Marietta is forever tied to the American Revolution
It was on July 4 that a group of men meeting in secret in Philadelphia approved the text of a declaration of independence that would become the founding document of our country. Two hundred copies of the document were quickly set and printed at a print shop a few blocks away and distributed to each of the colonies. The public reading of the document sent shockwaves through the colonies and around the world.
The United States of course would not be free from British influence until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783. Many of those who fought for the nation’s freedom moved west after the war.
In 1788, west meant the Ohio Valley, and the first and last stop for some was the planned community of Marietta. It was here that many of those who fought so hard in the war chose to make a life on the frontier and set up house on the banks of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers.
It is here that many of them remain. It is commonly believed that more Revolutionary War officers are buried in Marietta’s Mound Cemetery than in any other in the nation. A total of 39 soldiers, including 19 officers, are buried there. The area has always been a special place in Marietta. Native Americans built the mound on the spot at least a millennium before white settlers got here. The settlers themselves set it aside for public use and soon began using it to bury and honor those who died here. It continues to be one of Marietta’s active graveyards.
The list of those buried there includes:
Col. Robert Taylor, who was the first person laid to rest there.
Gen. Rufus Putnam, one of the chief organizers of the Ohio Company and the settling of Marietta.
Griffin Greene, who served as a commissary, paymaster and quartermaster in the Continental Army.
Ebenezer Sproat, who was among many things, the first sheriff in town.
William Stacy, who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and reportedly once skated 30 miles up the frozen Muskingum River to warn his sons of a possible attack.
Abraham Whipple, commodore in the Navy, was placed in command of several ships including the 24-gun Columbus. The small Washington County community on Ohio 821 is named for him.
A plaque at the end of the brick walkway will show you where many are buried. A photo on page 2 today is of the marker on Whipple’s grave.
Mound Cemetery is a pleasant place to visit. The top of the mound provides a wide view of the grounds and a walk around the moat allows you to take a walk back 1,000 years to a time before our country even existed.
As we celebrate the birth of our nation tomorrow, we should all pause to remember those who fought so long ago to make our country a reality.
Thank you, Robert, Rufus, Griffin, Ebenezer, William and Abraham for your service. You not only helped our country become a nation, but you also helped a little corner of it become our town.
Art Smith in online manager of The Marietta Times and can be reached at