September 03
This day In Masonry

The American Flag is flown in battle for the first time, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Coach's Bridge, Maryland by Mason and Brigadier General William Maxwell ordered the Stars and Stripes banner raised as a detachment of his infantry and cavalry met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops. The Americans were defeated and forced to retreat to Mason and General George Washington's main force near Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania.

William Maxwell (?-1798) Brigadier General in American Revolution. Although little is known of his early life, it is thought he was born in Ireland and brought to New Jersey in his early years. He entered the colonial service in 1758, serving in the French and Indian War until the Revolution, when he became colonel of the 2nd New Jersey battalion. He was with the Canadian expedition of 1776 that ended in disaster, and with Schuyler at Lake Champlain. He was made brigadier general in 1776 and harassed the enemy after the Battle of Trenton. In 1777 he commanded a N.J. brigade at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and was with the army at Valley Forge. He played an important part in the Battle of Monmouth. He resigned his commission in 1780. Mason and General George Washington said of him: "I believe him to be an honest man, a warm friend to his country, and firmly attached to its interests." He was a member of the Pennsylvania Military Lodge No. 19 and was once recorded as a visitor to American Union Lodge. He is also listed as a past master in the New Jersey proceedings of 1786-1857. He entered the Celestial Lodge on November 12, 1798.