The Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Virginia Society in conjunction with the Sgt. Lawrence Everhart Chapter, Maryland Society marked the graves of five patriots at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lovettsville, Virginia on 24 July 2021, a glorious Virginia July day. At least 93 lineage society members represented 32 NSSAR, NSDAR and C.A.R. chapters and societies. Participants included Nathaniel O. Fontaine, Mayor of the Town of Lovettsville, seven direct descendants of our patriots, representatives of American Legion Post 1836 and other veteran organizations, church members and citizens of the City of Lovettsville for a total of about 118 people in attendance.
Brett W. Osborn, Col. James Wood II Chapter (CJWII), commanded the Color Guard. Organized it into two elements, the color guard consisted of a flag unit and a 14-member fire lock unit. The 12- member flag unit included drummer, Doug Hall, CJWII Chapter, and fifer, Claude Bauer, Sgt. Lawrence Everhart Chapter. The flag unit carried the colors of three States, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the color guard contained among its members compatriots representing two additional states, Texas and North Carolina.
Attendees gathered to commemorate the lives and service of five Revolutionary War patriots, their families, and their community. All patriots were members of the church founded in 1765 in what was then called the “German Settlement.” Histories of Loudoun County describe the residents of the German Settlement as, “intensely loyal” to the cause of freedom and to the cause of the American Revolution.
Pastor Ronald England from the Christian Community Church, Neersville, gave the Benediction following the presentation of the colors. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Bill Denk, Fairfax Resolves, the Pledge to the SAR led by John Thomas, Fairfax Resolves, the posting of the colors then followed.
The main portion of the program began with Mayor Fountain presenting greetings from the Town of Lovettsville. Michael P. Zapf, Historian of the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church summarized the history of the church from its beginnings in a log cabin located in a corner of the present graveyard.
Short biographies of the five patriots followed starting with Don Cooper, Fairfax Resolves Chapter talking about his patriot ancestor, Johannes (John) Axiline, a private in Lt. Col. Thomas Posey’s Battalion of the 3rd Virginia Regiment.
Fred Michel, Sgt. Lewis Everhart Chapter, talked about Johannes (John) Stautzenberger’s service. Stautzenberger enlisted as a drummer in Capt. Nathaniel Irish’s Company of Artillery Artificers, 26 July 1777, most likely at York, Pennsylvania. The unit subsequently moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 1782, the Company, then under the command of Capt. Wylie was sent
to Virginia which became a federal arsenal which supported both the Southern Campaign of General Nathaniel Greene and the Ohio Campaign of George Rogers Clark.
William Forrest Crain, Fairfax Resolves, spoke on Patriot Peter Wertz whose service consisted of providing 10 bushels of wheat in 1782 while living in Frederick County, Maryland.
Ed Spannaus, Sgt Lewis Everhart Chapter, spoke on Adam Housholder. He served as a private in Capt. Peter Swingle’s Company Washington County Maryland Militia. He took the Oath of Fidelity in Maryland in 1778 and provided clothing on 5 July 1778.
David Huxsoll, Fairfax Resolves, spoke on Conrad Roller. Roller and his brother, John, served in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. The Regiment saw service in Georgia under General Anthony Wayne before returning to Camp Ebenezer in Virginia. Conrad Roller remained in service after his term of enlistment to help guard prisoners at Frederick Barracks, Maryland.
The readings of the biographies concluded with three rousing huzzahs, a signal to our volunteers to prepare for the unveiling of grave markers. A fourth huzzah given immediately after the Grave Marking Dedication signaled the unveiling. A hearty rendition of “America the Beautiful” was led by Dale Corey, CJWII Chapter, which was then followed by the wreath presentations.
The moment all had been waiting for began with the movement of the firelock squad across the field and into position. The sound of gunfire echoing across the fields easily reminded one of skirmishes that could very well have happened on these very grounds so many years ago. As the sound and smoke faded away, Claude Bauer, the fifer played a slow rendition of “Chester”, a tune often played at George Washington’s Tomb.
While anticlimactic, the event ended with the SAR Recessional, led by Richard Weaver, Fairfax Resolves, the Benediction was given by Larry McKinley, Fairfax Resolves, and closing remarks by the chapter presidents, Karl Woodcock, Sgt Lewis Everhart Chapter and Dave Cook, Fairfax Resolves.