Parade Grounds

On August 23rd 1793 the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company was organized on a field alongside Cross Creek on North Cool Spring Street. The birthplace of the F.I.L.I. would serve for many generations as a place for the F.I.L.I. to muster and drill.

Isaac Hammond, a free black man and a veteran of the American Revolutionary War served as a paid musician (fifer) for the unit. It was Isaac Hammond’s dying request in 1822 that he be buried on the F.I.L.I. Parade Grounds in uniform with fife in hand that he might be near the F.I.L.I. in spirit. In accordance with his request he was buried with full military honors. A granite marker was placed on the parade grounds in tribute to his memory. Hammond is the only person known to be buried on the parade grounds.

 

 

The monument on the parade grounds was erected in 1993 to commemorate the bi-centennial anniversary of the F.I.L.I. Company. The monument was constructed from material used to construct the Cumberland County Courthouse in 1893-1894. This old courthouse briefly served as the Headquarters and Armory for the F.I.L.I. Company. A large up-right piece of sandstone serves as the Chaplin’s pulpit. All musters of the F.I.L.I. commence and conclude with prayer. The long flat stone in front of the monument is the stone in which the officers are raised up upon each year at the Annual Muster on August 23rd.

​A granite memorial in front of the monument pays tribute to Major Herman L. Bishop, former Commanding Officer, and longest serving member. Major Bishop faithfully served the F.I.L.I. from 1939 to 2009, a period of 70 years of faithful and unbroken service.

Other markers on the parade ground commemorate key anniversaries or events in the unit’s history. The F.I.L.I. musters on the parade grounds for the Annual Muster on August 23rd each year, and on other special occasions.  August 23, 2019 marked the Company's 226th annual muster.

 

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