James Gillis Monument, Guilford Courthouse
A bas-relief of Gillies riding a horse and blowing his bugle is located above the inscription on this diamond-shaped stone monument.
Images (courtesy of Natasha Smith): Bronze plaque | View of memorials
GILLIES / LIGHTHORSE HARRY LEE’S BUGLER-BOY / DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI”* / ERECTED BY THE LITERARY / SOCIETIES AND ALUMNI OF / OAK RIDGE INSTITUTE MAY 6TH 1898 TO THE / MEMORY OF THE GALLANT FILLIES WHO / FELL UNDER THE SWORDS OF TARLETON’S / DRAGOONS NEAR OAK RIDGE, N.C. / FEB. 13TH 1781, A NOBLE / SACRIFICE / TO HIS OWN / GENEROSITY AND FOR / HIS COUNTRY’S / FREEDOM. / *”SWEET AND FITTING IT IS TO DIE FOR ONE’S COUNTRY."
Guilford Battleground Company
May 6, 1898
36.131890 , -79.846320 View in Geobrowse
"Gillies Monument: Unveiling of Cenotaph to Bugler Boy," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 8, 1898 Link
Baker, Thomas E. and Michael H. White. The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Courthouse NMP, 1991)
Baker, Thomas E. and Michael H. White. The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, 1991)
Folder 20 in David Schenck Papers, #652, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scan 28 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
“Gillies, 'Light Horse Harry Lee’s bugler-boy'” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed February 2, 2018) Link
“Second Day Session,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), June 13, 1901
“The Monument to Gillies,” Greensboro Telegram (Greensboro, NC), May 6, 1898
Athenian and Philomathean Societies of Oak Ridge Institute
“The High Point Band, in full uniform, discoursed inspiring airs... and patriotism was at full tide,” amongst the large crowd present for the dedication. Professor M. H. Holt was master of ceremonies. The monument was presented by R.T. Barnhill of the Philomathean Society of Oak Ridge Institute and accepted on behalf of the Battle Ground Company by Z.V. Taylor. An original poem, “The Bugler Boy,” by Mrs. E.D. Hundley of Greensboro, was also presented. The unveiling was performed by four young women from area colleges.
Bugle Boy Monument or Light Horse Harry Lee's Bugler-Boy Monument
Gillis was a young soldier serving for ‘Light-horse Harry’ Lee’s cavalry. He was killed in Guilford County by Tarleton’s dragoons during a retreat prior to the battle of Guilford Courthouse on February 12, 1781. The death of Lee’s bugler boy became one of the best known stories of the American Revolution in Guildford County. Another memorial to Gillis has been placed in Summerfield, NC and another at the actual site of his death.
The monument is located within Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. It faces north. The monument stands in a row of memorials that include No North-No South, Kerrenhappuch Turner, and James Morehead monuments.
The memorial is surrounded by mature trees of the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.