(Cont. from page 1.) The Rev. Larry W. Johnson moderated the program accompanied by delegates from local churches, the Col. James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Narrow Passage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Shenandoah Christian Alliance. The Honor Guard of the James Wood II Chapter presented the colors, dressed in Revolutionary War uniforms.

Major General Peter Muhlenberg is remembered as the “fighting parson” from Woodstock. Johnson, a descendant of great grandfathers who fought in the Revolution, is a former president of the Col. James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He told of the sermon heard around the world which inspired men and boys from the Shenandoah Valley to join the fight for American Independence. 

This year is the 244th anniversary when 300 Shenandoah Valley men and boys assembled in Emmanuel Church yard on January 21, 1776, to join the fight for Independence.  His church was located across the street from the present old historic court house. Their leader was the 29 year old Rev.  Peter Muhlenberg a Lutheran/Anglican pastor who was asked by Virginia Governor Patrick Henry and General George Washington to form a regiment and join in the fight for American Independence.

The story of the sermon which he delivered that day is recorded in history books worldwide. Muhlenberg and his regiment were at Valley Forge during a most awful and deadly winter where nearly 3,000 soldiers died of starvation and disease. General Muhlenberg and his soldiers were with George Washington at major battles including the surrender of British General Cornwallis’s Army at Yorktown in October of 1781.This ended the war and secured American Independence. He would serve until the Peace Treaty with Britain was finalized in 1783. General Washington considered Peter one his most valuable Generals.

For information: Contact the Rev. Larry Johnson, 540.454.4129. Johnson is known for his presentations on Revolutionary War History. His web site is: www.libertyman.net

Historical Background.

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 several 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 Virginia’s militia and later in George Washington’s Army, and was serving when British forces at Yorktown under Lord General Cornwallis surrendered. He was not discharged until 1783 when the Peace Treaty was signed with the British officially ending the war. He is one of America’s important but little known Founding Fathers.  He is especially remembered for the sermon he delivered 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 his commission.  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 Patriotic Americans today.