American Revolution History Preserved

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A stretch of road from Pennsylvania to Virginia has been designated as a National Scenic Byway and a hero from Virginia has been honored in Missouri.

A 180-mile stretch of thoroughfare running from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Monticello, Virginia, has been designated a National Scenic Byway by the federal government. The honorific designation places the Journey Through Hallowed Ground in the America’s Byways tourism marketing plan.

The corridor includes thousands of national register sites, nine presidential homes, 13 national parks, hundreds of African-American and Native American heritage sites and 30 Historic Main Street communities. It also include sites from the Revolutionary War, the French-Indian War, the War of 1812 and the largest collection of Civil War sites in the country.

Yorktown Soldier Honored in Missouri

A great-great-great-granddaughter and other descendants of Revolutionary War Patriot Richard Gentry delivered historical and family anecdotes about their ancestor at a recent ceremony in the Missouri Capitol rotunda in St. Louis when an historic marker was dedicated in his honor.

Gentry, originally from Virginia, is buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. His marker states: “Present at the Capture of Cornwallis.” While many refer to the final major action of the war in Yorktown as a “surrender,” his family said that Gentry always referred to it as a “capture.” He was a member of the honor guard that escorted the defeated troops of Lord Cornwallis from the town.

Gentry enlisted in the army during 1781 and served under future brother-in-law Captain Benjamin Harris. After the war, Gentry and his family joined others who traveled through the Cumberland Gap to the fertile bluegrass land of Madison County, Kentucky. He was a merchant there and later owned a plantation where he developed large herds of cattle and other livestock.

Washington Diamond Eagle Displayed

Until January 2010, the Washington diamond eagle was on exhibit at Mount Vernon. Rarely displayed for the public, the diamond eagle, which George Washington wore as a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, has returned to Mount Vernon for the first time since Washington’s death.

Also on display is another rare Society eagle pin. The Washington-Lafayette eagle pin is on loan to Mount Vernon by La Grange, Lafayette’s estate near Paris. It was presented to Lafayette by Washington’s adopted granddaughter, who inherited it from Martha Washington.

The displays are part of the “George Washington & His Generals” celebration.

George Loved Hoe Cakes

Washington’s favorite breakfast food, according to historians at Mount Vernon, was cornmeal pancakes. At that time, they were called “hoe cakes,” because originally they were cooked over an open fire on a long-handled metal blade that resembled a hoe. The term still is common in the south and other parts of the country west of the Mississippi.

Washington poured honey over his hoe cakes and complemented the meal with hot tea. The recipe has changed over the years, with little additions of wheat flour and sugar, and the version Washington enjoyed is not known. But a recipe from his time survives.

Ingredients: Two cups milk, two beaten eggs, four tablespoons honey, one cup cornmeal, one-half teaspoon salt and one cup of flour.

Steps: Mix cornmeal, flour and salt. Heat milk until it begins to boil. Pour the milk, honey and beaten eggs into the dry mixture. Stir until the mixture is wet. Spoon the batter onto a hot griddle that is oiled. Cook them as pancakes, turning them so they are brown on both sides.

Keeping Rifle in Brooklyn

A Brooklyn Revolutionary War buff will be allowed to keep his antique rifle and his good name. An article in the New York Daily News reported that the rifle is legal to keep within New York City without a gun permit. Michael Littlejohn even said this to police when they knocked on his Sheepshead Bay door and told him he needed the permit.

Initially, police wanted Littlejohn to surrender the model flintlock rifle and ramrod. However, just as some of the Patriots who fought in a major battle of the war that occurred nearby, Littlejohn stood his ground. The rifle, modeled after those used by American sharpshooters during the war, was built by a Tennessee gunsmith.

Littlejohn had insisted that he didn’t need to register his rifle, because its design is outdated. Later, it was determined that city law is on his side. Antique firearms, defined as rifles that require the bullet and gunpowder to be loaded separately, are exempt from the city’s gun laws.