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Revolutionary War soldier’s tombstone uncovered at Harper Cemetery

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

A tombstone inexcellent condition was uncovered in Harper Cemetery in Harpers Ferry over the Memorial Day weekend.

As members of the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry District Veterans gathered to place American flags on veterans’ graves in the cemetery, town mayor Greg Vaughn and council member Hardy Johnson worked in the cemetery to clean up some of the tombstones.

“Lyn [Vaughn’s wife] and I, along with Hardy, had taken a class in Middleway recently to learn how to restore tombstones,” Vaughn said. “We came here to the cemetery to work on straightening some of the stones.”

Vaughn said that he observed what he thought was a rock sticking up out of the ground. In an effort to eliminate a potential hazard, he began to dig around the rock to remove it.

But, what he found made him stop looking to remove anything except the dirt that was covering a potential major discovery.

Underneath the grass and dirt Vaughn and Hardy found a tombstone with the name William Broaddus carved upon it. Also on the stone were words indicating Broaddus had served during the Revolutionary War.

Vaughn said that he and Hardy completely cleared the stone and a patch of surrounding ground. They two intend to place marble chips around the stone to even the ground.

“We want to do a little bit to give this soldier dignity for his service,” Vaughn said.

Hardy shared that he researched the Daughters of the American Revolution lineage website and found Broaddus mentioned in a lineage book.

The entry shows that Broaddus was a relative of Mrs. Marie Thompson Abell Bailey.

The entry showed that Mrs. Bailey was a great-granddaughter of William Broaddus, Jr. and Martha Slaughter Jones, his first wife.

Broaddus (1755-1830) “was placed on the pension roll for service as lieutenant, Virginia Continental line. He was under Col. George Gibson at the battle of Monmouth. He was born in Culpeper Co.; died in Jefferson Co., Va.”

Vaughn said that he plans to contact the Daughters of the American Revolution about the stone in hopes to further valididate the informatin on the stone and provide some recognition of this veteran buried in Harpers Ferry.