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A short story by Etta Belle Walker

Culpeper Minute Men

Title:     Culpeper Minute Men
Author: Etta Belle Walker [More Titles by Walker]

Who can resist a story about the Revolutionary War? There is a fascination surrounding the heroes and heroines of that era and most of us listen attentively to any legend depicting the action of our forefathers.

From a point along the Skyline Drive one may look toward Culpeper County. (In fact, in all probability you passed through a part of this old county if you took an east to west route to reach the drive.) Among other things Culpeper is justly famous for its Minute Men of the Revolutionary War.

The town was formed from Orange in 1748 and was named in honor of Lord Culpeper, Governor of Virginia from 1680 to 1683. This land was a part of the original land grant to Lord Fairfax. It was here in the old Courthouse that young George Washington produced his commission as surveyor. The record reads:

"20th July, 1749--George Washington Gent. produced a commission from the President and Master of William and Mary College, appointing him to be surveyor of this county, which was read, and thereupon he took the usual oaths to his majesty's person and government, and took and subscribed the abjuration oath and test, and then took the oath of surveyor, according to law."

Speaking years later in the Senate, John Randolph of Roanoke remarked that the Minute Men "were raised in a minute, armed in a minute, marched in a minute, fought in a minute, and vanquished in a minute." These soldiers chose as part of their uniform green hunting shirts with "Liberty or Death" stamped in large letters across the front. Buck tails hung from their old hats and from their belts swung tomahawks and scalping knives. Their wild appearance on reaching Williamsburg, the capital of the colony, set the inhabitants in as much fear as did the thought of invasion by the enemy! Lieutenant John Marshall who was later to become Chief Justice was among the number--as was his father.

The slogan of the Minute Men "Liberty or Death" brought forth humor from one wag who said the phrasing was too strong for him; he would enlist if it were changed to "Liberty or Be Crippled."

Almost upon their immediate arrival at Williamsburg they were marched to Norfolk County and were participants in the Battle of Great Bridge.

[The end]
Etta Belle Walker's short story: Culpeper Minute Men