Muhlenberg painting to reside in Woodstock

A painting depicting an important moment in American, or more specifically Woodstock, history will make its home at the Woodstock Post 199 American Legion.

Suzanne Curran, a member of the Shenandoah Valley Constitutional Conservatives and one of the judges at Wednesday’s 15th District Oratorical Contest, presented the legion with a certified copy of a painting from the 1800s entitled “A Call to Arms” by Stanley Author.

The painting depicts a moment in the life of John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg concerning the American Revolution.

According to Curran, she discovered the painting while researching Muhlenberg at the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Curran noted that the seminary “houses a significant collection of Muhlenberg memorabilia and literature because of his military life.”

After discovering the painting, Curran said that she “went up to the curator and asked if I could have a copy of that picture for our American Legion post.”

The painting will reside at Post 199 and depicts the moment when Peter S. Muhlenberg called for Germans to volunteer to help the American Revolution at what is now presently the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.

“Historically, it is said that he was standing in a church in Woodstock … where he gave his Ecclesiastes sermon about ‘for every reason, there is a season,” Curran said

Curran said that, not only did Muhlenberg recruit many volunteers, but that “wives were said to be pushing their husbands to him to fight.”

The proceedings of the oratorical also included a moment when members of the Woodstock American Legion refolded two flags relating to her husband, James, who passed away in November of 2014.

“There was the casket flag for his military service and the other flag was for his contribution to the intelligence community,” Curran said, adding that he “worked 51 years for the United States government.”

Curran said that the refolding ceremony “had me in tears in the corner. I had to go hide my head.”

“I am so appreciative of the honor guard for refolding the flags,” she said, “They were folded rather awkwardly and it takes several people to be able to fold them correctly.”

Curran added that the folded flags will be passed down to her two grandchildren.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or