South Carolina Monument Finding Aide
These documents from the GNMP V17-63 South Carolina Monument Files are related to the NPS approval of the erection of the South Carolina Memorial on the Gettysburg Battlefield. They are presented in chronological order.
1. Memorandum to the Files, Fred Tilberg GNMP Historian, July 24, 1961
The South Carolina Monument delegation were shown possible sites for their monument near the ground that Perrin’s and Kershaw’s Brigades formed their battle lines three hundred yards from the Longstreet Tower. Tilberg writes the committee seemed to prefer this Kershaw position. A question of acquiring the land was mentioned and a site near the Rose Garden Cabins Parcel was also considered.
2. GNMP Superintendent J.B. Myers to Payne Williams, WIS-TV, August 7, 1961
Supt. Myers confirms to the South Carolina Committee that their selected monument site near the Kershaw Brigade marker is part of a parcel of land that the Park estimates the acquisition price is $70,000. It is owned by Melvin Sargeant and he might be willing to sell a small portion near the Kershaw marker.
3. Payne Williams Chairman South Carolina Committee Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Assoc. (Chair. SCCGBPA) to Supt. Myers, January 10, 1963
Mr. Williams states that the “Rose Garden” land tract purchase at $70,00 is “unrealistic” and that the newly acquired Alton James tract is more suitable.” We would now like to proceed with our original plan of placing the South Carolina memorial at a suitable point on the rise of hill where General Kershaw’s Brigade was encamped” before Pickett’s Charge.
4. Supt. Myers to Payne Williams, (Chair. SCCGBPA), January 16, 1963
As it turns out, the James property was not inspected by the South Carolina committee and would not be a suitable location for the memorial. Supt. Myers suggests a site near the observation tower near Kershaw’s campsite of July 2, 1863.
5. Payne Williams, (Chair. SCCGBPA) to Supt. Myers, February 11, 1963
Mr. Williams accepts Mr. Myers’ suggested site of January 16th and mentions Mr. J.B. Hill will construct the memorial and it will be supervised by Harry V. Connolly of Bruns Monumental Company. Mr. Williams also requests information about the exact size available for the monument and information useful for the planning of the dedication ceremonies.
6. Supt. James B. Myers to Payne Williams, (Chair. SCCGBPA), February 15, 1963
Supt. Myers mentions the site selected is currently under snow and has a slope of 3% and recommends a distance of ten to twenty feet from the avenue. Myers suggests Mr. Williams contact Louis Simon of the Gettysburg 100th Anniversary Committee for scheduling and that arrangements are to be made with Simon’s office concerning a speaker’s platform, chairs, etc.
7. Memorandum to Files, Asst. Supt. Sollenberger, February 15, 1963
Mr. Sollenberger lists the members of the South Carolina Committee Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association and mentions the Park has been corresponding with the Chairman Mr. Payne Williams.
8. Memorandum to File, GNMP Asst. Supt. Sollenberger, February 20, 1963
Mr. Sollenberger writes Mr. Simon has received a letter from Representative May and the committee has approval for the South Carolina dedication at 10:30am on July 2, 1963.
9. Asst. Supt. Sollenberger to Louis Simon, Exec. Sec., Commission for the Observance of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg & Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, (100th Anniversary Committee) February 26, 1963
This letter to Mr. Simon confirms the details of the South Carolina Dedication plans for 10:30am on July 2, 1963. Sollenberger also includes a copy of Mr. Williams’ letter dated February 15, 1963.
10. Asst. Supt. Sollenberger to Harry Connolly, Bruns Monumental Company, March 4, 1963
Sollenberger has received the blueprints for the South Carolina monument and reminds Mr. Connolly that the “design and lettering must be approved by the Director.” When Mr. Sollenberger receives the lettering detail, he will send it together with the blueprints for approval.
11. Memorandum to File, Asst. Supt. Sollenberger, March 7, 1963
Mr. Connolly requests that the design of the SC monument be sent for approval “so that he can start work on the memorial.” “Lettering will be sent in about three weeks.”
12. GNMP Supt. Kitteridge A. Wing to Regional Director, NE Region, March 11, 1963
Supt. Wing sends prints of the proposed South Carolina Memorial and requests that the “approval is recommended.” He also provides the Director with details of the site selected and that he has been informed that the memorial inscription “will be sent to us for approval in about four weeks.”
13. Chief EODC Robert G. Hall to Regional Director, NE Region, March 22, 1963
Mr. Hall suggests that the South Carolina Commission “prepare a site development plan, including proposed grading, parking and access, for our review and concurrence.” This is necessary because that site “offers certain topographic difficulties…and is a matter of concern.”
14. Acting Regional Director, NE Region, George A. Palmer to Director, NE Region, March 26, 1963
Mr. Palmer lays out an action plan to address “problems” with the proposed South Carolina Memorial, “discussion” and recommendations by the Park and EODC. “Implementation” necessary for the monument stone to be completed for the schedules’ July 1 dedication and a “recommendation” of approval of the memorial “at your earliest convenience.”
15. Supt. Wing to Payne Williams, Memorial Committee, March 28, 1963
Supt. Wing alerts Mr. Williams the Washington Office of the NPS has received the South Carolina memorial proposal and approval of the design “should be forthcoming very shortly.” The Memorial’s text remains to be approved and has not yet been received.
16. Louis Simon, (100th Anniversary Committee) to SC Representative John A. May, March 29, 1963
Mr. Simon has scheduled a meeting with Rep. John May, Chairman, South Carolina Confederate War Centennial Commission for April 19 and 20. Details of lodging for Governor Russell as well as “the entire South Carolina delegation” have also been made. A photo of proposed monument inscription has been received.
17. Payne Williams, (Chair. SCCGBPA) to Supt. Wing, April 3, 1963
Mr. Williams has enclosed the “text for the center section for the front of the South Carolina Memorial.” This includes members of the “South Carolina Confederate War Centennial Commission” and “Gettysburg Memorial Committee”. Mr. Williams is hoping for Superintendent Wing’s approval as soon as possible.
18. Supt. Wing to Regional Director, NE Region, April 5, 1963
Supt. Wing forwards the proposed South Carolina inscriptions to the Regional Director for approval. He also notes he knows of “no regulations or policy” that “prohibits” the appearance of the names.
19. SC Senator Olin D. Johnston to Secretary of the Interior - April 5,1963
Senator Johnston writes the Interior Department in hopes that they could expedite the approval of the South Carolina monument inscription.
20. Chief Landscape Architect EODC, Eugene DeSilets to Regional Director, NE Region, April 9, 1963
The NPS Chief Landscape architect forwarded photos of the South Carolina memorial signed by the Acting Chief EODC Reese Smith to the NPS Regional Director. DeSilets details the discussions regarding the site plan and has recommendations including the omission of a walkway from the road to the monument.
21. Regional Director, Ronald F. Lee to Director NE Region, April 11, 1963
Mr. Lee encloses the much-anticipated inscription text. However, the inclusion of the two South Carolina organizations “may very well run into strong opposition” and perhaps these organizations could be listed in the dedication program instead. “We are convinced that to carve their names on the monument memorializing the troops of this state would detract from its effectiveness and contribute little to its meaning.”
22. Plan Review and Check Sheet GNMP, April 11, 1963
The NPS Plan Review and Check Sheet submitted for the South Carolina Monument.
23. Supt. Wing to Regional Director, NE Region, April 11, 1963
Supt. Wing, after discussions with Engineer Couch, formally has “no comment of consequence” on the subject memorial plan and concurs with it’s “siting” and other details.
24. Acting Chief, Master Plan Coordination, Edward S. Peetz to Regional Director, NE Region, April 12, 1963
The drawings for the South Carolina Memorial were approved by Assistant Director Stratton on April 9. Mr. Peetz also states the words “Confederate War Centennial” should not be changed to “Civil War Centennial.”
25. Supt. Wing to Regional Director, NE Region, April 15, 1963
Supt. Wing indicates the South Carolina plan NMP-GET 3048 “has my recommendation without change.”
26. Sec. of the Interior, John Carver to Senator Olin Johnston, April 18, 1963
Senator Johnston has been notified by the Interior Department that the “drawing and legend “for the South Carolina Memorial has been approved.” This letter was forwarded to the GNMP Superintendent on April 22.
27. Payne Williams (Chair. SCCGBPA) telegram to Supt. Wing, April 22, 1963
Mr. Williams notifies Supt. Wing the Interior Department has approved the South Carolina memorial design and legend. The letter also includes a handwritten note of a telephone reply from Supt. Wing stating, “approval of South Carolina memorial rests with Director National Park Service and not with this office.”
28. Supt. Wing to Regional Director, NE Region, June 24, 1963
Supt. Wing briefs the Regional Director on the construction completion of the South Carolina and Florida memorials as of the week of June 16-22. And he provides the dates and times of the planned dedications.
34. SC Final Monument inscriptions, July 5, 1963
This is a final copy of the South Carolina Inscription.
35. Harry Connolly, Bruns Monumental Company to Supt. Wing, July 13, 1963
Mr. Connolly contacts Supt. Wing following the South Carolina Dedication regarding the approximate cost of the South Carolina Monument. Mr. Connolly was disappointed Supt. Wing could not attend the dedication.
Last updated: March 22, 2022