TISKILWA — The community is invited to “Meet Private John Maddox” at the annual veterans’ program hosted by the Tiskilwa Historical Society, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday at the Museum on Main, Tiskilwa.
Imagine the nervous excitement of a 15-year-old boy when he enlisted to fight in the War for Independence under the command of Gen. George Washington. The day-to-day experiences of Private John Maddox III will be brought to life by rural Bradford resident Tom Ashby, dressed in uniform and carrying a musket just as his fourth great-grandfather Maddox did.
In a program of interest to school children as well as adults, Ashby will share stories of his ancestor, John Maddox, who joined the Continental Army at age 15 1/2 to fight in the battle of Monmouth, N.J., on June 28, 1778. Along the way, the audience will surely come across some historical details that they didn’t know or had forgotten, such as the fact that the Revolutionary War began in 1775. It wasn’t until 1783 that the Treaty of Paris finally recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded roughly by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.
What did a Revolutionary War soldier wear and what did he carry? How did the actions of one young man in the midst of a world-changing war become a source of pride for generations to come? During his term of service, John Maddox even had the opportunity to witness the surrender of British General Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Va., on Sept. 28, 1781.
Many generations later, Tom began making civic and school presentations based on his research of his many-times great-granddad, as well as 16 other relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War. Tom is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Before the program, beginning at 6:15 p.m., local blacksmith Vicki “Doc” Schertz will be available in the Timeline Hallway to answer questions about her special exhibit in which she has displayed various blacksmithing tools, photos and metal artwork for the Museum on Main.
The Tiskilwa Historical Society hosts monthly programs for the community from March through December. The Museum on Main, open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., is handicapped accessible.