After a brief online search, it seemed more likely to reference a term that grew out of a Thomas Paine essay titled The Crisis first published as a pamphlet in December 1776. This is the essay that begins with the well-known line, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” In the second winter of the war, the essay chastises soldiers and others who are faint of heart in pursuing their cause, and states:
A “winter soldier,” in contrast, is one who will continue to fight for his or her cause when the going gets tough. Paine continues, “lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it.”
If this visitor’s descendant was a “winter soldier” of this type lodging in Hatfield, I, also, am curious to know where. You just never know down what road a trip to the museum will lead you.