US Monument; Kings Mountain; South Carolina
Posted by: PersonsMD
N 35° 08.554 W 081° 22.838
17S E 465326 N 3888919
Quick Description: Obelisk to honor the Patriots who fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain in the American Revolution.
Location: South Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 12/29/2008 2:10:24 AM
Waymark Code: WM5EQ2
Kings Mountain, SC., United States Monument erected in 1909
The following comes from the application to place the Kings Mountain Battlefield on the National Register or Historic Places dated March 17, 1976.
"The United States Monument at Kings Mountain National Military Park was authorized by Congressional Act (34 Statutes at Large 286) on June 16, 1906, to honor the men who fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The project was directed by Brig. Gen. A.N. MacKenzie, Cehif of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C., and managed in the field by Capt. E.R. Stuart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston, South Carolina.
The New York firm of McKim, Mead & White was selected to design the monument. Founded in 1874 by Charles Follen McKim and William Rutherford Mead, who were later joined by Stanford White, this highly respected and influential firm was among America’s most prolific, receiving nearly 1,000 commissions before 1910. For many years, their office was the largest in the world. It employed as many as 100 people and functioned as an atelier where many leading twentieth-century architects began their careers.
In September 1907, it was decided that the design of the Kings Mountain monument should be of the “obelisk type.” Richardson, representing MCkim, Mead & White, traveled to Kings Mountain for a consultation in November. The firm submitted preliminary plans on January 14, 1908. They were approved under the authority of the Secretary of War the following day.
The War Department accepted sealed proposals for furnishing the materials and constructing the “Monument to Commemorate the Battle of Kings Mountain” from March 23 to April 23, 1908. The monument was to be completed by October 7, 1908, the 128th anniversary of the battle. The Southern Marble and Granite Company constructed the monument at a cost of $25,000, with the architects receiving as their fee six percent of its total cost. The obelisk was completed on June 12, 1909; however the bronze tablets were not installed until January 19, 1910.
The United States Monument is located at the northeastern end of Battleground Ridge where American Loyalists, led by Maj. Patrick Ferguson, surrendered to a victorious American Patriot force. The monument is an eighty-three-foot tall, hollow-brick obelisk faced with Mt. Airy white granite. The granite is laid in alternating narrow and wide courses and set off with dark mortar. The base is composed of two marble steps and measures sixteen feet on each side. A bronze tablet adorns each side of the monument, four courses above the base. These tablets dedicate the monument to the Patriot victory at Kings Mountain and to the patriotism of those who participated in the battle; explain the tactics and significance of the battle; list the American and British commanders; and list Americans killed at the battle. The dedication and explanatory tablets on the south and north sides are flanked by a low relief frieze that depicts two sitting female figures. The figure on the left grasps a palm frond, and the other holds a sword and laurel wreath, the traditional symbols of martyrdom and victory. The tablets on the east and west sides are flanked by a low relief frieze that depicts sprigs of pine. At the time of its completion, the monument was surrounded by a high iron fence that was specified in a McKim, Mead & White drawing. This fence was removed between 1936 and 1941.
The United States Monument is important for its association with a nationally renowned architectural firm, McKim, Mead & White, and the careful attention to the proportions, traditional form, materials, and the restrained use of ornament that give the monument strength and grandeur, characteristics mot found in the typical over-decorated monuments of the period. The design is based on McKim’s Saint Marys Falls Canal Memorial Obelisk and may have been completed as early as 1907. Because of McKim’s failing health and the constraints placed on his time, it is likely that William Symmes Richardson had a significant role in the design or was simply handed the project altogether. Following McKim’s death in 1909, Richardson probably saw the monument through to completion."
Date Created/Placed: October 7, 1908
1277 Park Road Blacksburg, South Carolina 29702
Website: [Web Link]
Give a narrative of your experience. What did you think of the obelisk? Did you learn anything? Photos are always welcome too. Please no virtual visits.