Revolutionary War soldier gets new headstone - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Revolutionary War soldier, Sandusky Co. pioneer gets new headstone

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This Independence Day the family of a Northwest Ohio soldier and farmer who died in 1842 paid special tribute for his service during the Revolutionary War.

13 ABC's Christine Long reports from the ceremony honoring John Waggoner at his grave near Fremont.

 This wasn't only a patriotic family reunion on Thursday to honor a man who served as one of George Washington's body guards.  This was also a headstone correction ceremony.  For more than a century there has been a mistake. The wrong name was engraved as his wife.

Dozens of descendants of a Sandusky County pioneer and Revolutionary War soldier gathered this 4th of July at the grave site of John Waggoner. 

They lined up together pulling the rope to unveil their ancestor's headstone.

Family members say Waggoner was one of George Washington's body guards.  They don't have any images of his face, but they've heard the stories and they treasure the heirlooms, like this sword from Washington.

"Washington said this man is a warrior. He is not afraid of a thousand devils," says Jay  Wagoner, who lives in Toledo. "Therefore Washington pretty much kept him by his side during the Revolution. Saved his life several times. He was within 15 feet of George Washington when General Cornwallis surrendered."

The ceremony also gives long overdue honor to John's wife.

Several years ago, the family discovered a discrepancy.

Instead of the name Elizabeth Leach, someone messed up back in the 1800's and engraved the name of an 11-year-old girl.

"No connection to the family," says Wagoner.  "Her name was Ricely and her name was the one that went on the tombstone.  105 years later, the mistake is finally being corrected."

"This is very emotional for me because Elizabeth is my great-grandma, six greats. I'm very touched by today's presentation," says Mary Wagner Robinson, who lives in Clyde and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

"She finally got her place of honor on the stone that she rightly deserves," says Jim Wagoner, who lives in Swanton.

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