The Rev. Larry Wilson Johnson will lead prayers of thanksgiving and remembrance at the Peter Muhlenberg statues at the courthouse in Woodstock, Virginia, at 11am on this Saturday, January 20. Johnson, a descendant of several great grandfathers who fought in the Revolutionary War, will be joined by local pastors and citizens. The public is invited.
This is the 242th anniversary when 300 Shenandoah Valley men assembled at the intersection of the court house to go to war on January 21, 1776. Their leader was the Rev. Col. Peter Muhlenberg a young Lutheran/Anglican pastor who was asked by Patrick Henry and General George Washington to form a regiment and join in the fight for American Freedom. Peter would become known as the “fighting parson.” The story of the sermon he gave that day is recorded in history books worldwide. Muhlenberg and his regiment were at Valley Forge the following year, 1777-78 during a most awful and deadly winter where nearly 3,000 soldiers died of starvation and disease. He was with Washington when British General Cornwallis surrendered at York Town, Virginia in October1781. This ended the war and secured American Independence.
This is the fourth year Johnson and others have assembled to mark this historic day. The Rev. Larry W. Johnson is a past president of the Col. James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. For information call Johnson at 540.454.4129. Johnson is known for his presentations on Revolutionary War History. www.libertyman.net.
The Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, 242 years ago on January 21, 1776, incited 300 men of his congregations in the Shenandoah Valley to join the American Revolution. He was a minister serving at least seven churches in the Valley at Woodstock, Strasburg, Shenandoah County and what would be Page County. The Rev. Muhlenberg first received a commission as a Colonel in George Washington’s Army and served until the end of the War when British forces at Yorktown under Lord General Cornwallis surrendered. Earlier he was with Washington at Valley Forge. He is especially remembered for the sermon he delivered on 21 January, 1776, in his Woodstock Church, where he preached from Ecclesiastes the Third Chapter, which starts with “To everything there is a season….” After reading the eighth verse, “a time for war, and a time for peace,” he declared, “and this is the time for war.” With this he whipped off his clerical robe to reveal his Revolutionary War uniform. General Washington, his good friend, had asked him personally to take this commission so Muhlenberg joined him in what would become the most epic war ever fought for freedom. The Rev. Muhlenberg rose to the rank of Major General and is a role model for ministers and all Patriotic Americans today.