Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Monument to Lt. Col. James Polk Dickinson

Marker ID:  
Location: on Broad Street (U.S. 521), Camden, SC
County: Kershaw
Coordinates: N 34° 15.12    W 080° 36.494
  34.252    -80.60823333


Monument to Lt. Col. James Polk Dickinson

Lt. Col. James Polk Dickinson (1816-1847) was born in Camden. He studied law and served in the State Legislature from 1842-1848. Contemporary accounts described him as “proud, high spirited, and restive under control.” He was also known for his “prodigal generosity and extravagance.”

Dickinson’s passion and enthusiasm for military glory led him to serve with the Kershaw volunteers in the Seminole Indian Wars in Florida in 1836 and to organize the DeKalb Rifle Guards in 1840. In 1846, his Kershaw County regiment was the first to volunteer to fight in the war with Mexico (1846-1848). His appeal for volunteers given at the DeKalb Monument included the words “I want a place in the picture near the flashing of the guns!” Dickinson was elected second-in-command of the Palmetto Regiment and fought in several engagements until wounded in the Battle of Churubusco.

Jim Lang, Dickinson’s African American body-servant who served with him in Mexico, returned the body to Camden for burial in Quaker Cemetery. In 1856, Dickinson’s remains were reinterred here and the citizens of Camden had this marble obelisk erected in his honor.

City of Camden.