My regular running route takes me within a few yards of the final resting place of a local soldier who fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
This weekend, as we celebrate our nation’s independence, it seems appropriate to recognize his sacrifice and that of the hundreds of thousands of others to whom we owe our freedom.
The marker in Fayetteville Cemetery reads,
“Capt. Walter Worden
Served thro. the Revolution
volunteered war 1812
Fought at Chippewa & Lundy’s Lane
Died near Batavia
Sept. 20, 1814”
According to ancestry.com, Capt. Walter Worden was born in 1757 in Connecticut and served in the Continental Army. He appears to have served in Vermont and Connecticut, later settling in Central New York about 1803.
According to ancestry.com, he and his wife, Lucretia Hicks, had 10 children — one of whom, Jesse, also served in the War of 1812 (which officially didn’t end until early 1815). Capt. Worden “died of fever near Buffalo, September 20, 1814, while on service in the war of 1812. He raised a company for the army, of which he was captain; they marched on foot to the Niagara frontier.”
The two battles cited on his grave marker were significant. The Battle of Chippewa (sometimes spelled Chippawa) took place July 5, 1814; it was regarded as a victory for the Americans, but the momentum against the British in Canada didn’t last.
Three weeks later, the battle of Lundy’s Lane, near Niagara Falls, was one of the bloodiest fights of the war and marked the end of the Americans’ push into Canada. (Capt. Worden died less than two months later). The battlefield is now a national historic site in Ontario.