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Full text of "The battle field of Guilford Court House"

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Battle f ieia of Quilfora 
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Univ. of North Carolina 
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THE..BATTLE. FILLD OF GUILFORD 
COURT HOUSL 



The field on which the battle of Guilford Court 

House was fought is the only battefield of the 

Revolution owned and preserved in its 

entirety in the United States 







GENERAL GREENE 



"This is the ground where Patriots bled; 
Wide scattered here are Guilford's dead, 
Peace ! come with slow and reverent tread, 
And voices all subdued, 
Break not their long, deep love engendered solitude. 

Where silence reigns above this field, 

Once wild the thundering squadrons wheeled, 

Earth jarred, and armies swerved and reeled. 

Dead is that soul that does not flame 
At sight of Guilford's deathless name." 

— .Teriimo St( 



■kard, .Tuly 4, 1S93. 



THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOBD COUBT HOUSE 



iIIH Battle Ciroiind Coin})any is an association of patriotic 
^enrlr-nien, incorporated by the Legislature of North Caro- 
ina in ]8S7. Its piii'pose is ''the preservation, reclania- 
tinii and adurninent of the battlefield of (iuilford Court House.'' 
-Iiidye David Sclienck was tii(> first t(.) take steps towards 
reclaiming- this historic site from its hundred years' stee}!. 
The Battle (Jround Company was organized by J. W. Scott, 
I). W. C. Henliow, Julius A. Cray, and Tiios. B. Keogii, witli 
-Indge I)a\id Schenck, president, which office he filled until his 
death in I'.Miii, leaving the patriotic citizens of the United 
States greatly indilitcd lo liim for his great services. Major 
Jose])li M. ATdrciicad was elected his successor and most worthy 
did he prow, s|iending all of his time during his years of oflfice 
in erecting markers and monuments for the i)roper preservation 
of the history of the battle. His one unfulfilled desire was to 
see the erection of liie miinuineiit to (ieneral Xatliauael fireene, 
but to his successor. Mr. i'aul Srhenck, son of .ludge David 
Schenck, ami tliird I'rcsidcnt of tlie liattii' (iround Company, 
was tliat dutv gi\('n. 



THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOBD COURT HOUSE 



n 



HE Battle of Guilford Court House was fought March 
15, 1781. It was one of the decisive battles of the Eevo- 
lution. (See Benton's Thirty Years in U. S. Senate.) 
The Commanding General of American forces was General 
jSTathanael Greene. His army consisted of Huger 's Brigade of 
Virginia, Continentals, 778 men; Williams' Maryland and Dela- 
ware Brigade, 630 men; Continental Eegulars, 1490; North Car- 
olina militia, 1393; Virginia militia, 1693; "Light Horse 
Harry ' ' Lee 's Legion, 82 ; Col. William Washington 's Dra- 
goons, 86; Lee's Dragoons, 75; Cavalry, 161; about 4143 Ameri- 
cans. 

The Commander of the British forces was Lord Cornwallis. 
His army, all well-trained warriors, consisted of the famous 
Twenty-first, or Frazer's Highlanders, and Second Battalion, 
212 men; Twenty-third and Thirty-third Eegiments, with 580 
men; Eegiment of Bose or Hessians, 313 men; the Yagers, 97 
men; British Legion, 174 men; in all, 1376. This does not 
include the Grenadiers, or Guards, whose numbers are not given. 

Cornwallis drove General Greene from the field, then fled 
precipitately from the field for fear of Greene's return. John 
Fox, then in the British Parliament, declared another such vic- 
tory would mean the destruction of the British army in America. 
Cornwallis reached his ships in Wilmington, but feeling unsafe, 
retreated into Virginia, and on the 19th of October, 1781, sur- 
rendered to General George Washington at Yorktown. The 
victory was won at Guilford, but the surrender was at Yorktown. 



TIIK BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOED COVET HOUSE 



D() |tnipt'ily study this liattlo tlie visitor should begin at the 
I'xtreine west where the sign shows the position of Single- 
ton 's Artillery — the American first line of battle lay in 
the edge of the woods behind a rail fence on either side of the 
road. Standing in the road on the brow of the hill, one is on 
the spot where Singleton's Artillery took its position to open on 
the British as they advanced up the hill, after having formed at 
the creek. From here can be seen where Tarleton's famous 
cavalry stood in the road awaiting orders, also where Cornwallis ' 
Artillery was planted while the British formed their line of 
attack. A row of maple trees now mark the place of the old 
rail fence from behind which the mili- 
tia (Eaton's Brigade on right, 500 
men, and Butler's, 560, on the left of 
the road) fired their old flint and steel 
rifles upon the famous Highlanders. 
Captain Dugall Stuart declared about 
one-half of their number fell upon the 
sjiot. 

Turning from under the maples ;ind 
on your right is a small white shaft 
erected to Captain James Tate, of the 
Virginia riflemen, who was killed in a 
preliminary skirmish near the old 
CiJuaker meeting house while advancing 
under Lee. (Lee's Campaign of 1781 
in the Carolinas.) Captain Tate's re- 
nKiins were reinterred here April 22, 
Capt. James Tate 1S!)1. 




Through the forest some three 
Inindred yards to our right is a 
neat marker to Captain Arthur 
Forbis, shot in the first assault. 
This stone stands where he was 
found twenty-eigiit hours later 
with two bullets in his body and 
a saber thrust through his leg, 
the last wound inflicted by a Tory 
of whom he had asked a drink of 
water. This inscription is on his 
niuiiuniciit : 

Col. Arthur Forbis, of the North 
Carolina Troops, who fell at his post 
in the discharge of duty on this mem- 
orable field of battle March 15, 1781. 






THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOBD COVET HOUSE 




Nathaniel ^Jacon 



The position of Lee 's cavalry was 
also near this spot. Eetiirning by the 
speaker's pavilion to our starting 
point, on our left as we approach the 
station, are tliree tombs, the first a 
rough granite boulder with bronze tab- 
let to Nathaniel Macon, removed here 
from Warren County in 1902. He was 
North Carolina 's peerless statesman 
and soldier, famed for purity, sim- 
plicity of habit, and spartan virtues, 
called by Jefferson, ' ' The noblest 
Eoman of them all." The tablet 
bears this inscription: 

Nathaniel Macon willed that his memorial 
should consist of only rude stones: 
Here they are. 




Next is the tomb of 
Brigadier General 
Jethro Sumner. The 
Legislature of North 
Carolina had his re- 
mains removed to tliis 
park in 1891, from War- 
ren County, together 
with this tomb which 
has been erected over 
his grave. The original 
inscription Avas: 

To the memory of Gen- 
eral Jethro Sumner, one 
of the heroes of '76. 

On the east side the Battle Ground Company has inserted 
another tablet bearing the following history: 

Brigadier General Jethro Sumner, 
Born in the year 1733 
Died March 18, 1785 

Colonel of the 3rd North Carolina Continental Troops, April 15, 1776— 
Charleston June 28, 1776, Brandywine Sept. 11, 1777, Germantown Oct. 4, 
1777 Monmouth June 20, 1778, Stone Ferry June 20, 1779, Eutaw Springs 
Sept. 8, 1781. "Spotless in character, pure in patriotism, the most 
eminent soldier among the N. C. troops." 



Jethro Suiiuici- 



THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFORD COUFT HOUSE 



Oil tlie tliinl toiiili, ;i most pii'turescjiu^ slab on four pillars, 
all (if white inarhlt'. is fouiiil the following': 



Here are deposited the 
remains of Major John 
Daves, one of the well- 
tried patriots of our Revo- 
lutionary War, who de- 
Darted this life Oct. 12, 
1804, aged 56 years. Cap- 
tain in the North Carolina 
Continental Line; served 
throughout the War of the 
Revolution. Distinguished 
at Germantown and at 
Stony Point, where he was 
severely wounded. Pro- 
moted Captain at Eutaw 
Springs. Original member 
of the N. C. Society of 
Cincinnati. Buried in New 
Bern, Oct., 1804; removed 
to Guilford Battle Field, 
June, 1893. 




^Nla.ior John Daves 



'I'o our rii;ht is a granite tent 
bearing a bronze tablet wJiidi 
says : 

Capt. James Morehead, 

of the 10th Regiment, 

North Carolina Continental line. 

Battle of Stono, June 20, 1779 

Elizabethtown, July, 1781 

Born 1759 Died 1815 





('apt. .hill 



.Mni-.-heail 



<'l(ise to this stands a beautiful bronze 
wduiaii on higii granite base, said to be the 
iiiily inonunuMit to a woman ever ereeted on 
a battle field for her services in nursing the 

wiiuiidcil. 'rii(> tablet reads: 

1781-1902 — A heroine of '76 

Kerenhappuch Turner, mother of Elizabeth 
Morehead, wife of Joseph Morehead of North 
Carolina, grandmother of James and John More- 
head. N. C. soldiers under Greene. 

She rode horseback from her home in Mary- 
land and at Guilford Court House nursed to 
health a badly wounded son. 



Turner 



TBE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOED COURT HOUSE 



To the south of this, amid tlie splen- 
did oaks, is a monument to Gillies, 
bugle boy to Light Horse Harry Lee 
and his Legion. He was only about 
15 years old when he was literally 
hacked to pieces by Tarleton 's Dra- 
goons on Feb. 12, 1781, a few miles 
from this field and near Oak Eidge. 
This monument was erected by the 
students of Oak Eidge Institute in 

istts. 




Gillies' Monument 

Before reaching the grand arch, 
notice the granite rectangle fac- 
ing, Janus-like, the four points of 
the compass. On the east face is 
' ' No South ' ' Greene, on the west 
face "No North" Washington. 
This was President Morehead 's 
own handiwork, testifying to the 
oneness of the nation and the ab- 
sence of jDolitics from this park. 






"No North" 
"No South" 



The massive arch 

spanning the road is of 

solid granite blocks, its 

measurements are 33 

feet in height, 28 feet 

in width, 7 feet thick. 

with carriage drive of 

20 by 12 feet. This 

arch together with one 

across the road were 

erected by the United 

ytates Government at a 

cost of $10,000.00. The 

arch to General David- 
Brig. Gen'l Wm. Lee Davidson ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^ j^^.^.^ ^^^^^^ 

tablet on each base, the one on the right side reading: 




THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOED COUBT HOUSE 



Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, 

Born 1746, killed in the Battle of Cowan's Ford, 

North Carolina, February 1, 1781. 

Major, April 15, 1776; Lieut. Colonel, Oct. 4, 1777; Brigadier General, 

August 31, 1778. 

"On Fame's eternal Camping Ground." 

On tlie left li;iso is the followiiijj: 

"To the memory of the late Brigadier General Davidson, who com- 
manded the militia of the district of Salisbury in the State of North 
Carolina, and was killed on the 1st day of February last, lighting gal- 
lantly in defense of the liberty and independence of the States." — 

Kxtract Iroiii ri'solutidii iif (.'(iimrcss, .Srpt. 20th, ITSl. 




Hooper — Peun 
"The Signers" 



'rmiiinjr toward the railroad to our right 
will li(> seen the monument to the Signers 
of tlie Declaration of Independence, Wil- 
liam Hooper, John Penn, and Joseph Hewes. 
The remains of Hooper and Penn rest be- 
neath the monument ; the grave of Joseph 
Ilewes is in Christ's Church yard, Phila- 
delphia, l)ut l)eing unmarked, could not be 
identified. This monument was erected by 
the (io\eiiiment in 1S97. It is inscribed as 
follows : 

In memoriam 
William Hooper and John Penn 
Delegates from North Carolina, 1776, to the Con- 
tinental Congress and Signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence. Their remains were rein- 
terred here in 1897. 

Joseph Hewes' grave is lost; he was the 3id 
signer. 

' 'Lee, Henry, and Hooper were the Orators 
of the Congress."— John Adams' diary, Vol. 2, 
page 396, 1774. 



Across the road, n(>ai- the keep- 
er's cottag(\ is a monument to 
Colonel Hal Dixon, of Caswell 
County, X. C, which tells us lie 
was the "embodiment of chi\ 
airy and the idol of his sol- 
diers". Thrice wounded in bat- 
tle, from which he died in 17si'. 




THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOBD COUET HOUSE 




Across the road on other side of 
station is a pyramid of eight rows of 
granite blocks, surmounted by a can- 
non ball and bearing the words, ' ' Guil- 
ford Battle Ground". 

The fireproof brick museum has 
many interesting relics picked up from 
the battle field, also handsome por- 
traits and autographs of Eevolutionary 
officers. 



Battle Ground 
Monument 



The great arch spanning the road is to General Francis Nash 
and bears the following on its tablets : 

Brigadier General Fran- 
cis Nash, born 1742; fatal- 
ly wounded in battle of 
Germantown Oct. 4th, 
1777; member of Provin- 
cial Congress of N. C, 
1775; Lieutenant Colonel 
Sept. 10, 1775; Colonel 
April 10th, 1776; Brigadier 
General Feb. 5, 1777. 

"Ever since the dawn 
of the Revolution, I have 
stood for the cause of lib- 
erty and my country." 

In honor of the memory 
of Brig. General Francis 
Nash, who fell in the bat- 
tle of Germantown on the 
4th day of Oct., 1777, 
bravely contending for 
the independence of his 
countiy. — Kxtrai't I'rnin reso^ 




utiiin (if Continental Congress 



4, 1777. 



To our right of the road is the hands-ome monument to 
Nathanael Greene, erected l)y tlie United States government at 
a cost of $30,000. 



THE BATTLK FIELD OF GUILFOED COURT HOUSE 



Amid the magnolias and spruce 
is a graceful female figure iu 
lironze, on granite base, repre- 
senting Olio, the muse of history. 
Tlie beautiful lines on the tablet 
were Avritten by Major Moreliead 
wliile President of tlio Guilford 
Battle Ground Co. 

As sinking silently to night 

Noon fades insensibly, 
So truth's fair phase assumes the 
haze 

And hush of history. 
But lesser lights relieve the dark, 

Dumb dreariness of night. 
And o'er the past historians cast 

At least a stellar light. 




Clio 



The tall siiatt of successive blocks of 
granite, with a bronze soldier on top, is 
known as the Colonial Column. Each of 
of its four tablets relate some phase of the 
doings of North Carolinians from 1771 to 
1776. One tablet has, "Battle of Ala- 
mance ' '. The first battle of the Bevolu- 
tionary War was fought in Orange County, 
N. C, May Kith, 1771. One tablet is to 
James liiintcr. leader of the Regulators. 
Another bears a bas-relief of James Hugh 
under the gallows at llillsboro, N. C, when 
he said, ' ' Our blood will be as good seed 
in good ground." The fourth tablet cele- 
brates the first victory of the Americans 
in the l^evolutionary War, Battle of 
Moore's Creek Bridge, February, 177(5. 
This colonial column is 20 feet high up to 
th(^ lirnnze statue, Avliich is 7 feet tall. 




Colouiiil Shaft 



THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOBD COUST HOUSE 




Xext ill line is a black Chero- 
kee marble monument, presented 
to the Battle Ground Company 
by the National Marble Company 
of Cherokee County, bearing this 
inscription : 

1780-1903 

The Battle of King's Mountain, 
fought Oct. 7th, 1780, was "The turn 
in the tide of success that terminated 
the Revolution". "There's nothing 
finer in the romance of war." 



King's Mountain 

Next to this on a high turfed 
mound stands the monument to 
Judge David Sehenek, 1835-1902, 
projector of the reclamation of 
this battlefield, author of ' ' North 
Carolina 1780-81", and first 
President of the Guilford Battle 
Ground Company. The company 
had this monument modeled after 
the one erected to General A. P. 
Hill, in Eichmond, Va. 




David Sehenek 




Neighbor to this stands another granite 
monument, with bronze portrait statue on 
top, in life size, of Major Joseph Motley 
Morehead, second President of the Battle 
Ground Company. This was erected by 
the company, but as a tribute of apprecia- 
tion of his valuable services to the history 
of the State, each Chapter of the Daugh- 
ters of the American Eevolution in North 
Carolina sent in contributions towards its 
erection. 



Joseph Morehead 



THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFORD COVET BOUSE 



IL. 


,iw- 



CmUUvoU Monument 



Xext in line is a dig- 
iiilied grauite stoae to 
Dr. David Caldwell, pio- 
n e e r Presbyterian 

preacher in Guilford 
County and this part of 
North Carolina. His 
influence was great and 
the British croAA'n of- 
fered 100 pounds for 
liis bead. Nevertheless, 
he was on this battle- 
field the next day after 
the battle, relieving the 
wounded and minister- 
ing to the dying. This monument \vas erected by the fieneral 
Assembly of the Southern Presbyterian ('iuucli and the descend- 
ants of Dr. ('alihveli. 



At the intersection of the roads stands 
a small pink shaft upon a bhie-veined l)ase, 
all of marble, marking tiie position of the 
Dehnvare division. Underneath the stone 
lie tiic bones of three soldiers accidentally 
lonnd by Judge Sehenck .Inly 12, ISSS. 
Tiic " U. 8. A." buttons and tlie location 
niaikcil them Delaware men. 





DclMw.irc 

To the side of this is a liea\ y gray 
Liiaiiite monolith, bearing in bronze 
the coat of arms of the State of Mary- 
land, with tablet inscription as fol- 
lows : 

Maryland's tribute to her heroic dead. 
Elected by members of the Maryland His- 
toiical Society in memory of the soldiers 
of the Maryland line. 

17"! — 1892 

Non omuis moriar. 



M.-ii^land .Monument 



THE BATTLE EIELD OF GUILFOBD COVET HOUSE 




The tall white cenotaph to be seen in the 
distance to northeast of this, marks 
Greene 's third line of Eegnlars. 



Last Stand 
Greene's Regulars 

Between thi-s pillar and the spring dale 
is a small white marble stone with the fol- 
lowing inscription : 

Hon. Lieut. Colonel Stuart, of the 2nd Batal- 
lion of the Queen's Guards, was killed at this 
spot by Capt. John Smith, of the First Mary- 
land Regiment. Erected hy the Guilford Battle 
Ground Company in honor of a brave foeman, 
1895. Colonel Stuart's sword was exhumed here 
in 1866. 




Lt. Col. Stuart 
2nd British Guards 




To 

Peter Francisco 
Col. Wm. Washington 
Marquis Bretigny 



Drive along spring dale and on the side 
of the hill beyond the spring is a tall 
monument of granite blocks marking the 
place w'here Peter Francisco, a giant of 
incredible strength, killed eleven of the 
British with his own broad sword, and 
though badly wounded by bayonet, made 
good his escape. This monument was 
erected by Peter Francisco Pescud, a 
native of Ealeigh, N. C, and a grandson 
of this Eevolutionary hero. This monu- 
ment was unveiled July 4th, 1904. On the 
same monument will be found a handsome 
bronze tablet to Colonel William Washing- 
ton and Marquis Bretigny, whose brave 
North Carolina and Virginia cavalry 
charged from this spot the Scotch High- 
landers. 



THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFOBD COUBT HOUSE 



On the crest of tlic liill beyond Iviike 
Wilfonjj is a monument erected by Gov- 
ernor Tliomas M. Holt in 1893. This is 
Nurmounted by a jjortrait statue of Major 
.losepli Winston giving his order to eharge. 
'I'he talilet reads: 

In memory of the North Carolina troops under 
Major Joseph Winston who were fighting the 
Hessian and Tarleton's cavalry near this spot 
after the Continental line had retreated from 
the field of battle, March 15th, 1781. 

( )n tlie side of the stone are inscrilied 
tlu> names: 

Major Joseph Winston 

Captain Jesse Franklin 

Richard Talliaferro 

Palmam qui meruit ferat. 

The j;ra\es of Kx-(iovernor Jesse Frank- 
lin and .Joseph Winston are beside tliis 
monument, the former ha\"ing been removed from Surry County. 
The headstone says: Born 1724, Died 1824. Joseph Winston's 
remains were removed from Forsyth County. The old stand- 
stone headstone, so moss grown it can scarcely be deciphered, 
])ears the dates: Born .Tune, 1740, Died April, 1813. 




Joseph Winston 



Lord Cornwallis liad three horses killed from under him dur- 
ing the battle; tlie first, a large iron grey, killed near the Eoss 
house on southwest portion of grounds. The second, a dra- 
goon 's horse improvised for the occasion, shot near the Battle 
Cround line north of present restaurant; the third, a celebrated 
stallion named "Roundhead", which "^Parleton had stolen from 
the farm of .Tudge Moore in Chatham ('ounty. 

Beyond the liill by the Winston monument lies the old site of 
the Court House. All traces of the town are not yet obliterated. 
One h;indsome oak stands sentinel there, known as Battle Ground 
Oak. Tradition says General Greene tied his horse to it during 
the battle. Slight indentations of the old roads known as 
Adams Street, Greene Street and Battle Street can be seen. 
Andrew .Tackson lived at tliis \illage for awhile and there was 
admitted to the ])ractice of law in the county court. 



Those who desire to study the Battle of Guilford Court 
House should read Schenek's History, "North Carolina 
1780-81", chapters seven and eight, as it is the most compre- 
hensive description e\er attempted. 



1915 

This guide was prepared by Mrs. Charles Van Noppen 

for the Guilford Battle Chapter of Daughters 

of the American Revolution. 



. STONE & CO., 



/ 




LiBRftRY OF CONGRF<:c: 

PiPi 

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