by Edward Spannaus,
Researcher & Vice President, Lovettsville Historical Society.
Sgt. Lawrence Everhart of Revolutionary War fame, is claimed by both Lovettsville, Virginia — and by Middletown, in Frederick County, Maryland. How can this be?
Johannes Lorenz Eberhard (or Eberhardt) was born in the village of Hessheim, near Frankenthal, in the Rhineland Palatinate of Germany, in 1755. He was the oldest child of Christian and Sybilla Eberhart. With his parents and some younger siblings, he came to America in 1764. At some point, Lawrence’s parents and his younger siblings moved to the German Settlement, now Lovettsville, where his parents and many of his brothers and sisters are buried. Many of their descendants can still be found here today.
In August 1776, Lawrence (as he was by then known), enlisted in the Maryland “Flying Camp” Regiment. He fought in the Battle of Long Island, New York, at the end of August, and the two months later at White Plains. When George Washington’s troops were forced to surrender at Fort Washington, he was one of the few who managed to escape across the Hudson River to New Jersey. In September 1777, Lawrence participated in the Battle of Brandywine, near Philadelphia. Here he rescued the wounded Lafayette and helped carry him to safety. (When Lafayette visited Frederick in 1824, Everhart was given a place of honor.)
Herein lies our mystery. How can Everhart be “from” both Lovettsville and Middletown? We have some ideas about this, but if you think you have a solution to this mystery, or you have any information which may shed some light on it, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.When his term of enlistment expired, he reenlisted in Col William Washington’s regiment of cavalry (light dragoons). At the Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina in January 1781, he was wounded and captured by the British, and then shot by the British as they retreated. Shortly after this, when he had rejoined his regiment, he saved Col. William Washington (a cousin of George Washington) by riding in front of him and deflecting a blow from a British saber. (As is common in wartime, there are conflicting accounts of Everhart’s role during this battle.)
In Yetive Weatherly’s book Lovettsville: The German Settlement – the most thorough history of Lovettsville – the section on “Lovettsville’s Revolutionary War Heroes” (page 18) features two such heroes: Lawrence Everhart, and Johannes Axline. A letter quoted by Mrs. Weatherly refers to “Lawrence Everhart who was indeed from Lovettsville,” and the letter continued: “He was the first born son of Christian Everhart who was born February 13, 1720 in Pfaltz, Germany, and who came to Loudoun County around 1764. Christian Everhart’s son Johannes Lorenz Everhart, called Lawrence, was among the first Virginians to enlist….”
However, Sgt. Everhart is also claimed by Middletown in Frederick County. He lived there before the Revolutionary War, and he served as a Methodist minister there after the War, and is buried there with a prominent monument.
Herein lies our mystery. How can Everhart be “from” both Lovettsville and Middletown? We have some ideas about this, but if you think you have a solution to this mystery, or you have any information which may shed some light on it, please let us know at email@example.com.
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