Famous painting of the Battle of Yorktown. There is family lore that William said he fought with General Washington.

Rule served as a Private in the 2nd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Line, under Captain John Patterson and Colonel Stewart.

He served under Col. Stewart in battles along the New York and New Jersey border in July 1778. In that same month, he also fought at Green Springs, New York. At the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 he suffered a severe musket ball wound to the upper hip. Unable to be amputated, it festered and eventually took his life sometime in 1782. After the Rule’s death, the court appointed a relative as a guardian for this son. No one ever submitted any of the pay vouchers or script for his service, for unknown reasons.

The family spoke the German language, calling it “speaking the Dutch,” for generations, possibly lending credence for the belief that Rule was born in Holland. There are several published biographies for his sons who state the family was of Germanic origins.

Rule does not have a marked grave and few records are associated with him. It is believed he was buried in one of the older cemeteries in Cocalico Township that has disappeared with time. His courage and sacrifice would help to build this country and ultimately allowed four generations to join DAR.