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Sgt John George

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Sgt John George

  • Birth 11 Nov 1759 Raritan, Somerset County, New Jersey, USA
  • Death 28 Nov 1847 Marion County, Indiana, USA
  • Burial Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
  • Memorial ID 12089

Revolutionary War veteran, John George was traditionally acclaimed as "George Washington's drummer boy." Through extensive research by Marion County, Indiana historians there is a published body of evidence to support the legend that Sergeant George might indeed have been the personal drummer boy of Washington's Headquarters Guard during the greater portion of the Revolutionary War. According to the researched records, John George enlisted on January 1, 1777 at the age of 17 as a private in Captain John Flahaven's company of Col. Matthias Ogden's First New Jersey Battalion, and was listed as a drummer on the company's rolls. Private George saw battle for the first time in September 1777 in a brief engagement at Clay Creek, a prelude to the famed Battle of Brandywine. Ogden's Battalion as a part of the famous Maxwell Brigade, considered to be one of the elite units of the Continental Army and served during the entire war under the personal command of General Washington. The Brigade participated in battles at Germantown and Monmouth. John George's service records showed that he served his first three-year enlistment as a private and a drummer. He reenlisted as a sergeant in Captain Aaron Ogden's company of the First Battalion, Maxwell's Brigade, for the duration of the war. The First Battalion wintered with Washington at historic Valley Forge in 1777-78 and was present at Yorktown when British General Cornwallis surrendered in October 1781. After the actual fighting ended, Sergeant George continued to serve with the Continental Army until the peace treaty was signed. His discharge is recorded as among the last of Washington's Guard at New Windsor, New York, in June 1783. General Washington reportedly personally decorated those members of the Guard with the badge of Military Merit by Washington in recognition of their more than six years of faithful service. In 1821, George applied for and received a Revolutionary War pension for his military service. After his military discharge, George migrated to near Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky to receive a 100 acre veteran's land grant for his wartime service. He worked his land grant for more than 50 years. While living in Mercer County, George married and raised a large family. When his wife died in June 1838 in Mercer County, George moved to Perry Township, Marion County, Indiana, to live with his daughter and her husband (his daughter had married Peter Stuck). George was now about eighty years old and he lived with the Stucks until his death on November 28, 1847. Down through the years, many of the older residents of Perry Township maintained that Sergeant George was definitely a drummer boy of Washington's Guard and some claimed to have seen a certificate signed by Washington, confirming George's service as a drummer with the Guard. That certificate has been lost, but the research of Revolutionary War records indicates that John George likely was the Guard's drummer for more than half of the war supporting the claim of being "George Washington's drummer boy."

Bio by: Rick France

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 2 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12089
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt John George (11 Nov 1759–28 Nov 1847), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12089, citing Round Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .