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Biography of General Daniel Morgan

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General Daniel Morgan was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1737, and moved to Virginia in 1755. He was a private soldier under General Braddock, and after the defeat of that officer returned to his occupation of a farmer and a wagoner. When the war of the Revolution broke out, he joined the army under General Washington, at Cambridge, and commanded a corps of riflemen. He was with General Montgomery at Quebec, and with General Gates at Saratoga, in both of which battles he greatly distinguished himself. For his bravery he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and joined the army in the South. After the battle of Camden, when General Greene assumed the chief command, General Morgan was detached to raise troops in the western part of the State and in South Carolina. He soon became distinguished as a partisan officer, inspiring confidence and arousing the despondent Whigs to a more active sense of duty. His victory at the Cowpens was justly considered as one of the most brilliant and decided victories of the Revolution, and Congress accordingly voted him a gold medal. At the close of the war, he returned to his farm. In 1794 he was appointed by General Washington to quell the Whisky Insurrection in Western Virginia, and after the difficulties were settled, he was elected a member of Congress and served from 1797 to 1799. His health failing, he declined a re-election. His farm in Clarke county, a few miles from Winchester, Va., was called Saratoga. In 1800, he removed to Winchester, where he died on the 6th of July, 1802, in the sixty-seventh year of his age.

In early life, General Morgan was dissipated; yet the teachings of a pious mother always made him reverential when his thoughts turned toward the Deity. In his latter years he professed religion and became a member of the Presbyterian Church in Winchester. “Ah!” he would often exclaim when talking of the past, “people said old Morgan never feared–they thought old Morgan never prayed–they did not know old Morgan was miserably afraid.” He said he trembled at Quebec, and in the gloom of early morning, when approaching the battery at Cape Diamond, he knelt in the snow and prayed; and before the battle at the Cowpens, he went into the woods, ascended a tree, and there poured out his soul in prayer to the Almighty Ruler of the Universe for protection.


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