Brett Peters

NEWS

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December 7, 2020

Washington County and the crossroads of the American Revolution

The date was Dec. 25, 1776. A stinging, biting chill hung in the night air, as did a quiet sense of dread. Freezing rain cascaded down in a driving, relentless torrent, pelting man, horse and cannon alike. Men like William Heyser, a captain in the German Battalion of the Continental Army — in which many Washington County men served, grimaced in pain, unable to cry out as their raw, bare feet clung to snow and ice. Did you know Washington County is famous for having had at least one participant in every major American military conflict? During the American Revolution, more than 80 residents like Heyser, Sgt. Jacob Miller, and Private Adam Stonebraker enlisted in the German Battalion at the beginning of the war. These men saw service in the disastrous New York Campaign, as well as the campaign that followed. In fact, these brave Washington Countians not only served in the desperate Ten Crucial Days Campaign, which began with a nine-mile walk through Hell to Trenton, but, as some of George Washington’s most experienced soldiers, they were in the forefront of the fighting at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, which occurred on Dec. 26, 1776, and Jan. 3, […]
November 9, 2020

Hagerstown’s “Buffalo Soldier” left an indelible mark, and a distinguished legacy

November 11th is Veterans Day. Originally called Armistice Day, and celebrated for the first time on November 11th, 1919, Veterans day was, initially, a day that marked the cessation of World War I, which formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Armistice Day was intended as a day to commemorate the lives lost during the Great War. In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day. Today, Veterans Day honors the selfless service and sacrifice of America’s veterans.  Did you know that Washington County is famous for having had at least one participant in every major American military conflict? From Jonathan Hager to Jacob Huyett, Washington County has an extensive military heritage. In honor of Veterans Day, we want to share with you the incredible story of William Othello Wilson, a dedicated soldier, a Medal of Honor recipient, and a native son of Hagerstown.  Born on September 16, 1869 in Hagerstown, Maryland, William Othello Wilson enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 21, 1889, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment – one of four completely African-American regiments nicknamed the ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ by warriors of the Cheyenne Native American […]