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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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Source: Cavalry Monument

  • Monument Name

    Cavalry Monument, Guilford Courthouse

  • Type

    Obelisk

  • Subjects

    Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

  • City

    Greensboro

  • County

    Guilford

  • Description

    The Calvary Monument is a large granite obelisk resting on a granite base, measuring 22’4’’ in height and 4'10" in width at the base of the monument. It holds two trapezoid shaped bronze tablets. The shaft was first erected and dedicated to Col. William Washington and Marquis Bretigny in 1907. The work was considered unsatisfactory and additional dressed stones were added. This work was completed in 1909 when the tablet for Washington and Bretigny was placed. The tablet to Peter Francisco was added in 1910 when a dedication/re-dedication took place.

  • Inscription

    North Side: 1781 1909 / TO THE MARQUIS OF BRETIGNY / AND COL. WM. WASHINGTON / WHO WITH THEIR NORTH CAROLINA AND / VIRGINIA CAVALRY CHARGED AND RAN / THROUGH AND OVER THE 2ND. QUEENS / GUARDS IN THE VALLEY BELOW.

    West Side: TO PETER FRANCISCO / A GIANT IN STATURE, / MIGHT AND COURAGE - WHO SLEW / IN THIS ENGAGEMENT ELEVEN OF THE / ENEMY WITH HIS OWN BROAD SWORD / RENDERING HIMSELF THEREBY PERHAPS THE MOST / FAMOUS PRIVATE SOLDIER OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.

  • Custodian

    Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

  • Dedication Date

    July 4, 1907: Shaft dedicated to Col. William Washington and Marquis Bretigny. July 4, 1910: Tablet to Peter Francisco dedicated

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.133190 , -79.839480 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      “Peter Francisco/Marquis of Bretigny and Col. Wm. Washington,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed April 9, 2018) Link

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

      Dixon, Benjamin Franklin. Peter Francisco: An Address by Hon. B. F. Dixon Delivered at the Unveiling of a Tablet to His Memory at Guilford Battle Ground, July 4th, 19010 , (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Battle Ground Company, 1910), (accessed May 29, 2012) Link

      Folder 63c in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 32-54 Link

      Folder 83b in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scan 11 Link

      Van Noppen, Addie. The Battle Field of Guilford Court House, (Greensboro, NC: Jos. J. Stone & Company, 1927), (accessed February 6, 2012) Link

      “Battle Ground Celebration,” The Greensboro Patriot (Greensboro, NC), June 17, 1896

      “Commemorative Celebration,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), July 4, 1907

      “Guilford Battle Ground Chat,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), June 9, 1909

      “New Monuments at the Battle Ground,” The Greensboro Patriot (Greensboro, NC), June 10, 1908

      “Old Glory Unfurled,” The Greensboro Patriot (Greensboro, NC), July 10, 1907

      “Patriotism in Evidence,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), July 5, 1907

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Granite with bronze tablets.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    1907 Dedication: The day’s events began with a procession led by the Jamestown Band and Gate City Guards. The featured orators were U.S. Senator Lee S. Overman and Prof. J.M. Weatherly of Ramseur who gave a speech titled “Our Great Country, Our Noble Dead, and Our Noble Women.” After the speeches Major Joseph Morehead, President of the Battle Field Corporation, pulled the cord on the red, white and blue bunting to unveil the 20+ foot high monument. After the unveiling several other speeches and presentations occurred that included the dedication of two wells and a flagstaff. The ceremonies for the day also included laying of wreaths at the graves of Jesse Franklin and Joseph Winston.

    1910 dedication: Major B.F. Dixon, state auditor, was orator for the day, speaking on the life and career of Peter Francisco. After the speech the crowd moved to the Calvary Monument where the tablet to Francisco had been draped with an American flag. Descendants of Francisco performed the unveiling.

  • Nickname

    Peter Francisco Monument

  • Subject Notes

    Peter Francisco was born in 1760; he was an American patriot and soldier in the American Revolutionary War. At the age of 16, he joined the 10th Virginia Regiment and was known for his size and strength. Though the inscription claims he killed eleven of the enemy, according to Francisco's account of the battle he only killed four.

  • Controversies

    The monument was supposed to mark where the third line of American troops were. However park historians now believe the third line was actually farther to the east.

  • Location

    The memorial is located within Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, at auto tour stop 5.

  • Landscape

    The monument stands beside a foot trail in the park, surrounded by mature trees of the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

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