1 All eighteenth and nineteenth sources spell the name of this engagement as "Guilford Court House". The 1917 Act of Congress that created Guilford Courthouse National Military Park modernized the spelling and "Court House" became "Courthouse". Hereafter the Congressionally mandated spelling will be used. See: Guilford Courthouse National Military Park" Section XIV, National Military Park, National Park-Battlefield Site And National Monument Regulations (Washington, D.C.: War Department, 1931), pp.61-64.
2 The best modern accounts of the battle of Guilford Courthouse are found in Charles E. Hatch, The Battle Of Guilford Courthouse (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1971), and Thomas E. Baker, Another Such Victory (New York: Eastern Acorn Press, 1981). The generally accepted total for British casualties is 532 killed, wounded and missing from a force of 1900 engaged. American losses amounted to 256 of 4400 engaged.
3 The size of the battlefield has never been determined with great accuracy. It is the belief of NPS staff that the park at 220 acres contains about one-quarter of the battlefield. Oral history interview with Donald J. Long, Guilford Courthouse NMP, 6 June 1994. For use of this estimate by park expansion advocates in the 1940s and 1950s see Chapter VI, following.
6 Ronald F. Lee, The Origin and Evolution of the National Military Park Idea (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1973), pp. 4-10; Edward T. Linenthal, Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1991), p. 94.
7 Paul W. Schenck, "David Schenck 1835-1902," in Founders and Builders of Greensboro, ed. Bettie D. Caldwell (Greensboro, N.C.: 1925), pp. 273-285. Although beyond the scope of this study, it is worthy of note that Schenck's middle-aged progressivism stood in contrast to the distinctly conservative cast of his youth. At twenty-six he was the youngest member of North Carolina's Secession Convention, and in the post-war period was one of the organizers of the Ku Klux Klan in Lincoln County. Schenck maintained that he parted company with the Klan when lawless elements seized control of the organization. Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy And Southern Reconstruction (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 197-198; Testimony Taken By The Joint Select Committee To Inquire Into The Condition Of Affairs In The Insurrectionary States: North Carolina (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,1872), pp. 362-415.
8 David Schenck, Memorial Volume of the Guilford Battle Ground Company (Greensboro, N.C., 1893), p. 8; Oliver O. Ingram, The Preservation of the Guilford Battle Ground (unpublished thesis, Wake Forest University, 1972), p.38: David Schenck Journal, 25 May 1886, David Schenck Books, vol. 10, David Schenck Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina (SHC).
9 Schenck, Memorial Volume, p.8; Caldwell, Founders and Builders of Greensboro, pp. 65-69. Caruthers was a Presbyterian minister who came to Greensboro in 1817 to serve two area churches whose congregations included many veterans of the battle of Guilford Courthouse. In addition to soliciting accounts of the Revolutionary War in this area, Caruthers also had the privilege of walking the battlefield with men who had fought there in 1781. Drawn from such sources, Caruthers's 1856 volume is an extremely valuable resource for any student of the battle of Guilford Courthouse. W. Conrad Gass, "Eli Washington Caruthers," in Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, ed. William S. Powell (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979), I: 337-338.
12 Schenck figured his annual income from all sources as approximately $6000 per annum, and put his net worth at $10,000. He and his wife Sallie Wilfong Schenck had nine children, eight of whom (including a married daughter whose "delicate health" made her "not able to keep house") lived at home. The ninth child, son Dodson R. Schenck, attended the Jefferson Medical College. David Schenck Books, vol. 10, March 24, 1883, SHC.
19 The first annual celebration was held on 6 May 1888. When rain blighted the 1890 event, the celebration was moved back to July 4. The July 4 celebrations were major events in the area, "Second only to Christmas in the Red Letter days of the year. . . ." The popularity of these events, and of the park itself, were enhanced by the availability of rail transportation from Greensboro. The Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad completed a line from Greensboro to Madison in 1886. The tracks bisected the battlefield on a north-south line running parallel to modern Old Battleground Road. On celebration days hourly excursion trains ferried passengers to the park. Schenck, Memorial Volume, pp.9-14; Mary Fry Rucker, "History of the Gilford Battle Ground", unpublished paper, 1959) Historical Files, Guilford Courthouse NMP (hereafter GUCO).
20 Long a subject of speculation by students of the battle, the case against the Schenck interpretation is based upon participant accounts that state the third line fighting was visible from the courthouse, and Cornwallis's report to Germain asserting that units on the British right were delayed in making contact with the Continentals "in the cleared ground around the court house." It is buttressed by comparison of contemporary and near-contemporary battle maps with an 1889 map prepared at Schenck's direction. Particularly noteworthy is the disparity between the Schenck and Eli Caruthers maps. It will be recalled that Caruthers had walked the field with local veterans of the battle, and that Schenck had attested to his use of Caruthers in identifying the key points of the battlefield. Baker, Another Such Victory, pp.89-99. "Battle of Guildford fought on the 15 of March 1781", Clinton Map 291, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Caruthers, Revolutionary Incidents, p.108; David Schenck, North Carolina. 1780-'81. Being A History Of The Invasion Of The Carolinas By The British Army Under Lord Cornwallis in 1780-'81. (Raleigh, North Carolina, 1889), p.320.
21 Two such misplaced memorials were the Nathaniel Macon and James Hunter monuments. Macon is best-known as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1801-1807. James Hunter was a leader of the Regulator Movement that was crushed at the battle of Alamance in 1771. The Hunter Monument was removed to the Alamance Battleground State Historic Site in 1962, arousing a firestorm of protest from offended Hunter descendents. Baker, The Monuments of Guilford Courthouse NMP, pp. 6-7, 19-21, 44-46.
22 A list headed "Stockholders Paid" appears in Schenck Books, vol. XV, SHC. With last entry dated 14 January 1892, this list shows 92 stockholders owning 184 shares. The largest stockholder was the Town of Greensboro, having purchased eight shares at the behest of Town Commissioner David Schenck. "Stockholders Meeting, March 15, 1890," Schenck Books, vol. XV, SHC.
23 "Stockholders Meeting, March 15, 1890," Schenck Books, vol. XV, SHC. Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina (Raleigh, N.C.: Josephus Daniels, 1889), p. 512. This annual subsidy was increased to five hundred dollars in 1893, and seven hundred in 1913. Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina (Raleigh, N.C.: Josephus Daniels, 1893), p. 470. Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina (Raleigh, N.C.: Josephus Daniels, 1913), p. 519.
25 Constructed astride New Garden Road, both monuments were judged to be traffic obstructions and were dismantled by the National Park Service in 1936. Glenn Gray, "The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse N.M.P." (unpublished study: 1967), pp. 62-65.
28 Congressional Record. Fifty-eighth Congress, Second Series, 1904 (Washington: GPO, 1904) XXXVIII, 903. Congressional Record, Fifty-ninth Congress First Session, 1905 Washington: GPO, 1905) XL, 115. Congressional Record, Sixtieth Congress, First Session, 1907 (Washington: GPO, 1907) XLVI, 85.
29 There is a local tradition that passage was gained through the intercession of Speaker of the House of Representatives Joseph G. Cannon who was born and spent his early years in Guilford County. Gray, Monuments, pp. 35-44; Roy Parker, Jr., "Joseph Gurney Cannon" in Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I:321.
Last Updated: 10-Feb-2003