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

    Robeson County War Dead 1919 Plaque, Lumberton

  • Type

    Plaque

  • Subjects

    World War I

    Removed Monuments

  • Creator

    Dr. James Sprunt, Wilmington, NC, Designer

    H. Pier-Giavina, Wilmington, NC, Painter

  • City

    Lumberton

  • County

    Robeson

  • Description

    The war dead plaque was a painted wooden panel. It featured a cathedral like scene of columns that formed three high arches. Moving left to right the fascia above each arch contained the words: THE CALL, THE ANSWER, and THE EPITAPH. The plaque listed “45 white, 12 Indian and 4 colored.” It had deteriorated over time and was replaced in 1939 with one of bronze. Additional names and spelling corrections were made to the replacement and one name on the 1919 plaque, James McNeil, is not on the replacement.

  • Inscription

    [Left column] THE CALL / THIS IS NOT A DAY OF TRIUMPH; IT IS A DAY OF DEDICATION. / HERE MUSTER NOT THE FORCES OF PARTY, BUT THE FORCES OF / HUMANITY. MEN’S HEARTS WAIT UPON US, MEN’S LIVES HANG / IN THE BALANCE, MEN’S HOPES CALL UPON US TO SAY WHAT / WE WILL DO…… / WHO SHALL LIVE UP TO THE GREAT TRUST? WHO DARES FAIL / TO TRY? I SUMMON ALL HONEST MEN, ALL PATRIOTIC, ALL / FORWARD LOOKING MEN, TO MY SIDE. GOD HELPING ME / I WILL NOT FAIL THEM IF THEY WILL BUT COUNCIL AND SUSTAIN ME. / WOODROW WILSON [Center column] THE ANSWER / WHITE / GEORGE E. GALLOWAY / CHARLES HALL / CARSON CHASON / DONNIE SUTTON / EDGAR LOVETTE / COY BRITT / E. LATHROP AUSTIN / MURDOC MCRAE / ALVA IVEY / BENJAMIN CARTER / MARVIN J. ODUM / ED. J. POPE / GEO. LAWSON / JOHN H. WALKER / SAM MCLAUGHIN / DUNCAN G. SHAW / JOHN A. MCLEAN / ALFRED OLIVER / HERBERT WATSON / JAMES COLLINS / DANIEL MARSH / LONNIE PROCTOR / CASPER STONE / HENRY BARR / EDWIN V. JOHNSON / O.B. O’BRIEN / D.B. PURCELL / EDMUND BRITT / WALTER L. BEASLEY / JAMES MCNEIL / MARTIN L. STUART / LLOYD PITTMAN / G.H. MARSH / GUS NORTON /ATLAS JOHNSON / JAMES E. SMITH / WILLLIAM S. HYATT / ARCHIE GILLESPIE / ELLIS TYNER / RAYMOND EVERS / WILLIS ALLEN LEE / ARCHIE MCLAUGHLIN / E. DAWSON BULLOCK / CLAUDE E. PHILLIPS

    INDIAN / ELLIS HARDIN / CALVIN B. LOWERY / WILLIAM R. OXENDINE / PRESTON LOCKLEAR / HARVEY OXENDINE / WINSLOW LOCKLEAR / ADDINALL H. LOCKEY / GOLDEN OXENDINE / LONNIE HUNT / GARFIELD LOWERY / JAKE EDWARDS / W.R. OXENDINE

    COLORED / ARTHUR ROZIER / ZEDDIE ROBESON / MARSHALL PITTMAN / LACY H. MCCALLUM

    [Right column] THE EPITAPH / DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PALTRIA MORI / THY SONS AND THY DAUGHTERS SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO ANOTHER / PEOPLE, AND THINE EYES SHALL LOOK AND FAIL WITH LONGING / FOR THEM ALL THE DAY LONG. / DEUT. 28:32 / GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. / JOHN 15:13 /

  • Custodian

    Robeson County

  • Dedication Date

    March 12, 1919

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    34.620060 , -79.008230 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Robeson County Court House, Lumberton, N.C." Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill Link

      Folder 1269: Lumberton: Robeson County Courthouse, circa 1940s: Scan 1, in the North Carolina County Photographic Collection #P0001, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Link

      “Memorial Tablet With Names of Robeson’s Dead,”The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), March 13, 1919, 1

      “Seeking New Memorial To War Victims,” The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), July 1, 1938, 1

      “The Call, Answer, Epitaph,” The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), December 20, 1928

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Painted wood

  • Sponsors

    Woman’s Council of National Defense

  • Controversies

    The bronze 1939 plaque was commissioned by the County Commissioners after the 1919 plaque had been removed from the courtroom by the local bar association. That action caused “a storm of protest” and it was returned to its place over the witness stand until its replacement was dedicated.

  • Location

    The plaque was located in the court room of the old Robeson County Courthouse building that has been torn down and rebuilt, first in 1932 and then 1977. All three buildings kept the same location, 500 N. Elm Street in Lumberton, NC.
    The Robeson County Confederate Monument is located in front of the County Courthouse.
    Right behind the courthouse building there is a paved courtyard located at the corner of N. Court Square Street and N. Chestnut Street. It includes the Robeson County War Memorial and plaques to General John Willis, George Washington Tree, Colonel Thomas Robeson, and George G. McPhail, Jr. Also behind the courthouse to the left of the courtyard is an Appalachian Indian Road (Boone Trail Highway) plaque attached to a large arrowhead.

  • Former Locations

    The current courthouse building was opened in 1977. Like its previous two predecessors it is located at the same address, 500 N Elm Street, Lumberton, NC.

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