Chester - America's first National Anthem


This famous song was sung and played widely during the Revolutionary War.
It is believed that it was sung after the battle at Cowpens in South Carolina.
At one time, it was considered for our national anthem.
It was written by one of America's earliest composers,
William Billings,
a New England minister and church music composer.

From the GENERAL ORDERS of Friday, April 18, 1783, footnote #67 reads
April 19th.
At noon the proclamation of Congress for a cessation of hostilities was proclaimed at the door of the New Building,
followed by three huzzas; after which a prayer was made by the Reverend Mr. Ganno,
and an anthem (Independence, from Billings,) was performed by vocal and instrumental music. -- Heath's Memories.
The GW Papers Index entry for this item reads - Billings, William, anthem, 26.337n.

This Ceremony depicts Revolutionary War Soldier reenactors honoring
Those Who Have Gone Before Us
The Ceremony included the singing of Chester, the firing of three salute rounds,
The singing of Parting Glass, and the Mouring of Arms (as shown).

Thank you for your interest.

Additional verses of Chester are available at this Wikipedia link,
or, if you have some additional material or informaton to share,
Email us at:iv_dragoon@email.com
or sign the guestbook and make your presence known.

or View the Archived Guestbooks


Return to IV Dragoon Home Page.
Hosting by WebRing.