The First Presbyterian Church of Springfield was used as a storehouse during the American Revolution. And some history suggests that the church’s parsonage was used as General George Washington’s local headquarters.
Legend has it that, during the Battle of Springfield, pastor James Caldwell (Chaplain to the Continental Army), realizing that his comrades where running out of ammunition, ran into the church and grabbed the Isaac Watts psalters, tore out pages and gave them to the soldiers to use as wadding for their muskets. As Caldwell distributed the psalters, he encouraged the fighters, shouting “Give ‘em Watts Boys” (or, some say, “Put Watts into ‘em, boys!”) You no doubt know Isaac Watts’ most famous hymn, “Joy to the World.”
The original structure was burned by the British during the battle.
The church graveyard is the final resting place of at least 30 Revolutionary War soldiers.