Sunken Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia
The Kirkland Monument was erected by the Sate of South Carolina and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The sculptor was Felix De Welden and depicts Sergeant Richard Kirkland giving water to Union wounded during the Battle of Fredericksburg, December, 1862.
Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland is buried at the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, South Carolina.
Angel of Marye’s Heights
While the Civil War entailed immense destruction and tragedy, it did not always engender hate. For two days following the battle, wounded Union soldiers, caught between the lines, cried out for water. Though exposure to enemy fire even for a moment meant almost certain death, Sergeant Richard R. Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers tried to help.
Filling several canteens with water, the young Confederate stepped over the stone wall to care for his wounded enemies. When Union soldiers understood Kirkland’s purpose, they ceased firing at him and cheered. For nearly two hours he continued his ministrations. Kirkland has since been known as “The Angel of Marye’s Heights.” He died in battle at Chickamauga, Georgia, in September 1863.
AT THE RISK OF HIS LIFE, THIS AMERICAN
SOLDIER OF SUBLIME COMPASSION BROUGHT
WATER TO HIS WOUNDED FOES AT
FREDERICKSBURG. THE FIGHTING MEN ON
BOTH SIDES OF THE LINE CALLED HIM
“THE ANGEL OF MARYE’S HEIGHTS.”