Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day

July 4th is a date on a calendar of days.

Independence Day is not a date.

On this day in 1776, Martin Johnston, my wife's great-grandfather times five, had been a private in the 3rd Virginia Line for just more than four months. Before Johnston's two-year enlistment was done, he had marched to New York, backtracked to Pennsylvania, fought in the Battle of Trenton, and then with most of the remainder of the Continental Army, entered winter encampment at Valley Forge. The next February, he took his discharge and went home, becoming a member of the Virginia militia, as was required by state law. His widow, Nancy Wright Johnston, said in her widow's pension application in 1821, a year after Johnston's death, that he had been a member of Morgan's Rifles for a time and that, with other Virginia militia, fought in the Battle of King's Mountain in South Carolina in 1780.

Martin Johnston was one of the men who made this country. Thank you, Martin Johnston, for giving us an Independence Day.

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