north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

      On December 9, 1921, Ferdinand Foch, formerly the commander-in-chief of all allied armies in World War I, gave a speech at the Union County Courthouse praising America’s role in the conflict. He was joined by Governor Cameron Morrison and former Governor Thomas Bickett. A month earlier Foch, who was a speaking tour of the United States, had participated at the groundbreaking of Liberty Memorial in Kansas City along with then Vice-President Calvin Coolidge.

      Foch, already in his early sixties at the outbreak of World War I, was a career military man in the French army and a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War. By 1914 he was commander of a French corps and in four years rose to command all allied armies, including those of America and Britain. Angered by what he perceived as lenient punishments and restrictions put on Germany at the Treaty of Versailles, Foch reportedly exclaimed prophetically “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years!” Foch returned to Europe in 1922, and died nine years later. He is interred in Paris at the building known as “Les Invalides” next to Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb.

Virginia Bjorlin, ed., Heritage of Union County, North Carolina (1993)
Wayne K. Durrill, A Tale of Two Courthouses (2000)
H. Nelson Walden, A History of Union County (1964)
Thomas B. Mott, ed., Memoirs of Marshall Foch (1931)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources