Chapter check presentation to Wreaths Across America from donations that were received when the WAA mobile exhibit was in Bridgeville, PA. From L-R: WAA Location Coordinator Brynnly Schwartz, Gary Timmons, and Ron Miller
After researching my family’s connection to early American history, I discovered that my fourth great-grandfather, Ludwig Wissinger, was a Revolutionary War veteran and is buried in the private Wissinger Family Cemetery in Johnstown, PA. I visited his gravesite and placed a wreath on his grave marker during the Wreaths Across America event.
While in the Continental Army, he served with the 3rd Battalion German Regiment of Maryland under the command of Col. Nicholas Hussecker and with the 3rd Battalion Bedford County Militia. He fought in numerous major battles, including the Battles of Concord, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Sullivan’s Campaign against the Iroquois Indians. He also served at Valley Forge in 1778 under the command of General George Washington.
He received his discharge on July 20, 1779, at the age of 23. Eighteen years later in 1797, Ludwig helped to clear 300 acres of wilderness in Cambria County. He worked with Joseph Jones to lay out the city of Johnstown, PA. He built a new house at what is now the corner of Bedford and Penrod Streets and gave land near his home for the first schoolhouse.
He expired on May 6, 1842, at the age of 86. Ludwig, his wife Susanna, and 17 family members are buried in the family cemetery at the corner of Riffith, Ruby, and Penrod Streets. This site is now a national historic landmark.
For the second year the George Washington Chapter hosted the Wreaths Across America mobile exhibit. The 24’ X 60’ fully functional trailer is equipped with two exterior televisions, four extended slide outs, four awnings an interior museum and a 20 person interactive movie theater. The exhibit tours the country with a minimum of 40 stops a year. On Monday, June 7, 2021 the exhibit was at the Texas Roadhouse located in the Great Southern Shopping Center at 1155 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA. During the exhibit’s stop, the George Washington Chapter had an SAR information table set up as well as accepted wreath sponsorships. For the last six years the George Washington Chapter has been the largest out of 30 other groups/organizations to gatherer wreaths for that National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, which is located nearby.