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

    Admiral Rufus Z. Johnston, Medal of Honor, Lincolnton

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Other Wars

    Historic Military Figures

    Spanish-American War, 1898

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The memorial to Admiral Johnston is in the form of a short lectern made from three pieces of granite; a base, the plinth and the lectern top. Three images are incised into the top along with the inscriptions. Left to right are a star, the Medal of Honor with its ribbon and the Naval Cross with ribbon. The Medal of Honor has been colored with the ribbon in blue and the medal in black and gold. The center of the Naval Cross ribbon has been colored white.

    Images: Inscription

  • Inscription


  • Custodian

    Lincoln County

  • Dedication Date

    December 6, 2003

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.471260 , -81.257180 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Rufus Z. Johnston, 7 June 1874 - 4 July 1959," The Historical Marker Database,, (accessed July 25, 2016) Link

      Hickman, Kennedy. “Mexican Revolution: Occupation of Vera Cruz,”, (accessed July 24, 2016) Link

      “Mexican Campaign, (Vera Cruz), Full Text Citations,” The United States Army Medal Of Honor, (accessed July 24, 2016) Link

      “Minutes Lincoln County Board Of Commissioners,” Lincoln County, North Carolina, September 22, 2003

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Sponsors

    American Legion Post 30

  • Subject Notes

    Rufus Johnston graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1895. He saw action in the Spanish American War (1898) at the Battle of Santiago, participated in the Philippine-American War (1899-1902) and the Boxer Rebellion (1900). During the 1914 United States incursion into Mexico, Johnson served as the Executive Officer of the battleship USS New Hampshire (BB 25). He won the Medal of Honor for his actions leading men into action during the final occupation of Vera Cruz. The occupation by United States naval forces during the Mexican Revolution was ordered by President Wilson to intercept a shipment of arms intended for General Victoriano Huerta whose side in the revolution was not supported by the United States. The city was occupied by American forces from April 21, 1914 to November 23, 1914.

  • Location

    The monument is located to the right of the western entrance of the Lincoln County courthouse, Lincolnton, NC, 28092.
    The surrounding courthouse square is dotted with historic monuments, including the Confederate Monument and Lincoln County Veterans Memorial that sit right to the left, and the Lincoln County War Memorial located at the eastern entrance of the courthouse building. A rock with embedded plaque memorializing the 1780 Battle of Ramsour’s Mill is on the North side of the courthouse.

  • Landscape

    The memorial stands on the front lawn, surrounded by shady trees.

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