Historical Marker: (WV) Captain John Hereford and Mercer’s Bottom

Title: Mercer’s Bottom / Captain John Hereford
Inscriptions are on both sides as follows: 

Mercer’s Bottom: This is part of the 16,000 acre tract surveyed by order of Washington for General Hugh Mercer. Nearby are the graves of Adjutant John Hereford and Ensign John Wilson. They were officers in the Revolutionary Army.

Captain John Hereford: Revolutionary War Adjutant in Col. John Alexander’s Virginia Regiment under Lafayette at Yorktown. He was born in Fairfax Co. in 1758, moved to Mason Co. in 1808, serving as magistrate and sheriff, and died, 1846.
Location: WV 2, north of Ashton
Source: http://www.wvculture.org/history/markers/markers.html

John Hereford, who was of Revolutionary fame, held the rank of Adjutant Major under General Lafayette at the siege of Yorktown. Few men ever enjoyed higher reputation for sterling honesty and veracity. In his nature, brave, generous, and magnanimous he commanded respect and won esteem wherever he went. Without an enemy in the world he lived; admired and regretted by all he died in the 89th year of his age. 

Born in Fairfax County, Virginia USA on 03 Feb 1758 to John Hereford and Margaret Ammon. Captain John Hereford married Sarah Anne Mauzey and had 15 children. He passed away on 13 May 1846 in Mercers Bottom, Mason, West Virginia, USA.

Born, Fairfax County, Virginia, February 3, 1758, and died, Mason County, May 13, 1846. His boyhood home was on the paternal estate of his great-grandfather on the Potomac River, who settled there after coming from Wales. Before he was sixteen years old, Hereford in 1774 was enrolled in a company in Leesburg that was being drilled in expectation of the coming war with England. In 1777, John enlisted as a sergeant in the Second Virginia Regiment under Lieutenant Gill, and marched under Marquis Calmus or Colms to Philadelphia where he was attached to Captain John Peyton Morrison’s Company, and was in the Battle of Monmouth. In 1778-79, he enlisted for the war, obtained a substitute and received a discharge from Colonel Christian Febiger. He was then appointed commissary at Leesburg. When Cornwallis invaded Virginia, Hereford was adjutant of Colonel John Alexander’s Regiment under Lafayette, and finally drove Cornwallis to Yorktown where he was captured. He continued as adjutant of Colonel Charles Dabney’s Regiment and of Colonel West’s Regiment under General Weedon.

 Pensions were granted to the soldier and also to his widow in Mason County. There was also a land bounty grant of 160 acres. Supporting claims were made by Mrs. Jan McCabe, James Hamilton, Samuel Tillett, Elinor Tillett, a sister of Lieutenant Gill, Joseph Smith, Charles Clendenin, M. Stribling, Hugh Daigh, and Charles B. Waggoner. An interesting comment was the statement that Colonel Febiger, under whom Hereford served, had been in 39 military actions in Europe and in America.

Source: https://www.theclio.com/entry/86142

Mercers Bottom is an unincorporated community in Mason County, West Virginia, USA. It is situated on the east bank of the Ohio River along West Virginia Route 2 some 13.5 miles (21.7 km) south of Point Pleasant.

Mercers Bottom is named for the celebrated Revolutionary War General Hugh Mercer (1726–1777) who (posthumously) received a large land grant here for his services. The 16,000 acre tract was surveyed by order of George Washington for the General’s heirs.

The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 by John Trumbull. George Washington is the figure on the horse.

Hugh Mercer (16 January 1726 – 12 January 1777) was a Scottish soldier and physician. He initially served with the Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and with the British forces during the Seven Years’ War, but later became a brigadier general in the Continental Army and a close friend to George Washington. Mercer died as a result of his wounds received at the Battle of Princeton and became a fallen hero as well as a rallying symbol of the American Revolution.

Fun Note: In the Broadway musical Hamilton, General Mercer is referenced by Aaron Burr in the song “The Room Where It Happens”: “Did ya hear the news about good old General Mercer? You know Clermont Street? They renamed it after him. The Mercer legacy is secure.”

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