They clopped along at four to five miles an hour, beginning their day at 8 a.m. and climbing out of the saddle at 5 p.m. Their horses, exposed to honking cars, trucks, buses and other 20th-century mechanical noises, were spooked just three times — when an agitated and animated white chicken ran in front of them, when a sheet of newspaper blew past and finally by a Philadelphia streetcar that lumbered by.
Volker told The Sunday Sun Magazine that it was "enjoyable except for the last hour of every day. I got awfully sore in the — of all places — in the knees."
They made it through Georgetown, Del., then on to Clifton Mills and Chadds Ford, Pa., and stopped in Media on May 20 for the night. The next morning they made their triumphal entry into Philadelphia, where a crowd of more than 200 greeted them at Independence Hall.
Seizing the drama of the moment, Volker bellowed, "Cornwallis is taken! Liberty is won! Peace is come!
"Once again husbands, fathers, sons, lovers shall return to their hearths that gave them to the cause! Once again shall joy set on every hearth and happiness shine over every rooftree!"
Corddry reported that the Chestertown Tea Party was a "great success" and it has continued, even though Tilghman's ride has not been repeated.
Volker made the trip in eight days, putting on 2 pounds during his trip, while Tilghman did it in four.
Volker, now 89 and retired, lives in Salisbury.
"Well, I'll tell you what, it was a whole new experience for me," he said in a recent telephone interview. "However, it was a nice one."