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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    81st "Wildcat" Division Monument, Raleigh

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    World War I

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • Description

    This small stone monument has a smooth, inscribed face with rough cut top and sides. It is dedicated to the 81st Infantry Division for their service in World War I.

  • Inscription

    IN MEMORY OF THE / 81ST OR WILDCAT / DIVISION / WORLD WAR 1917-18

  • Custodian

    North Carolina State Capitol

  • Dedication Date

    October 10, 1942

  • Decade

    1940s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.779900 , -78.639940 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "81st Division, (sculpture)," Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog, #IAS75006510, (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

      Jones, H. G. "Wildcat Division Memorial Unveiling Anniversary Seen," The Daily Item (Sumter, SC), October 7, 1971, 2A, (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

      Marshall, R. Jackson III. "Wildcat Division," NCPEDIA, (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

      North Carolina State Archives. "81st Division: 'Wildcats'," The Old North State and 'Kaiser Bill' North Carolinians in World War I, (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Stone

  • Sponsors

    Wildcat Veteran's Association

  • Subject Notes

    Although officially organized as the 81st National Army Division, the battalion came to be known as the Wildcat Division and entered the war theater in France toward the end of the war in 1918. With draftees primarily from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, the group took on the name to reflect the fierce fighting and tenacious wild cats of the South and adopted a patch made from the silhouette of the cat as their insignia. They fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918 and were in combat against the Germans in Verdun when fighting ceased on November 11 with the armistice. The Wildcat Division suffered 1,104 casualties during their short time in the war.

  • Location

    The monument is located on South Salisbury Street on the southwest corner of the North Carolina State Capitol grounds. The front of the monument faces the street.

  • Landscape

    The monument sits on the lawn beneath mature shade trees.

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