Pvt. John Waggoner

John Waggoner was born in 1758 in France to Frances Antony and Jacoba Kling Wagner (both born in Wasselone, Alsace, France) and was a member of George Washington’s Life Guard during the Revolutionary War. He saved George Washington’s life in battle and was given a sword and cane by Washington.

Waggoner (Wagner, a single young man of about 19 years of age, enlisted in Valentine Creager's Company (consisting of the captain, first and second lieutenants, an ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, a drummer, a fifer, and sixty-eight privates), serving from 3 Oct 1776 until 1 Dec 1776, Washington County, Maryland*, as well as the Provost Guard of Bartholomew Von Heer's Light Dragoons**. Waggoner is most known for his service as a member of General George Washington's Life-Guard.

Waggoner and wife Betsy moved to Bedford County, Pennsylvania in 1797, then on to Perry County, Ohio in 1803, finally settling in Washington Township in Sandusky County in 1830. They had eight children: Betsy (Henry Bauman), John (Mary Bauman), Jacob (Miss Heck), David (Miss Fry), George (Margaret Clinger), Nancy (John Macklin), Daniel (Miss Stackbarger), and Solomon (Miss Smith)***.

Waggoner applied for a pension September 9, 1828, which was allowed. He died December 15, 1842 at the age of 72 years, and was buried in Bowlus Cemetery, then later moved to Four Mile House Cemetery in 1899. He re-married at Somerset, Perry County, Ohio to a Sarah Minnie (Minic). She was allowed pension September 13, 1853.

"A newspaper article dated June 3, 1841 noted: "It is with little pleasure that on Friday morning last, between 5 and 6 o'clock we met our venerated friend, John Waggoner of Washington Twp., in this county. He had came to town as he is wont to do for the purpose of delivering a periodical supply of butter to his customers. Mr. Waggoner is the last or the last but one, of the surviving Life Guards of General Washington; he is now about 80 years old."

Death of John Waggoner

"This aged Patriot, the last member of George Washington's Life Guards, departed this life at his residence, 4 1/2 miles west of Lower Sandusky, on Thursday morning last, in the 81st year of his age. Mr. Waggoner entered the army when he was 16 years of age, and continued in the service until the close of the Revolutionary war. For five years, if we are correctly informed, he was attached to the Life Guards of Gen. Washington, and suffered with that great and good man the perils and privations of that eventful period. In private life Mr. W. was a most exemplary citizen, beloved by all who knew him. The Artillery Company of this village attended the funeral, and paid the usual honors on such occasions. The Rev. Mr. Rawhizer delivered the sermon in the German language--after which Homer Everett made a few appropriate remarks." ([Lower Sandusky Democrat]; Newspaper Archive; The Experiment, Norwalk, Ohio, 28 Dec 1842, p. 4.)

References and Notes

*This section of Maryland was settled by Pennsylvania Germans, and this strip of country (about twenty miles wide, now included in northern Maryland) was a part of Pennsylvania until 1776, when the Mason and Dixon Line became the dividing line between the two states, when this strip became a part of Maryland. This explains why some claim that Waggoner migrated to Ohio from Pennsylvania, while others say from Maryland.

**Von Heer's troop was organized under a resolution of Congress of May 27, 1778, establishing a Provost, to consist of a captain, four lieutenants, one clerk, quartermaster sergeant, two trumpeters, two sergeants, five corporals, forty-three provosts or privates, and four ex-carboniers. They were mounted and accoutered as light dragoons. A summary of their duties was included in orders dated October 10, 1778 (see orderly book, postea). They were to apprehend deserters, rioters, and stragglers. In battle they were posted in the rear to secure fugitives. In short, their duties were the usual ones of a provost guard, and the corps was styled the Troop of Marechausse. Captain Bartholomew Von Heer resigned from Procter's artillery to take this command, and in some papers he is styled "Provost Marshal of the Continental Army." The men were all recruited in Pennsylvania. (The men were all recruited in Pennsylvania according to a letter from General Washington to President Moore of the state of Pennsylvania, to which reference has been made (Volume Nine, Old Series, Pennsylvania Archives. "Letter of General Washington," Page 486) in which it was suggested that "...if the men are taken for cavalry, thirty-two dollars per man would be proper pay for this service.")

***From the chapter "18th Century History of Sandusky County, Ohio", History of Sandusky County, Ohio, page 767.

"Marriage Records of Washington County," Maryland Marriages, pages 226-241. "John Waggoner to Elizabeth Litch (probably Leach), July 18, 1785; by Rev. Jacob Weimer, Lutheran minister. Maryland Archives, Vol. 18, Pages 71-72."

Wagner, Clark R. "History and Genealogy of the Wagner-Waggoner-Wagoner Family." Advertiser Press, Printers, Tiffin, Ohio (1941), Arlington, Ohio. Page 41.

Gravestone photo Four Mile House Cemetery, Fremont, Sandusky County, Ohio. Find-a-Grave Memorial #334188082 created by Wilton Golson, added 25 February 2009.

--submitted by George Wagoner NSSAR #201481

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