Sunday Salute ~ Rev. Joseph Warder ~ Revolutionary War

An image of the american revolution

Joseph Warder, my maternal 5th great-grandfather was born on December 5, 1752. in Charles County, Maryland. He is the son of an immigrant, William Warden born in England in 1710. There is not a lot of information about his early life. He married Esther Ford (1755-1816) on June 18, 1773, in the same county in Maryland. They moved to Fauquier County, Virginia sometime the following year, as their firstborn child, John was born there on September 9, 1774. Joseph and Esther went on to have a total of 12 children, 5 sons, and 7 daughters. All five of of their sons became Baptist Preachers.

Joseph enlisted as a private under Captain Hugh Garner in a rifle regiment in 1776.1600px-Battle_of_Fort_Washington,_1776.svg From 1776 to 1778 the regiment participated in the following battles: Battle of Fort Washington (1776); Battle of Trenton(1776); Battle of Princeton (1777); Battle of Germantown (1777) and the Battle of Monmouth (1778).

Joseph had joined the fight not only as a rifleman but as a Chaplain as he was a Baptist Minister. He spent most of his time in the unit giving aid and comfort to the wounded and writing letters of condolences to the widows and families of the fallen. On many occasions he helped to bury the deceased. He held services each Sunday in a large open-air meeting tent. His main focus as part of the war was to minister to the men in any way he could.

churchDiscussing this ancestors’ participation in the war with a cousin of mine caused my cousin to become a “little” heated. He said if he was a minister he should never have fought in the war. He should have just stayed home and tended his flock. What he said sounds good but I have a different take on it. Joseph went where the need was. He was able to help the soldiers one on one with any problem they had. If he had stayed home, how many of the men would have died without prayer or comfort? How many would have had to face a life-changing injury without someone to encourage them that they would be okay? Most importantly, who could the men talk to about their true feelings of loneliness and fear without feeling like they were less than the other men? Having Joseph there did more good than if he had stayed home.

Joseph returned home in 1779 to his wife and children and his church. He moved his family to He spent the rest of his life in service to others and he died in 1799 at the age of 47.



I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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