Documenting the American South

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

    81st "Wildcat" Division Monument, Raleigh

  • Type


  • Subjects

    World War I

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    This small stone monument has a smooth, inscribed face with rough cut top and sides. It is dedicated to the 81st Infantry Division for their service in World War I.

  • Inscription


  • Custodian

    North Carolina State Capitol

  • Dedication Date

    October 5, 1941

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.779900 , -78.639940 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "81st Division - Raleigh, NC,", (accessed November 23, 2021) Link

      "81st Division, (sculpture)," Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS,, #IAS75006510, (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

      Jones, H. G. "Wildcat Division Memorial Unveiling Anniversary Seen," The Daily Item (Sumter, SC), October 7, 1971, 2A, (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

      Marshall, R. Jackson III. "Wildcat Division,", (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

      “Daniels Tells Wildcats Statesmen Caused War,” The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 6, 1941

      “Marker on Capital Square Dedicated to Wildcats,” The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 6, 1941

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Sponsors

    Wildcat Veteran's Association

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The dedication was held during the three day 81st Division national reunion held in Raleigh, NC. Estimated reunion attendance was 2,500 veterans. Judge Hubert E. Olive of Lexington was the principal dedication speaker.

  • Subject Notes

    Although officially organized as the 81st National Army Division, the battalion came to be known as the Wildcat Division and entered the war theater in France toward the end of the war in 1918. With draftees primarily from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, the group took on the name to reflect the fierce fighting and tenacious wild cats of the South and adopted a patch made from the silhouette of the cat as their insignia. They fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918 and were in combat against the Germans in Verdun when fighting ceased on November 11 with the armistice. The Wildcat Division suffered 1,104 casualties during their short time in the war.

  • Location

    The monument is located on South Salisbury Street on the southwest corner of the North Carolina State Capitol grounds in Raleigh, NC. The front of the monument faces the street.

  • Landscape

    The memorial stands on the lawn beneath mature shade trees.

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