Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day

Had a wonderful day at the Center yesterday.  Good food, good company.  Old friends returned for a visit and lots of pleasant conversation was had. I couldn't ask for more.  Why, the weather even held up.  And as we gather today with our families and friends let us not forget those brave men and women who fought and died so that we may be free. 

The above painting,  'The Spirit of '76' by A.M. Willard is one of the most famous images relating to the Revolutionary War. 

The following is in memorial for my Revolutionary War ancestors who fought to set us free.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mark Walton was born 1758 in Pequannock, New Jersey. He served as a Captain in the Morris County Militia. He died 22 August 1817.

His  father, Jacob Walton, went off to the war and was never heard from again. All research shows that he is most likely  the Jacob Walton who died in the Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania.

Captain Peter Dickerson was a member of the First Provincial Congress of 1776. A carpenter by trade, he owned and operated Dickerson's Tavern in Morristown, New Jersey.  It was at this tavern that several patriots met in May, 1775, and made arrangements to recruit volunteers to help defend Morris County.  This tavern later served as the site of the trial of Benedict Arnold.

Colonel William Prescott, Commander of the The Battle of Bunker Hill. "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes."--Colonel William Prescott

Oliver Prescott, son of the Honorable Benjamin Prescott. When the war broke out, he enlisted, and in 1776, he was appointed Brigadier General.

Josiah Prescott of of Salisbury, Massachusetts, served in Captain John Peabody's company.

My 5th great grandfather, Francis Leighton, b. 22 July 1732 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. His son, Reuben, my 4th great grandfather, b. January, 1762. Reuben enlisted in Company G, 5th Cavalry Brigade. He received the Distinguished Service Award. 

Oliver Hildreth, Jonah Hildreth, Abijah Hildreth from Colonal James Prescott's regiment who 'marched from home for defense of ye Colony, against the ministerial troops and continued in service until ordered back to take care of the Tories in Townsend."

...From Southhold, Long Island: Thomas Bartlett,  John Bartlett, Richard Bartlett, Richard Bartlett, Sr....John, Jonathan, and Nathan Wheeler...

...Captain Cyrus Dehart of Elizabethtown, New Jersey.

Major General Philemon Dickerson, leading General of the Militia of New Jersey. 

John Pollard, from Piscataway who served in the New Jersey Continental Line and Regiment. He was a teamster in Colonel Munson's brigade. His  son, John Bradford Pollard, fought beside him. 

And the many, many more I haven't found yet.  You are not forgotten.
Know that you are loved and remembered.  Know that you did not fight in vain, for I live and I am free.  Thank you for your service.

In closing, I would also like to say that today I celebrate five years free of own personal Independence Day, so to speak.

Wishing you all a wonderful, joyous day.  Be safe and be happy.


  1. Your family certainly did its bit to help America gain independence! And congrats on your 5 years of being smoke free -- I know how difficult that is to achieve. Well done!

  2. So happy for you, Mary! Five smoke free years. So wonderful!

    And this is a beautiful Independence Day post and tribute to your ancestors. Happy Fourth to you and your Hubby! Hugs!