“Saluting Washington” by Larry Selman
The spring of 1775 found Pennsylvania at war. From a core of veteran organizations, dating in some cases to the foundation of Benjamin Franklin ‘s original Military Association in 1747, the Philadelphia Associators expanded to three Battalions of Foot, numbered 1st , 2nd, and 3rd Battalions, commanded by Colonels John Dickinson, Daniel Roberdeau, and John Cadwalader, respectively.
Philadelphia Merchant, Samuel Mifflin, commanded the Artillery Battalion . A Rifle Battalion, a Troop of Light Horse commanded by Abraham Markee, and a Provost Guard rounded out the structure. The Associators trained twice daily on the commons to the west of the City, near what is now Center Square, as crowds of spectators looked on.
In June, the Philadelphia Associators held a grand review at which the newly appointed General George Washington inspected the neatly-uniformed and well equipped volunteers, before leaving for Massachusetts to assume command in the field of the newly authorized Continental Army.
Shown here, the Commander-in-Chief passes in review, accompanied on horseback by the commanders of the 1st Battalion (COL Dickinson wearing brown coat with white facings), 2nd Battalion (COL Roberdeau, brown coat with red facings), and 3rd Battalion (COL Cadwalader, brown coat with tan facings) of Foot and the Artillery Battalions, returning the salute of the companies of Foot, and Artillerists as he rides past. At far left, the Philadelphia Light Horse, draws up in a column of twos, its yellow standard fluttering in the breeze. Washington’s aide-de-camp, Major Thomas Mifflin, in blue coat with red facing rides with the Battalion Commanders.
These soldiers and units performed heroic service in the dramatic American victories in the battle of Trenton and Princeton in 1776/1777. These units are alive today as the 103rd Engineers, 111th Infantry, and Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry. This painting will be proudly displayed here in our headquarters at Fort Indiantown Gap – to be enjoyed by both current and future generations of Pennsylvania soldiers and airmen . The Pennsylvania National Guard, “Always Ready & Always There.”