James Rogers McConnell Memorial, Carthage
The monument consists of a 50 foot tall granite obelisk representing the Washington Monument in miniature. Bronze plaques are attached to the front and rear. The inscription on the front plaque honors McConnell's service with the French Army in World War I. To the left of the obelisk, mounted on stone is one of two Civil War era cannons donated by an act of Congress to compliment the obelisk. The second cannon was removed at some point after 2010.
Images: Inscription on a Civil War era cannon
Front plaque: IN HONOR OF / JAMES ROGERS MCCONNELL / 1887-1917
Front, obelisk: JAMES ROGERS MCCONNELL / A CITIZEN OF CARTHAGE / JOINED THE FRENCH ARMY / EARLY IN 1915 AND AFTER / TWO YEARS OF DISTINGUISHED / SERVICE FELL IN HEROIC / BATTLE WITH GERMAN / AEROPLANES ON MARCH 19, 1917. / HE FOUGHT FOR HUMANITY, LIBERTY / AND DEMOCRACY, LIGHTED THE WAY / FOR HIS COUNTRYMEN AND SHOWED / ALL MEN HOW TO DARE NOBLY / AND TO DIE GLORIOUSLY. / A FOUNDER OF THE LAFAYETTE ESCADRILLE
Rear, plaque: HE FOUGHT WITH ARDOUR, FOR HE / FOUGHT UNSTAINED, HE DIED WITH / GLORY, FOR HE DIED FOR TRUTH, / HE GAVE, UNRECKONING THE GAIN / OR LOSS, HIS HOPES, HIS DREAMS, / HIS PROMISE AND HIS YOUTH.
Cannon inscription: DONATED TO THE / STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA / BY ACT OF CONGRESS / APPROVED OCTOBER 6, 1917. / TO BE PLACED AT FOOT OF / JAMES ROGERS MCCONNELL / MONUMENT / CARTHAGE, N.C.
Town of Carthage
April 1, 1917
35.345850 , -79.416900 View in Geobrowse
"Flyboy: WWI-Era Aviator McConnell Honored in Carthage," The Pilot (Southern Pines, N.C.), May 24, 2009 (accessed January 9, 2014) Link
"James Rogers McConnell Memorial," Waymarking.com, (accessed August 29, 2012) Link
"James Rogers McConnell: Monuments and Memorials," University of Virginia Library, (accessed August 30, 2012) Link
"Memorial Exercises to Memory of Sergt. James R. McConnell." Moore County News (Cathage, NC), April 5, 1917, (accessed October 27, 2012 from the University of Virginia Library) Link
"The Washington Monument,” The Pinehurst Outlook (Pinehurst, NC), January 18, 1917
Lemmon, Sarah McCulloh. "James R. McConnell (James Rogers), 1887-1917," Documenting the American South (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography edited by William S. Powell), (accessed January 4, 2013) Link
The memorial to McConnell was said to be a "big event for the courthouse." The ceremony was held on Sunday afternoon April 1, 1917. More than 1,000 people came to show their respect for McConnell, and U.S. Spence, the mayor of Carthage at the time, presided over the ceremony. The Sandhills Quartet performed "Sleep on Brave Heart Forever", and eulogies were given by Mayor Spence, Governor Bickett, Governor Frank Lowden of Illinois, and French Ambassador M. Jusseraud. Letters from around the country were read. A comrade told the story of waiting for and finally hearing the news of his friend McConnell's death. A memorial was held in Paris, France on April 2, 1917, the following day.
Jacques MacConnell (James McConnell) was a citizen of Carthage, N.C. He was a pilot for the American Military who enlisted in the French Army in 1915 and flew in the Lafayette Escadrille. On March 19, 1917 he was killed over France during an air battle with German fighter planes. Today he is celebrated annually in Carthage on Memorial Day. He is also honored in Carthage by the Jacques McConnell Memorial.
The monument sits in front of the historic Moore County Courthouse in Courthouse Square between the sidewalk and the traffic circle. It is located on the McReynolds Street side of the square.
The monument sits on the lawn in front of the courthouse, surrounded by trees and shrubbery.