Documenting the American South

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

    The Battle Monument, Guilford Courthouse National Battleground [Removed]

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Removed Monuments

    Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    This step pyramid topped with a cannonball was the second monument at the site of the Guilford Courthouse Battleground. It consisted of eight granite blocks on a brick foundation. The largest block was five feet square and the smallest was two feet square. Each block was one foot high. Including the foundation, it stood nine feet tall. It was removed in 1937.

  • Inscription


  • Custodian

    Guilford Battle Ground Company

  • Dedication Date

    May 1888

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.132460 , -79.845410 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Series

    Guilford Courthouse Battleground

  • Supporting Sources

      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)

      Folder 16 in David Schenck Papers, #652, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 6-8, 10-15, 26-28, 91-100 Link

      G. E. Sisson, “Guilford Courthouse Battlefield National Military Park,” (Washington, DC: United States Geological Survey, 1934) 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

      National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. North Carolina National Register of Historic Places. "Inventory Form - Guilford Courthouse National Military Park," (accessed November 6, 2019) Link

      Schenck, David. A Historical Address, Delivered by the Hon. David Schenck, Saturday May 5, 1888, at the Guilford Battle Ground: Subject, the Battle of Guilford Court House, Fought Thursday March 15, 1781, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Battle Ground Co.), (accessed May 10, 2012) Link

      “Celebration of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse,” Greensboro North State (Greensboro, NC), May 10, 1888

      “History Set Right,” The Kernersville News (Kernersville, NC), May 11, 1888

      “The Anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Court House,” Greensboro North State (Greensboro, NC), March 22, 1888

      “The Guilford Battle Ground,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), October 2, 1887

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Monument Cost

    The monument was donated by the State of North Carolina and constructed of stone from a quarry at the state penitentiary. Prison labor was used to operate the quarry.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    “National colors fluttered everywhere, and an air of patriotism was especially noticeable,” as over 10,000 persons waited for the celebrations to begin on May 5, 1887. Rev. J.E. Mann opened the ceremony with a prayer of thankfulness for American liberty. After the national anthem and welcomes, David Schenck, president of the battleground association and historian of the battle was introduced as the orator of the day. His address lasted two and one-half hours but was said to be a “masterly production,” proving that North Carolina troops had not behaved cowardly at the battle as some had long accused. Following Schenck was Governor Alfred Scales who spoke on the patriotism of North Carolinians and how they were now devoted to the Union and gave it undying affection.

    May 5, 1888 was the one-year celebration of the founding of the Guilford Battle Ground Association. The celebration was not specifically to dedicate the memorial although it featured in the ceremony. The events of the day began when the procession of distinguished guests formed at the pyramid and marched to the grand stand about 400 yards away to hear the days orations. The monument appears to have been erected late in 1887 but was certainly in place by March 1888.

  • Nickname

    Cannonball Monument

  • Removed


  • Former Locations

    The monument was placed in the center of the battlefield. The proximity to the train station that brought visitors to the site was the most important factor in the selection of this location. The monument was removed in 1937 and the location of the monument is now overgrown.

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