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Battle f ieia of Quilfora
Univ. of North Carolina
SEP 8 7 lass
THE..BATTLE. FILLD OF GUILFORD
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
"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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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
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,
^Nla.ior John Daves
'I'o our rii;ht is a granite tent
bearing a bronze tablet wJiidi
Capt. James Morehead,
of the 10th Regiment,
North Carolina Continental line.
Battle of Stono, June 20, 1779
Elizabethtown, July, 1781
Born 1759 Died 1815
<'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.
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
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.
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
'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
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
' '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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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
THE BATTLE FIELD OF GUILFORD COVET BOUSE
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.
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-
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.
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.
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
Lt. Col. Stuart
2nd British Guards
Col. Wm. Washington
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-
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
Major Joseph Winston
Captain Jesse Franklin
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.
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.
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:
w 011 712 457 5