dark and bloody days of war, was now to show itself by mutual 
concessions and sacrifices; and out of these there came this 
great American Republic and its wonderful Constitution. If 
this same spirit could now prevail, there could be no just 
apprehension as to the endurance of this, the greatest experi- 
ment in the world's history of republican government. 

But alas! This ideal government "of the people, by the 
people, and for the people ' ', has often been tried and as often 
failed. It was the dream of Athens, and like a dream it 
vanished. It was for years a glorious realization in Rome, but 
the greed and corruption of accumulated wealth and the 
demoralization incident to extended conquests undermined the 
great principles upon which it was founded, and it fell help- 
lessly into the arms of imperialism. Today, wuth the exception 
perhaps of Switzerland, there is no republican government 
worthy of the name throughout the whole of enlightened 
Europe. After the fearful experience of the French Revolu- 
tion, Europe seems to have concluded that the people are inca- 
pable of self-government under the form of a republic. How 
startling this may sound to an American citizen, the inheritor 
of the great work of our Revolutionary fathers! Yes, it 

seems to have been the fate of all republics that as they grew in 
population and wealth and territory, these very elements of 
progress and greatness have borne within them the germs of 

Standing here then today, my friends, on this sacred ground, 
and celebrating with joyous hearts the anniversary of this 
great natal day of Independence, should we not deeply con- 
sider these lessons of the past ? Should we not resolve to devote 
the best efforts of our minds and hearts to reverse what seems 
to be the verdict of history ? Should we not swear by the God 
of our Fathers that this great Republic shall not pass away, but 
shall continue for all time to vindicate to all the world the 
right and the capacity of the people to govern? We have 
many difficulties to encounter, many grave problems to solve. 
The immense increase of population, the infusion of a large, 
ignorant, and untrained foreign element, the remarkable devel- 
opment of our resources, the tremendous activity of commer- 
cial and industrial agencies, their conflicting character and 
interests, the old and apparently never-ending strife between 
combined capital and labor, the greed and aggression of organ- 
ized wealth, provoking at times violent resistance to law and 
weakening confidence in all law and government, the acquisi- 
tion of foreign territory, necessitating, for a while, at least, 
government contrary to the genius of the home government, 
the centralizing tendencies of the Federal Government, and, 
last but not least, the never silent voice of the demagog. These 
and many others, involving profound political and economic 
questions, are sufficient to excite our solicitude and demand the 
exercise of our highest and most unselfish consideration. 

Let it never be said that a country which has produced a 
Washington, a Lee, a Jefferson, and a Madison, and all its 
brilliant galaxy of soldiers and statesmen — soldiers, who, 
whether they wore the gray or the blue, or the plain homespun 
of the Revolution, have won their title to immortal renown by 
their matchless courage — statesmen who, as Mr. Gladstone 
said, produced a constitution "which is the most wonderful 
work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose 
of man ' ' — a country which is among the foremost in its inven- 
tions, and its arts, and its sciences ; a country whose flag is 
respected by all the nations of the earth, and under whose 
ample folds the oppressed and down-trodden of all lands seek 
protection. Let it never be said, I repeat, that such a country 
is to furnish the last and convincing proof of the incapacity of 
the people for self-government. 

True there is much to discourage us, but there is also much 
in our favor : and by the blessings of God we shall win ! We 
occupy geographically an isolated position, and I trust that a 
sentiment will be created that will put an end to the acqui- 
sition of any more territory. Conquest of territory, with the 
necessity of governing it by unrepublican forms and principles 
was, says ^Ir. Froude, one of the chief causes of the fall of the 
great Roman Republic. I believe that the people will realize 
the dangerous rocks upon which we are drifting, and that this 
great menace to republican institutions will not long be con- 
tinued or repeated. We must avail ourselves of our isolated 
position by following as far as possible the parting advice of 
Washington, to avoid entangling alliances. AVe have more 
than enougli to engage our attention at home. We are blessed 
with a great heritage, the habitable area of the United States 
being about 2. 500, 000 square miles, with a capacity, it is said, 
of supporting comfortably 400,000,000 inhabitants. At the 
present ratio of increase, our population would approximate 
300,000,000 or more in the year 2,000. Even if this were the 
natural increase of the existing pojndation. it would present a 
serious problem for the future. But such is not the case. A very 
large part of this increase is due to foreign immigration, and so 
lax are the immigration and naturalization laws and their 
administration, that a most dangerous element is lieing rapidly 
introduced into our social and political systems. We have the 
power to prevent this practically indiscriminate immigration 
and naturalization, and that this power will be rigidly exer- 
cised constitutes one of the strongest hopes of the Republic. 

We have much to hope for in a written constitution, which, 
if properly interpreted by the Supreme Court, will preserve 
the autonomy of the States : and in the preservation of this 
autonomy, in spirit as well as ni form, lies the great barrier 
against the centralization of the government and its consequent 
destruction. Again : the nature of our land laws is such that 
great freedom and facility is afforded in its transfer, and its 
quantity and cheapness enables almost every industrious citi- 
zen to acquire a hcmie. Every title deed, it is said, is a security 
for the public jieaee. It is one of the strongest ties that bind 
a citizen to his government, and a potent intluence against 
agrarianism. The restriction of corporate ownership of lands 
to their legal limits is also an all-important feature of our laws. 
It is in the power of the people to see that this is not evaded, 
and also to provide further laws against monopolies, trusts, 
and other means of aggression on the part of combined wealth. 


Another feature in our government is a free but unlicensed 
press. This is truly the life-blood of all free government, and 
without it they must perish. It is true that it often follows 
where it should instruct and lead, but even with this imperfec- 
tion its freedom is the palladium of Republican government. 

Among other things, and not the least, which gives us hope, 
is the history and character of the people who constitute the 
dominating political force in our country. We are endued 
with those principles of liberty dear to the heart of every 
Anglo-Saxon, but which were denied us by a hostile ministry 
under George the Third. These principles were the growth of 
centuries. The downfall of the Saxon nobility at the battle 
of Hastings elevated the middle classes, of which they became 
a part, and this middle class, representing the democratic ele- 
ment, was courted by the other two classes represented by the 
King and the Nobility. So that these three political elements 
were developed pari 'passu, each tempering the other, and thus 
producing that splendid conservatism for which the English- 
speaking people are noted. 

While we are thus disciplined in the school of conservatism, 
there nevertheless exists among our people a bold, hardy, inde- 
pendent spirit, which in the end, if necessary, will rise in its 
might and majesty, and resist all aggressions of one class or 
interest against another. The knowledge of the existence of 
this spirit, this sleeping giant with its vast physical power, 
serves as a warning against too great an excess of class greed 
and selfishness. It plainly says that there is a point to which 
you may go and no further. This, we hope, will be sufficient 
to repress such evils. Even if the laws should be evaded or 
corruptly administered and the people at last driven to force, 
it will not be the blind fury of the undisciplined French Revo- 
lution, resulting in anarchy and despotism, but it will be a 
force conservatively directed to restore and purely administer 
the government of their adoption. We have very, very much 
to hope for in this great characteristic of our people. We 
have many other things to bid us hope, such as the educa- 
tion of the people in the fundamental principles of gov- 
ernment, so that they may appreciate the dignity and 
responsibility of republican citizenship. There must of course 
be moral education also, for it is upon the great moral 
principles of equality and justice that true republics are 
founded. Above all, there must be cherished with increasing 
devotion the memory of the men and the events which made 
this free government possible. The scenes of their heroic 

struggle must be rescued from oblivion, and their courage 
vindicated against the aspersions of ignorance or malice. Here 
and there, dotted all along the Atlantic slope, are monuments 
erected to their memory. They are so many JMeccas of li))erty 
towards which thousands of pilgrims turn their faces on every 
recurrence of this illustrious day. He, who in the midst of the 
busy pursuits of life, devotes his best energies to this great 
work, who has been directly instrumental in restoring one of 
these battlefields, and who has successfully vindicated the 
conduct of those who fought there, is not only an educator in 
the highest sense, but a grand patriot whose memory a grateful 
people will not willingly let die. It is in honor of sucli an one 
that this beautiful monument is unveiled today. 

Descended from Swiss ancestors, who were exiled because of 
their undaunted adherence to the principles of religious free- 
dom. David Schenck was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, 
on ]\Iarch 24, 1885. Judge Schenck was educated at the High 
School of Silas C. Lindsay, an eminent scholar, studied law 
with Honorable Haywood C. Guion, and graduated at the Law 
School of Chief Justice Pearson. He began the practice of the 
law in 1857. and his promising abilities were almost innne- 
diately recognized by the County of Gaston, where he had 
settled, which made him its solicitor in the following year. On 
the 25th of August, 1859, he was married to Sallie Wilfong 
Ramseur, a sister of the distinguished JMajor-General Stephen 
D. Ramseur, who was mortally wounded while gallantly lead- 
ing his men in the battle of Cedar Rim, Virginia. She is still 
living, lending the influence of her sweet, gentle. Christian 
character to all about her. Returning to Lincoln County in 
I860, he was made its solicitor, and in 1861 was elected to the 
State Convention to fill the vacancy occasioned by the election 
of Honorable Wm. Landor to Congress. This, considering his 
years (he was the youngest member of that body), was a great 
honor, and indicates the high esteem in which he was held by 
the people of his native county. So distinguished were his 
abilities that in 1874 he was nominated and elected Superior 
Court Judge of the Ninth Judicial District. In 1875, the Con- 
stitution was amended so as to require the Judges to "rotate", 
and in this way the whole State became familiar with his high 
judicial qualities. He was universally regarded as a man of 
massive intellect and rare judicial attainments. The demands 
of a large family compelled him to resign, and in 1881, he 
became General Counsel of the Riclimond and Danville Rail* 

road system. While in this position, he was tenaerecl tne 
appointment of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of this 
State, which he also declined. These honors, tog:ether with the 
degree of LL.D. conferred bj^ the State University in 1878, and 
honorary membership in various historical societies throughout 
the Union, were most richly deserved. 

As a lawyer, I will say it is to be regretted that our judicial 
reports are not enriched by his learning and remarkable powers 
of clear exposition and vigorous, logical reasoning. 

He removed to Greensboro in 1882, where he continued to 
reside until the end of his useful life. Although as General 
Counsel of a great railway system, and there were imposed 
upon him the most weighty responsibilities, he neither forgot 
or neglected his duties as a citizen, and a citizen of old North 
Carolina. In his new home he became a leader in all that 
tended to its moral elevation and material progress. He con- 
sented to serve as a town commissioner, and it is said that his 
untiring zeal and good judgment laid the foundation of the 
splendid school system of the now rising City of Greensboro, 
and its many improvements. Upon the conclusion of his ser- 
vice as commissioner, the leading paper in the city, voicing the 
sentiments of its people, paid him the following tribute : 

' * The beautiful city of Greensboro of today — the paved streets and 
sidewalks, the fine public schools, the superb fire department, the 
beautiful cemetery, the water works and electric lights, and the grand 
progressive spirit and public energy of our citizens, are as much the 
fruit of the mental and physical labors of Judge Schenck and the 
result of his tireless energy and force of character as are all the evi- 
dences of industry and devotion shown by the restoration of the Guil- 
ford Battleground. Before these things came under his controlling 
influence we had a town noted for inertness and lack of public improve- 
ments, and Guilford Battleground and its illustrious dead had about 
passed out of tradition and local recollection. The unselfishness 
and public pride thus exhibited are so rarely seen, that our people 
should be reminded of them, if for no other reason than to attempt to 
arouse the spirit of emulation. ' ' 

What a proud summary is this of the modest and unselfish 
labors of one great public-spirited citizen ! His public spirit 
was not confined to the limits of his adopted home. It was as 
broad as the State itself, and was devoted also to the vindica- 
tion of North Carolina and her soldiers in the Revolutionary 
War. His book, "North Carolina— 1780- '81", is the result of 
long, patient, self-sacrificing labor and research. "The neg- 
lected, though admitted war-time glory of North Carolina in 
her achievements at Cowpens and King 's Mountain, is luminous 
from the touch of his pen. Guilford is transferred from an 
obscure disgrace to its rightful rank as a splendid victory in 

result", the conduct of the militia vindicated, and the claim 
established that North Carolina riflemen from Wilkes, Surry, 
Stokes, Forsyth, and (luilford, "were the very last soldiers to 
leave this field of battle". 

Henry Cabot LodiJ^e in his "Life of Washington", says: "It 
was a sharp and bloody fio'ht; the British had the advantage, 
and Greene abandoned the field, bringing off his army in good 
order. Cornwallis, on his part, had suffered so heavily, how- 
ever, that his victory turned to ashes. On the 18th he was in 
full retreat, with Greene in hot pursuit." The author speaks 
of this battle with tlu^ movements that followed it, as altering 
"the whole aspect of the war"; and such seems now to be 
generally conceded. Is it too much to say that but for the 
labors of Judge Schenck, this battle would have been consid- 
ered by many a repi'oach, instead of a pride to North Carolina ? 
A man who, by untiring labor and unselfish devotion has 
reversed such an erroneous but conunon verdict, so deeply 
affecting the honor of his State, in what is regarded as the 
great pivotal event in one of the greatest of the world's strug- 
gles for independence, is a patriot deserving not only this 
monument, but a lofty and enduring place in the history of 
North Carolina. lie has dispelled the cloud that has so long 
hovered over her, and another jewel is glittering upon her 
already richly-decorated brow. 

But the work of Judge Schenck did not stop here. AVhen he 
came to Gi'censboro, it is said that out of a population of 
three thousand people he could not find a half-dozen persons 
who could point out to him the scene of the battle. A greater 
part of the land was ' ' a tangled wilderness of briars, old field 
pines, broom sedge, and every species of wild gro^vth which 
comes up on old worn-out fields", the remaining part being 
neglected forest. The ancient roads leading through the battle- 
field had been abandoned, and there was nothing to mark the 
scene of the memorable conflict. On one of his frequent visits 
here (the distance from Greensboro being only four or five 
miles). Judge Schenck conceived the idea of purchasing the 
battlefield, and before returning home bargained forSOacres of 
it from one Emsly Sikes, at $10 per acre. Afterwards he pur- 
chased twenty acres more of the Dennis heirs, at twenty dollars 
an acre. Considering the character of the land and the enor- 
mous price, "No consideration" says his report "was extended 
to the sentiment which underlaid the object of the purchase". 
Other land was afterwards acquired, and the "Guilford Battle 
Ground Company" now has the title to it all. The charter of 


this Company was obtained in 1887, and it was oro;anized on 
the 6th day of May, 1887, by J. W. Scott, David Schenck, 
Julius A. Gray, D. W. C. Benbow, and Thomas B. Keogh, 
Judge Schenck being elected president, Mr. Scott treasurer, 
and Mr. Keogh secretary. These patriotic incorporators 
deserve the gratitude of the State for the substantial aid and 
enthusiastic encouragement they gave the president in the 
prosecution of his noble work. Shares of stock were issued, 
and subscribed for by the citizens of Greensboro and of other 
parts of the State, and soon enough money was raised to pay 
for the land and leave a moderate surplus in the treasury. 
This was used for the purpose of clearing the land of brush 
and old pines, filling up gullies, and other work, until the field 
was developed in a very similar condition to what it was in 
1781. There has been but small aid from the State, and this 
remarkable development we witness today is largely due to the 
contributions of patriotic citizens. 

In November of that year ( 1887 ) , so indefatigable had been 
the efforts of the president, that the Company passed a resolu- 
tion of thanks for the "zeal, diligence, and fidelity with which 
he had discharged the trust committed to him and his untiring 
efforts for the success of the patriotic enterprise in which we 
are engaged". 

The first celebration was on the 5th of May, 1888, and there 
were fully fifteen thousand people present. The president 
delivered an address on the battle of Guilford Court House, 
and in vindication of the North Carolina militia. This after- 
wards formed a part of his famous book. 

To show how much his great work, both as a writer and as a 
restorer of the battlefield was appreciated, I will quote from the 
response of the Governor of the State. It was that noble old 
hero, whose memory all North Carolinians delight to honor 
and cherish, Alfred M. Scales. Among other things, he said: 
"The battleground itself has been neglected and left without 
a monument to mark the spot, save its desolation. It has been 
reserved for my distinguished friend. Judge Schenck, the 
orator of the day, more distinoniished than ever before, to 
uncover the truth of history and tell the tale of this battle as it 
was actually fought. He it was, that w^hile a comparative 
stranger to our people, though a native of North Carolina, con- 
ceived the idea of forming the Guilford Battle Ground Com- 
pany, to purchase and adorn the grounds. He it was who 
raised the money that was necessary, contributing a large share 
thereof himself, to investigate the truth of history, and he it is 


that by patient and wide research and months of incessant 
labor collected the evidence from friends and foes, at home and 
abroad, which has enabled him to wipe out forever the stain 
that rested upon our home militia. In the name of the descend- 
ants of these brave men. in the name of our irreat State, I thank 
him for this great work." 

In asking' for a copy of the address for publication, he wrote : 
"I heard today with profound satisfaction your noljle and 
complete vindication of North Carolina militia who fought at 
the battle of Guilford. For years these brave volunteers have 
rested under charges that dishonored them and were a source 
of mortification to the people of the State. Today the stigma 
is Aviped out, and henceforth they will stand in history as men 
who fought bravely and most efficiently for the cause of xVmeri- 
can independence, and did not retire from the field until they 
did so in accordance with the orders of General Greene him- 

At the time of this meeting but two monuments had l)een 
erected, the first an unpretentious one donated by those puljlic- 
spirited gentlemen, ^Messrs. Galliard and Huske, quarrymen. of 
Kernersville, Forsyth County. It marks the spot where Cap- 
tain Arthur Forbis fell, mortally wounded, and bears an 
inscription in honor of this noble patriot. The other was pre- 
pared by the State under the direction of Governor Scales. 
This pyramid of granite blocks beginning with a base of five 
feet square^ and running up to the height of nine feet, is known 
as the "Battle Monument", and on it is inscribed "Guilford 
Battle Ground, Thursday, March the 15th, 1781. ' ' Since 1888 
there have been regular annual celebrations. 

In 1889 Governor Vance delivered the address and received 
an ovation "never seen before". In 1891 Honorable Kemp P. 
Battle, LL.D., delivered an address on the life and character of 
General Jethro Sumner, one of the greatest North Carolina 
soldiers of the Kevolution, whose remains had been removed to 
the battlefield at the expense of the State and a monument 
erected over them. In the same year a monument was erected 
over the remains of Captain Tate, which had been exhumed 
near New Garden (where he fell in the early part of the battle), 
and removed for re-interment in this consecrated ground. Two 
years afterwards, the remains of Captain John Daves, of New 
Bern, who belonged to the North Carolina Continental line, 
and who was promoted for gallantry at Entaw Springs, were 
removed here, and a tomb erected over them. 


The generosity of "William P. Clyde and Leonidas Springs 
had supplied handsome pavilions over the springs that now 
bear their names. A museum had been erected, the repository 
of many interesting relies of the battle. In 1892, the beautiful 
Lake Wilfong was constructed, and the annual address deliv- 
ered by Associate Justice Clark of the Supreme Court, on the 
Life and Service of the illustrious William R. Davie, a gallant 
participant in the battle, and afterwards Governor of the State, 
founder of the University, and Minister to France. In Octo- 
ber of the same year the handsome jMaryland Monument, in 
honor of the intrepid soldiers of that State (who with the men 
of Delaware, "The Blue Hen's Chickens", won immortal 
renown for their magnificent courage), was unveiled, the pre- 
sentation address being delivered by Professor Edward Gra- 
ham Daves, of Baltimore, which was responded to by Professor 
E. A. Alderman. All of this had been done before the fourth 
of July, 1893, the date of my last visit to these grounds. ]\Iany 
monuments have been erected, celebrations had, and addresses 
made since then, but the leading spirit of all this wonderful 
restoration and creation, in failing health and with but little 
hope of surviving another year, welcomed the celebration of 
1893 as the crowning event of his life. With the noble assist- 
ance of those patriotic co-incorporators, whose names I have 
mentioned, and the support of the people to whom he had so 
eloquently appealed, he felt that he had accomplished the great 
work to which he had dedicated so many days of his life. 
While the sun seemed to be setting for him, he could see its 
rising splendor gilding Avith a new glory the history of North 
Carolina and her soldiers in the great Revolution. 

That generous and patriotic son of North Carolina, Ex-Gov- 
ernor Thomas M. Holt, has erected yonder beautiful and impos- 
ing monument, known now as ' ' The Holt jMonument ' '. It was 
in honor of the North Carolina Riflemen under Major Joseph 
Winston, Major Jesse Franklin, and others, who were, as we 
have said, the last to leave the field of battle. It was to make 
good this claim and to receive this massive memorial that Judge 
Schenck had prepared a most admirable address. Against the 
advice of physicians and friends he arose from a bed of sick- 
ness and appeared here to perform this great and apparently 
closing duty. It was "the most impressive, elaborate, and 
wonderful celebration" he said, of all that had preceded it, 
and "thousands and thousands of citizens assembled to wit- 
ness the splendid ceremonies ' '. Well do I remember that bril- 


liant scene and the distin.o-uished men who were present. 
Among these were the munificent Ex-Governor Holt, Governor 
Carr, Judge Chirk. Judge Graves, Judge Dick, Bishop Ches- 
hire, Dr. Kemp P. Batth^ Dr. George T. Winston, Colonel 
Julius Gray, Colonel (now Judge) Boyd, "Sir. R. M. Douglass, 
now a Justice of our Supreme Court, Honorable C. B. Watson, 
Mr. Scott, and Colonel Keogh. Many of these have crossed 
over the river and now rest in the spirit land. Here, too, 
as master of ceremonies, was that gallant old soldier and 
patriotic son of North Carolina, Colonel Joseph M. IMorehead. 
I am thankful that he is here toda}-, and I pray that his life 
may long be spared to assist in preserving and beautifying 
this battleground, towards which he has already contributed so 

He is now the president of this Company, and right worthily 
does he bear the mantle of his noble predecessor. Judge 
Schenck. From the beginning he has aided with heart and 
soul in the good work, and from 1896 he has lent his active aid 
in securing the continuance of the State's subscription, in 
continuing the annual celebrations, and in the erection of every 
monument except that of Oak Ridge. Let us not forget our 
patriotic friend and those who have acted with him. All honor 
and gratitude to those generous spirits. 

After prayer by the Rev. Dr. T. H. Pritchard, Judge 
Schenck was introduced and most enthusiastically received by 
the vast assemblage. "He arose" (I quote from an intelligent 
reporter. Mr. Howard A. Banks), "leaning upon his long staft". 
For the first time in four weeks, he said, he had left a sick 
chamber. There was a stoop in his great, broad shoulders, 
and feebleness in his step as he came to the front of the plat- 
form. He asked that he might be excused if he should break 
down before he finished. But it soon became apparent that 
there was no danger of this. The old lion was aroused. As he 
progressed in his defense of the much-slandered North Carolina 
troops who participated in the fight at Guilford Court House, 
he forgot that he was a sick man. At the fii*st mention of the 
criminal injustice done to our soldiers in this engagement by 
historians, a feeling of righteous indignation pervaded the 
whole being of the speaker. It sent the blood tingling to his 
very finger tips, it brought the fiery flash to his eye. There 
was no longer the stoop in his shoulders, the halt in his gait. 
In thunder tones he denounced the slanderers." He was 
exhausted towards the conclusion of his eloquent and powerful 


address, and there never was anything; more deeply pathetic 
than when, looking once more over the scene of years of conse- 
crated labor, and feeling that his long-cherished hopes had been 
accomplished, he exclaimed in tremulous tones, "Lord, now 
lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace ' '. What wonder that 
the hearts of the multitude were touched as never before, and 
that they silently responded, ' ' Well done, thou good and faith- 
ful servant ' ', ere the welkin rang with cheers for this grandly 
patriotic man ! 

Other addresses were made by distinguished gentlemen pres- 
ent, all of whom spoke of his great work and expressed their 
gratitude in unmeasured terms. The Right Reverend Bishop 
Cheshire said that he came ' ' also to honor a man whose generos- 
ity has made him the champion of the unknown dead, and who 
has spent not only money, but the energies and resources of his 
very life, in vindicating the reputation of our State. I have 
felt myself stirred to a more earnest love of my country as I 
listened to the eloquent words of Judge Schenck, and saw how 
his heart throbbed and his eye kindled with ardor in behalf of 
those who for a hundred years had found no friend or advocate 
among us all." 

Through much suffering Judge Schenck lingered in steadily- 
declining health until the 26th day of August, 1902, when he 
passed through the dark and silent valley to the shining heights 
beyond. During this period his interest in this great work 
of the battleground never for a moment relaxed, and it was 
with the consciousness of a great duty performed that he 
entered upon his eternal rest. The whole State mourned his 
loss, and many were the eulogies pronounced upon his life and 
character by the press and the bar. In these he is declared to 
be a great jurist, a most patriotic citizen, a devoted husband 
and parent, and more than all, a sincere Christian. 

At an annual meeting of the Guilford Battle Ground Com- 
pany on March 16th, 1903, resolutions were adopted in com- 
memoration of "its distinguished and beloved president, who 
was its originator and creator, to whose active brain, tireless 
energy, and ardent patriotism, this company is largely 
indebted for the grand work already accomplished in vindicat- 
ing the truth of history and the fair name of North Carolina, 
and in reclaiming and perpetuating the historic spot on which 
was fought the pivotal battle of the great Revolution". 

After paying a glowing tribute to his distinguished abilities, 
it was further resolved, ' ' That this Company desires to record 
in permanent form its indebtedness for and its appreciation of 


his great and unselfish services, and to proclaim itself the 
crownintx work (^f his busy life and an enduring monument to 
his memory. 

"That it is the sense of this Company that a monument be 
erected to his memory on the field of the Battle of (xuilford 
Court House. 

It is in pursuance of these rt^soluticuis that this monument 
is unveiled here today. It is a fitting tribute to one of the 
most patriotic of North Carolinians, and the Company has well 
performed its ])ious duty. Beautiful as it is, and enduring as 
it may be, it is. however, unnecessary in order to preserve his 
memory. "The memory of us", says Pliny, "will last if we 
have deserved it in our lives". Tested by this, the memory of 
David Schenck will be forever cherished in the history of this 
State. This restored battlefield and his great book in vindi- 
cation of the men who fought here, have indissolubly connected 
his name with one of the greatest events of the Revolution, and 
are memorials which will live always in the hearts of his 
countrymen. Rest in peace, dear, faithful friend. Your name 
and your work will never be forgotten by Xorth Carolinians. 

As I have said, one of the strongest hopes we have of preserv- 
ing this great republic is in the cultivation of the spirit of 
patriotism ; and how can this be lietter done than by the 
study of the heroic devotion of our revolutionary soldiers, and 
the marking and adornment of the scenes of their struggles? 
These are true fountains of patriotism. It is in this way that 
we can understand and appreciate the self-sacrificing spirit 
that won our independence and established this government ; 
and it is in this way that we may l)e inspired by a similar spirit 
to preserve them. We have here a grand example of the patri- 
otic citizen; and if all men were imbued with this spirit of 
devotion to the principles of the Revolution, then, no matter 
how threatening the storms may be in the future, no harm can 
come to the Republic. 

It has been said, and truly said, that North Carolina makes 
history but never writes it. Never was there such an instance 
of neglect, and never was there a richer field to explore. We 
have seen how long this State has been misrepresented and 
slandered as to the conduct of her soldiers on this battlefield. 
For a century it has been suffered to remain under this dis- 
grace. We have seen how her soldiers have been vindicated in 
this great and decisive event of the long and bloody struggle. 
But in addition to this, and apart from the brilliant courage of 
her sons at Moore's Creek, King's Mountain, Cowpens, and in 


other battles, there are two other events which crown old North 
Carolina with unfading glory, and should inspire every heart 
with pride in her history. They place her even ahead of her 
illustrious sisters in the great struggle for independence. 
First, it was her people who committed the first overt act in 
assertion of the principles of the Revolution. There may have 
been elsewhere a few instances of mob violence against individ- 
uals, but here was the armed and organized militia of two 
counties drawn up in battle array, commanded by such men as 
Colonel Waddell and Colonel Ashe, openly defying the English 
sloop of war, Diligence, of twenty guns, as she came to anchor 
off the town of Brunswick on the Cape Fear. They notified 
the Commander that they would resist the landing of stamps 
and would fire on anyone attempting it. This was on Novem- 
ber 20th, 1765. "Here was treason, open and flagrant, and in 
the broad light of day; treason armed and led by the most 
distinguished soldier of the province, and the Speaker of the 
Assembly." "This", says that distinguished North Carolin- 
ian, the Honorable George Davis, "was more than ten years 
before the Declaration of Independence, and more than nine 
years before the battle of Lexington, and nearly eight years 
before the Boston ' Tea Party '. The destruction of the tea was 
done in the night by men in disguise. And history blazons it, 
and New England boasts of it, and the fame of it is worldwide. 
But this other act, more gallant and daring, done in open day 
by well-known men, with arms in their hands, and under the 
King 's flag — who remembers, or who tells of it ? " 

It is hardly to be credited that this act, so illustrative of the 
advanced spirit of liberty in North Carolina, and which places 
her far in advance of the Revolution, should not be blazoned 
forth to all the world. But so it is. As Mr. Davis says, ' ' who 
remembers it, or who tells of it ? " 

The second great event is the Mecklenburg Declaration of 
Independence. The declaration drawn by Jefferson and made 
on the 4th day of July, 1776, was the declaration of the Conti- 
nental Congress. It was on the part of all the Colonies, and 
the anniversary of the day of its adoption is justly a great day 
of national celebration. It is nevertheless a fact to be proud 
of, and of itself places North Carolina in the foreground, that 
some months before, on May 20th, 1775, immediately upon 
hearing of the Battle of Lexington, the patriots of Mecklen- 
burg County made their famous declaration. In the language 
of Senator Boutwell in his address on ' ' The Progress of Ainer- 


ican Independence", before the New York Historical Society. 
"The citizens of INIecklenbnrg County, North Carolina, had 
anticipated the declaration of Jefferson and in some respects 
its exact langnasre. and yet there is no reason to believe that the 
substance of the document was known to any member of Con- 
g-res, and there is much evidence tliat neither ]\Ir. JeffVrson nor 
any one of his colleagues of the Committee was aware of its 
existence". What a glorious record is this which we can 
truthfully present to our posterity, and how every heart 
re-echoes the words of the immortal Lee, "God bless old 
North Carolina". 

Yes, let her true history be written, and the old State will 
come forth resplendent with revolutionary glory. Let her 
true history be written, and it will be seen that our revolu- 
tionary fathers were worthy ancestors of the men. who, under 
the banners of Lee and Jackson, and other great leaders, filled 
the world with wonder and admiration by their matchless 
deeds of arms and heroic devotion. Let her true history be 
written, and there will rise in the hearts of her children a spirit 
of patriotism which will guard and maintain the great prin- 
ciples of republican government which underlie our consti- 

Let us, my friends, as we leave this consecrated ground, 
resolve to devote our minds and hearts to this great end. Let 
us vindicate the capacity of man for self-government: and 
wdien we have done this, we shall have furnished a light and a 
hope to all nations to guide them in the ways of peace, justice, 
and harmony ; and we may look forward with confidence to 
the time when armies will be disbanded, when the "war 
drums" will throb no longer, "and the battlefiags be furled — 
in the Parliament of man, the Federation of the World". 

Program of the Annual Celebration 



MONDAY. JULY 4. 1904 

"The Life and Character of Judge David Schenck" 


Orator of the Day 

The Procession will form at the President's cottage at 10.30 
a. m. in the following order : 





President of the Guilford Battle Ground Company, 



Orator of the day, 
with ]\Irs. Judge Schenck and Miss Schenck 


Chaplain, Master of Ceremonies, and Distinguished Guests, in 

Carriages ; 

Directors and Stockholders of the Battle Ground Company; 

Citizens Generally. 

Procession when formed will move to the Grand Pavilion. 

.Alcsic— "Arjieriea" By the Band 






.M IMC— "The Old X',.rtli State.'' 

Proces.sion to hv re-formod and march to tlie ]Monunient to 
Judge Schenck. tlien to be unveiled. 


At 2.30 p. m. the people will re-assemble at the Grandstand 
recalled by music by the band. Addresses wiW be delivered by 
distinguished visitors from different sections of the Union on 
the unveiling of the patriotic Marker to Generals Washington 
and Greene. ' ' No Xorth, no South. ' ' 


j\L\.STER OF Ceremonies. 




Form No. A-368, Rev. 8/95