Society Dinner Meetings
2020 Dinner Meeting Schedule: 6:15 PM
Friday, March 20
Friday, May 15
Friday, September 18
Friday, November 20*
*(sometimes moved to accommodate church functions!)
The Society holds four dinner meetings each year on the third Fridays of March, May, September, and November where a program of historical interest is included. Programs are held at 6:15 PM at the Suncrest (Drummond) United Methodist Church on Van Voorhis Road in Morgantown; ample parking is available.
The public and guests are welcome; bring a friend or colleague. Those wishing to join the Society may do so at or after the meeting. The cost of the dinner is $10.00. Persons wishing to only attend the free program, that follows the dinner, are welcome to arrive about 7 PM.
Dinner reservations are required, and may be made by calling Janet DeVault at 304-599-5261. Please do not call after 9 PM.
Reservations should be made no later than the Tuesday before the meeting. Payment for dinners can be made at the meeting.
The Society must guarantee paying for reservations made, so attendance of those making reservations is greatly appreciated.
March 20, 2020 Dinner Meeting
The War for Independence; Local Ties to the Battle of Saratoga
By Nathan Wuertenberg, Staff Researcher, Aull Center
Colonel Zackquill Morgan
The 1777 Battles of Saratoga between Continental Army soldiers and an allied force of British, Hessian, Canadian, and Native fighters was a major turning point in the American War for Independence. On September 19 and October 7 (at Freeman’s Farm and Bemis Heights respectively), rebel troops under Generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold fended off an attempt by British General John Burgoyne and his approximately 7,000 men to split the young United States in two by seizing control of the Hudson River Valley in New York. After failing in his aims, Burgoyne surrendered his army to Gates and Arnold on October 17 at the village of Saratoga (now Schuylerville, New York). The rebel victory in this campaign convinced the French Crown to officially declare its support for American independence, support that proved key to the eventual success of the rebellion both financially and militarily. At first glance, this series of events might seem to have little to do with the history of Monongalia County. An examination of correspondence from the era, subsequent pension applications from local soldiers, and the secondary literature, however, reveals important connections between this area and the Saratoga Campaign in both myth and reality. A comparison of the wartime experiences of two local soldiers, Edward Haymond and Zackquill Morgan, is especially illustrative, demonstrating the links between not only Monongalia County and Saratoga, and also with the western borderlands and the larger narrative of American independence as well.
Nathan Wuertenberg is currently a staff researcher at the Aull Center for Local History and Genealogy Research, an annex of the Morgantown Public Library System, and is a doctoral candidate at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. His doctoral dissertation is on the 1775 rebel invasion of Quebec during the American War for Independence, entitled “Divided We Stand: The American War for Independence, the 1775 Quebec Campaign, and the Rise of Nations in North America.” He previously completed an undergraduate honors thesis at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland on the role of the American War for Independence in the evolution of Quaker gender relations and reform movements in the early American republic, and a Master’s thesis at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana on the influence of national identity in shaping United States Indian policies before and after the American War for Independence. A recipient of research fellowships from the Society of the Cincinnati Library in Washington, D.C. and the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island, he has been published in multiple outlets, including essays on portrayals of violence in the Western genre in Violence in American Popular Culture and the forthcoming The 21st Century Western: New Riders of the Cinematic Stage.