Restricted South Carolina Monument On the Chickamauga Battlefield

Jan 28, 2021
South Carolina Monument

On the Chickamauga Battlefield

In 1893, the General Assembly of South Carolina appointed a committee to locate the position of troops from the state that fought in the September 19-20, 1863, battle of Chickamauga, located in northwest Georgia. In 1894, a commission was established to select a suitable site for a monument to all South Carolina soldiers that participated in this battle. After the location was determined, in 1900 the legislature appropriated $10,000 for the creation of a monument and on May 27, 1901 it was dedicated. Governor Miles B McSweeney gave the keynote address. He was a former newspaper publisher from Hampton, South Carolina and he remarked that day, “It is, my countrymen, to such men as those who bared their breasts on many a battlefield to the belching fire and lead of the enemy that we come to dedicate this monument. It is a privilege which we enjoy to have such a heritage as they have left us.”

The monument was originally capped with a bronze, thirteen-foot high palmetto tree, emblematic of South Carolina. The tree leaves could not withstand storms and the tree was taken down for repair in 1903. It was replaced but the leaves were still structurally weak and in 1905, the tree was removed and replaced with an obelisk.

(Front bottom left of each figure:smile: AMES FOUNDRIES/CHICOPEE, MASS. (Front (east) of base:smile: SOUTH CAROLINA/TO HER FAITHFUL SONS AT CHICKAMAUGA/SOUTH CAROLINA/ERECTS THIS MONUMENT TO COMMEMORATE/THE VALOR THEY PROVED, AND THE LIVES THEY GAVE/ON THIS GREAT BATTLEFIELD (Cornerstone on left side of base:smile: ERECTED/1901 (Back of base: list of brigades and batteries engaged, and the numbers of casualties of each).

Between the soldiers on one side of the obelisk is a circular State of South Carolina seal.

The tall monument sits upon a commanding hill in the north Dyer Field. It was General Joseph B Kershaw’s men that attacked a Union position on this site and eventually passed over in route toward Union General George Thomas’s defensive line on Snodgrass Hill. Perhaps the most famous soldier to have fought upon this current site was Richard Kirkland, of the 2nd​ South Carolina Infantry. Sergeant Kirkland is better known as the ‘Angel of Marye’s Heights’ for the humanitarian act of giving water to wounded Federal soldiers at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 13, 1862. Kirkland would die near the site of the South Carolina monument as part of Kershaw’s pursuing Confederates.