Documenting the American South

Doc South header logo Home
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes banner
  • Monument Name

    Jethro Sumner, Guilford Courthouse

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    This monument is a square-shaped stone structure, about 4 feet tall and bearing two inscriptions. One of which was on his gravestone erected by his daughter at his original burial place in Warren County. When the body was moved the second (and longer) inscription was created.

  • Inscription

    South face (original Inscription): To the memory / of General / JETHRO SUMNER / one of the Heroes / of 76.

    East face (added inscription): BRIG. GEN. JETHRO SUMNER / BORN IN THE YEAR 1733 / DIED MARCH 18, 1785 / COLONEL OF THE THIRD NORTH CAROLINA / CONTINENTAL TROOPS / APRIL 15, 1776 / CHARLESTON, JUNE 28, 1776 / BRANDYWINE, SEPT. 11, 1776 / GERMANTOWN, OCT. 4, 1777 / MONMOUTHH, JUNE 28, 1778 / STONO FERRY, JUNE 20, 1779 / EUTAW SPRINGS, SEPT. 8, 1781 / Spotless in character, pure in patriotism / the most eminent soldier among / the North Carolina troops. / Presented by J.H. Neese

  • Custodian

    Guilford Courthouse National Military Battlefield

  • Dedication Date

    July 4th, 1891

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.131840 , -79.846940 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "A Monument to Sumner," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), January 21, 1891 Link

      "Arrangement for the Big Celebration at the Battle Ground," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), June 17, 1903, 1 Link

      "Guilford Battle Ground Affairs," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), June 1, 1903, 1-2 Link

      "Guilford: The Only Revolutionary Battlefield Now a National Park," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 7, 1909, 1-3 Link

      "Inventory Form - Guilford Courthouse National Military Park," National Register of Historic Places, (accessed February 6, 2012) Link

      "Jethro Sumner," Wikipedia, (accessed May 18, 2012) Link

      "Patriots Today Will Gather on Historic Grounds of Battle," Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, NC), July 4, 1912 Link

      "Regulars for Guilford," Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, NC), June 28, 1912, 1 Link

      "The Battle Ground Celebration," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 5, 1905, 6 Link

      "The Battle Ground Company," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), September 1, 1902, 1-2 Link

      "The Fourth at Guilford Battle Ground," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 9, 1902, 1 Link

      "The Glorious Fourth," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 1, 1901, 1 Link

      "Two Big Celebrations," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), June 30, 1903, 1 Link

      A Memorial Volume of the Guilford Battle Ground Company, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Battleground Company, 1893), 1-27, (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      Baker, Thomas E. and Michael H. White. The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Courthouse NMP, 1991)

      Battle, Kemp. Address by Kemp P. Battle, LL.D. on the Life and Services of Brigadier General Jethro Sumner at the Battle Ground of Guilford Court House July 4th 1891, (Greensboro NC: Guilford Battle Ground Company, 1891), (accessed February 6, 2012) Link

      Grimes, J. Bryan. "Why North Carolina Should Erect and Preserve Memorials and Mark Historic Places: Address Before the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Raleigh, N.C., November 4, 1909," ([Raleigh, NC: The News and Observer, 1909]), (accessed May 18, 2012) Link

      Guilford Battle Ground Company. "Invitations and Programs for Fourth of July Celebrations at the Site of the Battle of Guilford Court House," (various, 1888-1906), (accessed May 29, 2012) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Sponsors

    The original sponsor for monument was Sumner's daughter. J.P Neese sponsored the monument after it was moved to Guilford Battleground. The state of North Carolina made an appropriation for moving his body to Guilford from Warren County.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    Kemp P. Battle gave an address at the unveiling.

  • Subject Notes

    Sumner was born in Isle of Wight County in Virginia in 1733. He was a brigadier-general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and fought under George Washington and Nathanael Greene. After the war, he is credited with creating North Carolina's chapter of the Society of the Cincinnati. He died March 18, 1785 in Warren County, North Carolina.

  • Landscape

    Monument is on the Monument Row walking trail, north of the visitor center.

  • Death Space


  • Former Locations

    Warren County until 1891. Fifty dollars was appropriated by the Legislature of North Carolina for moving Sumner's body.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.