John Daves Monument, Guilford Courthouse
The memorial to John Daves is a 6’9” rectangular marble slab surrounded by a concrete frame flush with the ground. An inscription is carved into slab. This slab, when first placed over Daves’ grave, stood on six short Greco-Roman style columns. Sometime between 1922 and 1932 the monument was hit by a vehicle and the marble slab was broken into two pieces. After this incident the pedestals were removed and the broken slabs were placed flush with the ground.
Another, no longer present, an upright marble tablet (inscription below) was placed when the memorial was relocated to Guilford Courthouse. Also present is a Daughters of the American Revolution bronze plaque placed on March 2, 1948.
Slab inscription: HERE ARE DEPOSITED REMAINS / OF MAJOR JOHN DAVES / ONE / OF THE WELL TRIED PATRIOTS OF OUR REVOLUTIONARY / WAR; / WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE OCTOBER 12TH, 1804, / AGED 56 YEARS / EPITAPH BY A FRIEND BENEATH THIS MONUMENTAL STONE REPOS’D / IN SHROUDED GLOOM, THE RELICS OF THE DEAD / AWAIT THE’ ARCHANGEL’S RENOVATING TRUMP, / AND THE DREAD SENTENCE OF THE JUDGE SUPREME. / BUT GOD’S THE JUDGE! IN TRUTH AND JUSTICE ROBED; / IMPARTIAL TO REWARD THE FRIEND SINCERE, / THE VIRTUES OF THE PATRIOT, PARENT, SPOUSE; / AND THESE, O MAJOR! THESE WERE SURELY THINE. / YES, THERE WERE THINE – AND MORE STILL CONJOIN’D / T’ ENDEAR THEE TO THY FAMILY AND FRIENDS, / TO LEAVE A LASTING MEMORY BEHIND, / AND SEAL THY TRANSPORT TO THE REALMS OF BLISS.
Removed marker inscription: JOHN DAVES, CAPTAIN OF THE NORTH CAROLINA CONTINENTAL LINE
BURIED IN NEW BERN, / OCTOBER 1804, / REMOVED TO GUILFORD BATTLE FIELD, / JUNE 1893
DAR Plaque inscription: REVOLUTIONARY / SOLDIER / MAJOR JOHN DAVES / 1775 1883 / GRANDFATHER OF MRS. MARY DAVES NASH / FIRST STATE D.A.R.REGENT OF NORTH CAROLINA
Guilford Courthouse National Military Battlefield
Erected over grave circa 1804. Re-erected at Guilford Courthouse August 22, 1893
36.132080 , -79.846660 View in Geobrowse
A Memorial Volume of the Guilford Battle Ground Company, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Battleground Company, 1893), (accessed November 2, 2017) Link
Baker, Thomas E. and Michael H. White. The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Courthouse NMP, 1991)
Banks, Howard O. "Report of Howard O. Banks to the 'Charlotte Observer' of the Celebration at Guilford Battle Ground, July 4th, 1893," (accessed May 16, 2012) Link
Carraway, Gertrude S.1986. “Daves John,” NCPedia.org, (accessed November 3, 2017) 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
“Another Hero Gathered Home,” The State Chronicle (Raleigh, NC), June 21, 1893
“Four Patriotic Societies Plan State Meetings,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), March 1, 1948
“Greensboro Record,” The Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC), August 25, 1893
Marble and concrete
John Daves was born in Mecklenburg County in 1748 and moved to New Bern around 1770. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War serving in both the Second North Carolina Regiment and was later captured in Charleston in May of 1780. When released he was promoted to captain. After his time in the army, he returned to New Bern, where he served as collector of the port till his death on October 12, 1804. This monument is one of the few that is dedicated to an individual who was not directly involved with the battle that ensued at the location.
The grave is located within Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.
The fenced grave is surrounded by mature trees and bushes.
Major John Daves died in Newbern on October 12th, 1804 and was buried in the Cedar Gove Cemetery in town. In June of 1893, his grandsons Edward Graham and Graham Daves had the body and monument moved to Guilford Battleground.