Bas-relief, or low-relief, sculpture flanks each of the tablets. On the north and south sides of the obelisk are sculptures of two seated women in profile wearing flowing Greco-Roman dress. The figure on the right grasps a sword and a laurel wreath, symbols of martyrdom and victory. On the left, the female figure holds a palm frond, a symbol of peace, in her right hand while her left rests on her shoulder, exposing her breast. The east and west sides of the monument portray sprigs of pine, representing immortality.
Images: Contemporary view | Historic postcard image | Historic postcard image
AMERICAN FORCES / WHERE ORGANIZED COMMANDER / WASHINGTON COUNTY, V.A. COLONEL WILLIAM CAMPBELL / WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.C. (NOW TENN.) COLONEL JOHN SEVIER / SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.C. (NOW TENN) COLONEL ISAAC SHELBY / NINETY SIX DISTRICT, S.C. / AND ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. / COLONEL JAMES WILLIAMS / WILKES AND SURREY COUNTIES, N.C. / COLONEL BENJAMIN CLEVELAND / MAJOR JOSEPH WINSTON / LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. / LT. COL. FREDERICK HAMBRIGHT / MAJOR WILLIAM CHRONICLE / BURKE AND RUTHERFORD COUNTIES, N.C. / MAJOR JOSEPH MCDOWELL / YORK AND CHESTER COUNTIES, S.C. (THEN PART OF CAMDEN DISTRICT) / COLONEL EDWARD LACEY / COLONEL WILLIAM HILL / GEORGIA / MAJOR WILLIAM CANDLER / RESERVES / COLONEL JAMES JOHNSTON / NOTE: COLONEL CHARLES MCDOWELL THE REGULAR COMMANDER OF THE BURKE AND / RUTHERFORD COUNTY REGIMENT WAS ABSENT FROM THE BATTLE ON A SPECIAL / MISSION TO GENERAL GATES / BRITISH FORCES / COMMANDERS / MAJOR PATRICK FERGUSON (K) CAPTAIN ABRAHAM DE PEYSTER
TO COMMEMORATE THE VICTORY / OF / KING'S MOUNTAIN / OCTOBER 7, 1780 / ERECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT / OF THE / UNITED STATES / TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF WHICH / THE HEROISM AND PATRIOTISM OF / THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS / BATTLE SO LARGELY CONTRIBUTED
KILLLED / COL. JAMES WILLIAMS 2ND LT. NATHANIEL DRYDEN PRIVATE HENRY HENIGAR / LT. COL. JAMES STEEN " ANDREW EDMONSON " MICHAEL MAHONEY / MAJ. WILLIAM CHRONICLE " NATHANIEL GIST " ARTHUR PATTERSON / CAPT. WILLIAM EDMONSON " HUMBERSON LYON " WILLIAM RUFF / " JOHN MATTOCKS " JAMES PHILLIPS " JOHN SMART / 1ST LT. WILLIAM BLACKBURN PRIVATE THOMAS BICKNELL " DANIEL SISKE / " REECE BOWEN " JOHN BOYD " WILLIAM STEELE / " ROBERT EDMONSON, SR. " JOHN BROWN " WILLIAM WATSON / 2ND LT. JOHN BEATTLE " DAVID DUFF " UNKNOWN / " JAMES CORREY " PRESTON GOFORTH / MORTALLY WOUNDED / CAPT. JOHN SEVIER 1ST LT. THOMAS MCCULLOUGH 2ND LT. JAMES LAIRD / PRIVATE MOSS HENRY / WOUNDED / LT. COL. FREDERICK HAMBRIGHT 1ST LT. ROBERT EDMONSON, JR. PRIVATE WILLIAM GILMER / MAJ. MICHAEL LEWIS " J.M. SMITH " ISRAEL HAYTER / " JAMES PORTER PRIVATE BENONI BANNING " ROBERT HENRY / CAPT. JAMES DYSART " WILLIAM BRADLEY " LEONARD HYCE / " SAMUEL ESPY " WILLIAM BULLEN "CHARLES KILGORE / " WILLIAM LENOIR " JOHN CHILDERS " ROBERT MILLER / " JOEL LEWIS " JOHN CHITTIM " WILLIAM MOORE / " MOSES SHELEY " WILLIAM COX " PATRICK MURPHY / " MINOR SMITH " JOHN FAGAN " WILLIAM ROBERTSON / 1ST LT. ROBERT EDMONSON, JR. " FREDERICK FISHER " JOHN SKEGGS / "CHARLES GORDON " WILLIAM GILES / " SAMUEL JOHNSON " ---- GILLELAND / 24 UNKNOWN
ON THIS FIELD THE PATRIOT FORCES / ATTACKED AND TOTALLY DEFEATED / AN EQUAL FORCE OF TORIES AND / BRITISH REGULAR TROOPS. / THE BRITISH COMMANDER MAJOR / PATRICK FERGUSON WAS KILLED / AND HIS ENTIRE FORCE CAP- / TURED AFTER SUFFERING HEAVY / LOSS. THIS BRILLANT VICTORY / MARKED THE TURNING POINT OF / THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
McKim, Mead, and White, Architect
The following morning, Friday, October 8, 1909, at 9 a.m. the combined North and South Carolina National Guard recreated the battle under the command of General J. C. Boyd Adjutant General of South Carolina. The North Carolina troops were from Dallas under the command of Colonel J. T. Gardner of the First Battle Field Artillery National Guard of North Carolina, with additional assistance from Captain Robertson and Captain A. L. Ballwinkle. Colonel W. W. Lewis commanded the South Carolina provisional regiment which consisted of First and Second Infantry National Guard companies from Greenville, Cornwell, Rock Hill, Columbia, Camden, Fort Mill, and Spartanburg.
In September 1907, it had been decided that the monument would take the shape of an obelisk. Two years earlier, McKim, Mead, and White had designed the Saint Mary's Falls Canal 50th Anniversary Memorial Obelisk in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, a smaller-scaled obelisk that likely served as the architectural inspiration for the U.S. Monument. The decision to erect an obelisk at Kings Mountain reflects the cultural fascination with Ancient Egypt during the nineteenth century. Since its origins in Ancient Egypt, the obelisk has been seen as a symbol of reverence, dominance, and patriarchy.
11 July 2014 | Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina