"Have a great Fourth of July thanks to people like William Jasper!" - Daily Photo - 07/03/13
There are many aspects of William Jasper’s life in America that make him an ideal individual to remember on the Fourth of July. Johann Wilhelm Gasper was a German immigrant that could neither read nor write when he arrived at Philadelphia in 1767. In place of the "X" he scratched on the oath of allegiance, a colonial official wrote John William Jasper. By that name he became an American. An indentured servant for a period, he then went to Georgia seeking land and opportunity. In order to afford to bring his girlfriend down from Philadelphia to marry, he joined the militia and rose to the rank of sergeant with the Second South Carolina Regiment just prior to the outbreak of the War of Independence. A man initially with his own personal motives for joining the military, he adopted the cause of this nation and showed gallantry at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, rallying the troops in raising the South Carolina flag (Moultrie Flag) after the staff had been shot away. These actions occurred on June 28, 1776. In recognition of his service under fire, Governor John Rutledge presented him his sword and the offer of an officer’s commission, of which, William accepted the former but in humility due to his station declined the latter. It was with this sword, during the Siege of Savannah, that Sergeant Jasper was mortally wounded fastening his regimental standard to a parapet on October 9, 1779.
The following site has a description of the memorial:
William Jasper Monument
The Sergeant William Jasper Monument, unveiled in 1888, memorializes the Georgia Revolutionary War hero killed at the Siege of Savannah in October 1779 while attempting to rescue the colors of his regiment. Designed by Alexander Doyle of New York, the 5 1/2 foot bronze statue of Jasper portrays him holding the flag of the Second Regiment of South Carolina Continentals during the assault. He holds a sabre in his right hand, his hand pressed against the wound in his side. His bullet-ridden hat lies at his feet.