20 July 2008

A Land of Patriots

Ok, when the battlefiel at Guilford Courthouse battlefield was set aside for preservation, the men behind it envisioned a park that went beyond the battle itself, but was a memorial to all the North Carolina patriots. As such, several monuments and artifacts have nothing to do with the battle. Those that do were covered in the battle post, the rest are covered here. Above is a powderhorn, carried by a soldier in the New York theatre.
Bayonet and canteen carried by John Ward in the war.
Musketballs from the battle of Camden, canonball from the battle of Charlotte, and two Indian weapons

One of two pistols from General William Lee Davidson, killed at Cowan's Ford.

Monument to David Schenck. When Schenck moved to Greensboro, he was surprised to find few people knew about the battle that had happened in their backyard, and that the battlefield was in a sorry state, with no markers. In October 1886, he purchased thirty acres of the battlefield, the first step towards its preservation. In March of the following year, the Guilford Battleground Company was incorporated, and Schenck became the company's president until his death in 1902.
Monument to Joseph Morehead, who became the second President of the Guilford Battle Ground Company on Schenk's death. He was most noted for the successful effort to create the Nathanael Greene monument.
On June 2, 1791, George Washington, first President of the US visited Guilford Courthouse. He had decided to visit each of the states to get a feel for the national spirit, as well as visit significant battlegrounds he had not commanded at. This was his last major stop before returning home.
Monument Row, part of the initial effort to create a "patriotic park" at Guilford. At the front of the row is the "No North No South" monument. Part of the Civil War rememberance spirit around the turn of the century, it commemorates the unity of the Colonies in the Revolution, shown by a Southern commander, Washington, leading forces in the North, and a Northern commander, Greene, leading forces in the South.

After the victory at Cowpens, Greene retreated his entire army northward, pursued by the British. He detached a group of cavalry under Col Williams to defend the rear of the army during the retreat. On February 13, a local farmer named Isaac Wright informed Williams of the British position nearby. Lighthorse Harry Lee was ordered to take Wright and a few others to scout and see if the report was true, but Wright, whose horse was worn from riding to warn them, traded horses with Lee's bugler, James Gillies. Gillies, however, forgot his pistol in his saddle and when Lee's forces intercepted the British, he became separated and was killed.
Monument to Kerenhappuch Turner who rode from her maryland home to nurse her son who had been wounded at Guilford Courthouse. By 1790 she had moved to North carolina to live with her son, James.
James Morehead came to North Carolina sometime prior to 1779 and received a commision in the Tenth North Carolina Regiment. he did not fight at Guilford, but fought at several other battles in the south.
Grave of John Daves who moved to New Bern, North Carolina in 1770, and in 1776 was appointed quartermaster of the Second North carolina Regiment. He was captured at Charleston, but exchanged and fought in the battle of Eutaw Springs in 1781. Following the war he was the collector of the port of New Bern until his death in 1804.
Jethro Sumner was originally from Virginia, but moved to North Carolina after service in the French and Indian War. He was appointed major of the Halifax Minutemen, until placed in command of a Continental unit, the Third North Carolina. This regiment fought at Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth before he was sent south to recruit. He was recruiting when Guilford Courthouse was fought, but rejoined the army to fight at Eutaw Springs.

Nathaniel Macon was elected to the North Carolina Legislature while serving with the local militia. Local tradition has it that Greene had to order Macon to leave the militia and join the Legislature. He later served in the US House of Representatives from 1791-1815, and the US Senate from 1815-1828. He was a staunch defender of State's Rights and rigid political economy. His monument reads:"Nathaniel Macon willed that his memorial consist only of rude stones. Here they are."
The most sought after monument and graves in the park: The signers monument. here are buried two of North Carolina's signers of the Declaration of Independence, William Hooper and John Penn. Hooper was born in Boston, but moved to Wilmington, NC in 1765. He served with governor Tryon's militia who stopped the Regulator movement at Alamance in 1771. From 1774-1777 he was head of North Carolina's delegation to the Continental Congress. Following that he was in the state legislature to the end of the war. Penn moved to NC from Virginia in 1774 and the following year was elected to the Continental Congress. In 1780 he was elected to the North Carolina Board of War and helped supply the state's forces during the war. The third signer from NC was Joseph Hewes, who moved to the state from New Jersey about 1760. He was a member of the NC Committee of Safety, as well as the Continental Congress. In this post, he was responsible for fitting out the first American warships, and as such is considered to be the first civilian head of the US Navy. After his death in 1779, he was buried in Christ Church Cememtery in Philadelphia, but his grave was unmarked, so he was not moved here.

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