Chaplains of the Revolutionary War
- Friday, June 11, 2010
It was Chaplain Jones' custom to preach as often as possible before entering battle, and he preached to the troops at Valley Forge, following the arrival of the news that France had recognized American independence. Jones served under the command of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, a Chester County native. General Wayne earned his nickname for the bravery and fearlessness he displayed on the battlefield. David Jones was a good fit with his commanding officer in this regard. He was so heroic on the battlefield that British General Howe offered a reward for his capture, and many plots were laid to capture him. In addition to his military and chaplain's duties, Jones also served as courier for General Wayne from time to time. In a letter to Benjamin Franklin, written from Ticonderoga on July 29, 1776, Wayne writes:
We are so far removed from the seat of Government of the free and independent states of America, and such an Insurmountable Barrier, Albany, between us that not one letter, or the least intelligence of anything that's doing with you can reach us. Through the medium of my Chaplain (David Jones) I hope this will reach you as he has promised to blow out any man's brains who will attempt to take it from him.
These are just a few of the men who bravely served their country as Army chaplains during the American Revolution. For every story told here, there are countless other chaplains who ministered to the courageous men who fought for the freedom our country enjoys today.
There are many memorial sites in America that are dedicated to those who fought so bravely and gave their lives in America's fight for independence. One of the most famous of these is located at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. However, another less well-known site is just a few miles away, in Chester County. The monument (pictured right) was dedicated on October 25, 1833, in memory of twenty-two Revolutionary soldiers who died in an epidemic of fever that swept through their camp in the spring of 1778. This monument to their "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence" honors "the profound regard due the individuals who paid the forfeit of their precious lives for our sacred rights, and for privileges which they were never permitted to enjoy, and to contribute to generations unborn, the memory of the precious price of the Liberty and Independence of our happy Union.
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