The Fairfax Resolves (FXR) and Sgt Maj John Champe (SMJC) Chapters of the Virginia Society, and the Sgt. Lawrence Everhart (SLE) Chapter, Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution sponsored an event marking the graves of five revolutionary war patriots at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lovettsville, Virginia on 10 April 2022. At least sixty-nine lineage society members represented 28 NSSAR, NSDAR and C.A.R. chapters and societies. Participants included Christopher Hornbaker, Vice Mayor of the Town of Lovettsville, direct descendants of the patriots, representatives of American Legion and other veteran organizations, church members and citizens of the City of Lovettsville for a total of about one hundred people in attendance.
Brett W. Osborn, Col. James Wood II Chapter (CJWII), commanded the Color Guard. He organized it into three elements, the seven-member Color Guard carried the National and Maryland and Virginia State colors, the thirteen-member Honor Guard carried chapter and other flags, and a twelve-member musket detail. Doug Hall, drummer, (CJWII Chapter) accompanied the presentation of the colors and the musket firing.
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 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.
The Reverend Doug Jones (SLE Chapter) gave the Benediction following the presentation of the colors. Dim Dioquino (FXR) led all in the Pledge of Allegiance and John Thomas (FXR) led the Pledge to the SAR. The posting of the colors then followed.
The main portion of the program began with Vice Mayor Hornbaker presenting greetings and reading the Town’s Proclamation declaring 10 April 2022, “Revolutionary War Patriots Day.” 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. The German-speaking members of the church came from Switzerland, Alsace, and Lorraine (now part of France), the upper Rhine territories of Wurttemberg, Baden, and the Palatine. Michael described how the colonies offered them an opportunity for asylum from the disasters of war and economic hardship. They came to see this new land as theirs, “das gelobte land,” the promised land.
The reading of short biographies of the five patriots followed starting with Don Cooper (FXR), who spoke about his patriot ancestors Michael Cooper, Sr (1742-1815) and John Fawley (1719-1803). Dave Cook (FXR) spoke about Frederic Belse (1741-1831) and Ed Spannaus (SLE Chapter) talked about patriots Michael Bogar (1762-1822) and John Compher (1740-1814). All the patriots were farmers who owned or leased their land and paid the supply tax for 1782, 1783 or both.
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. Dale Corey, Col James Wood II Chapter led all in a hearty rendition of “God Bless America.” the wreath presentations were by five State Societies, eleven SAR Chapters, ten DAR Chapters, two C.A. R. Chapters and the Virginia Order of Founders and Patriots of America.
The moment all had been waiting for began with the movement of the musket 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.
While anticlimactic, the event ended with the SAR Recessional, led by Richard Rankin, George Washington Chapter, the Benediction given by The Reverend Krista Vigelis, and closing remarks by the chapter president, David Huxsoll, Fairfax Resolves.
The SAR Chapters who participated were the Fairfax Resolves, Sgt Major John Champe, Sgt Lawrence Everhart (MD), Col James Wood II, George Mason, George Washington, Col William Grayson, Col Fielding Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones (MD) and Thomas Stone (MD). The DAR Chapters include Ketoctin, Mary Hemings Bell, Fairfax County, Bottony Cross, Lane’s Mill, Elizabeth McIntosh Hammill, Stone Bridge, Frederick, James Madison, and Pack Horse Ford. Children of the American Revolution Societies were Rev. John Marks, and Col Alexander Spotswood.
Figure 1 Darrin Schmidt Pays Homage to Michael Bogar
Figure 2 Color and Honor Guard Prepares to Present the Colors
Figure 3 Wreath Presenters at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery
Figure 4 Musket Salute