On this day June 5, 1783 Commander in Chief George Washington awarded soldier, Private Oliver Cromwell with the Badge of Military Merit and personally signed the discharge papers for his service to the country.

Continental Army Private, Oliver Cromwell, of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment served valiantly in five battles (3-1-1) from 1777-1783 including his final battle “The Seige of Yorktown” in 1781.

Years after retirement Cromwell applied for veterans pension. Although he couldnt read or write, local politicians, judges and lawyers came to his aid and, he was awarded $96 a year. He purchased a 100 acre farm and fathered 14 children.

Cromwell lived to be 100 years old and died in 1853 outliving 8 of his own children.

SOURCES: http://www.blackfacts.com

SOURCES: http://www.wikipedia.com

PHOTO: Jesse Douglas. http://www.arsmod.com