On 30 January 2021, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter (CJWII) Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution participated in a virtual Commemoration for the Battle of Cowan's Ford. The Chapter was represented by a group of seven compatriots who met at the Wayside Inn, Middletown, VA to participate. This battle was fought in the early morning hours of 1 February 1781 in Mecklenberg County, North Carolina between 5,000 British and 900 American forces. General Lord Cornwallis was in the middle of his southern campaign in which he wanted to destroy the American forces in the south and then move to the north. This battle was part of the delaying tactics employed by General Nathanael Greene in his plan to cause attrition in the British ranks and rebuild the American forces. As Greene's Army was heading north, a small contingent led by General William Davidson remained behind at Cowan's Ford on the Catawba River to delay the pursuit by the British. At 1:00 a.m. on the morning of 1 February, Cornwallis sent his forces across the river at a point that was approximately 400 yards wide, to attack the American encampment. American sentries were alerted to the crossing, sounded the alarm and began firing at the troops fording the river. The British managed to reach the colonial side which resulted in a retreat to the dense woods. In rallying his troops, General Davidson was mortally wounded by a musket ball to the chest. With this, the British won the battle as the Americans left the battlefield. This battle led to a revised strategy to be utilized by Greene's Army which led to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, which severely weakened Cornwallis' Army and led to the American victory at Yorktown in October 1781. Participating for the CJWII Chapter were Chapter President Marc Robinson, Virginia State Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner, compatriots Sean Carrigan, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Doug Hall and Brett Osborn. Pictures are courtesy of Thomas "Chip" Daniel. 1st photograph is of the chapter color guard at present arms during the posting of the colors. l - r Ken Bonner, Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Sean Carrigan and Doug Hall. 2nd photograph is of the presentation of a wreath to honor the fallen at Cowan's Ford. l - r Sean Carrigan, Brett Osborn and Dale Corey
Submitted by Dale Corey
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On 24 January 2021, the Colonel James Wood II (CJWII) Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR) co-sponsored a commemoration for Peter Muhlenberg, Pastor and Revolutionary War Hero. Co-sponsoring were the Narrow Passage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Woodstock Wednesday Men's Prayer Group. Muhlenberg was a Lutheran Minister, Continental Army Soldier and a political figure. He was ordained in 1772 and came to Virginia to serve a congregation and led the Committee of Safety and Correspondence for Dunmore County. In 1774, he was elected to the House of Burgess and was a delegate to the 1st Virginia Convention. In late 1775, George Washington asked him to raise and command what would become the 8th Virginia Regiment. According to a biography written by his great-nephew in the mid nineteenth century, on 21 January 1776, in the Lutheran Church, Woodstock, Virginia he completed his sermon by stating "In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight and that time has now come!" He then removed his clerical robe and revealed a Colonel's uniform. With that, he walked out the door as drums rolled and recruited 162 men for the Revolutionary War cause. The next day, he led 300 men that formed the nucleus of the 8th Virginia Regiment. There is very little to verify the actual facts of this event, but he did help to form and then lead the regiment. The regiment was initially sent to help defend South Carolina and Georgia. In 1777, they went north to join Washington and spent the winter at Valley Forge. Muhlenberg then led the unit in the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. After this, he was sent to lead the Virginia Militia in defense of the State. At the Battle of Yorktown, he was in command of the 1st Brigade of Lafayette's Light Division. They held the right flank and manned the parallels built to move the American cannons closer to the British lines. He finished the war strong and at the end, he was promoted to Major General. After the war, he continued to serve his country as a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives three times, eventually being elected to the Senate. As stated on his tombstone, "He was Brave in the field, Faithful in the Cabinet, Honorable in all his transactions, a Sincere Friend and an Honest Man." The commemoration was emceed by CJWII Vice President Thomas "Chip" Daniel with presentations made by VASSAR President William Schwetke, Narrow Passage DAR Regent Susan Walls and CJWII Chaplain Larry Johnson. A prayer was offered by Dick Cooley of the Woodstock Wednesday Men's Prayer Group. The CJWII color guard presented the colors with on site wreath presentations made by Virginia SAR President Schwetke, DAR Regent Walls, CJWII compatriots Brett Osborn and Paul Christensen. Additional compatriots participating were Dale Carpenter, David Carpenter, Sean Carrigan, Doug Hall and Art LaFlam. This was a hybrid event that was broadcast via zoom as a virtual presentation emceed by CJWII President Marc Robinson. There were six SAR State Societies with 19 chapters, three DAR State Societies with 4 chapters and the Society of Founders and Patriots presenting wreaths in honor of Peter Muhlenberg. First photograph is Virginia SAR President William Schwetke; second photograph is a group photo of participants, l to r Paul Christensen, Doug Hall, Sean Carrigan, Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel, Art LaFlam, Susan Walls, Larry Johnson and Dick Cooley; third photo is l to r William Schwetke, Brett Osborn, Art LaFlam, Chip Daniel, Susan Walls and Paul Christensen. Photographs are courtesy of Cat Schwetke.
Submitted by Dale Corey
On 16 January 2021, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution sponsored a commemoration of the Battle of Cowpens and Mt Hebron Cemetery in Winchester. This was a hybrid event conducted both on site and virtually. The Battle of Cowpens became the turning point in the southern campaign during the Revolutionary War. Up to the fall of 1780, the British under General Charles Cornwallis had been running over the colonial militias with relative ease in the southern campaign. In October, General Nathanael Greene was given command of the Southern Department of the Continental forces. He had determined that he was not ready to meet Cornwallis head on at this time and made the decision to divide his Army. He gave General Daniel Morgan command of a wing that was sent west to raise morale and find supplies for the Army. Soon after, the British felt this Army was a threat to their flank and General Cornwallis ordered cavalry Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton to the west to find and destroy Morgan's fighting force. Morgan went north to avoid being trapped between Tarleton and Cornwallis. When he reached the Broad River and found it was at flood level, he decided to stand and fight. Tarleton had pushed his troops hard to catch his foe. Morgan was aware of Tarleton's mode of attack, knowing he would be aggressive with a headlong assault and developed tactics that are still taught at West Point today. His plan was to conduct a double envelopment of Tarleton's forces. His Army included 600 Continental and State Soldiers and roughly 1300 militiamen aligned against a force of 1,150 British. He knew many of his militiamen were not experienced fighters. The night of 16 January he went among his men and spoke with them on a personal level, encouraging them to do their best. The battle order was "No burning, no flying: but face about and give battle to the enemy & acquit ourselves like men in defense of their baggage, their lives and the interest of the Country". He deployed his Army in three main lines. The first was comprised of 150 sharpshooters and the second of militia men. He asked that they fire 2 rounds and then retreat to the left side of the formation. Tarleton roused his men at 2:00 a.m. on 17 January for a 12 mile march in difficult marching conditions. The British Army was exhausted after running out of food and having only four hours of sleep when asked to attack in damp, cold weather. When Tarleton saw the colonials retreating, he felt the field was his and encouraged his troops to charge ahead. Seeing the retreating Americans, the British charged aggressively into the third line of continentals and experienced militia who held their ground. Morgan's Army went on the offensive. The Continentals in the center, mounted a bayonet charge. Tarleton's force, faced with a terrible surprise, began to collapse; some men surrendering on the spot, while others turned and ran. The American cavalry came around from behind the American left to hit the British on their right flank and rear. The militia, having now reorganized, charged out from behind the hill to the British left flank. Morgan's Army took 712 prisoners and effected 110 casualties. Tarleton's elite fighting unit was wiped out as a fighting force. Of note, fighting in the battle were several units from Virginia, including a company of Continentals, a detachment of Virginia State Troops and four militia companies. After the battle, Morgan sent the Virginia Militia home but used them as guards escorting the prisoners who were marched to Winchester prison camps. This victory is known as the turning point of the war in the South, which lead to the American victory at Yorktown in October of 1781. The commemoration ceremony was conducted at Mt Hebron with Chip Daniel conducting the onsite ceremony. This included a combined Color Guard from three SAR Chapters. Included were Virginia SAR 1st Vice President Jeff Thomas, Colonel James Wood II compatriots David Carpenter, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Brett Osborn, Eric Robinson and Jim Simmons. Participating from the Fairfax Resolves Chapter were Ken Bonner and Dave Cook with Pat Kelly from the Thomas Jefferson Chapter. Marc Robinson of the Colonel James Wood II Chapter conducted the on line event which was attended by Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke and representatives from Virginia, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia Societies with 14 SAR Chapters and three DAR Chapters. Photos are courtesy of Anita Bonner. The first picture is of the onsite wreath presentation l. to r. Jim Simmons, Eric Robinson, Chip Daniel, Jeff Thomas and Dave Cook. The second picture is the musket squad l. to r. Brett Osborn, Paul Christensen, Ken Bonner, Sean Carrigan, Pat Kelly, Dave Cook and Eric Robinson. The third picture is a group photo l. to r. Brett Osborn, Eric Robinson, Jim Simmons, Chip Daniel, Dave Cook, Sean Carrigan, Ken Bonner, Jeff Thomas, Paul Christensen and Pat Kelly.
Submitted by Dale Corey
01 Jan 2021 Fauquier County, VA
The Virginia Society made an early start to Flag Certificate presentations for 2021 with a presentation this morning to Jerry & Linda Kerns of Fauquier County. The flag pole in front of their house is the pride and joy of Linda Kerns, who is the daughter of a career Army officer. The flag pole is extendable, well lit at night, and Jerry keeps the tree limbs that reach out for the flag well trimmed.
All 28 chapters of the Virginia SAR presented flag certificates in 2020 and we are on our way to a similar accomplishment this year. Congratulations to each chapter, and a special thanks to our hard working Flag Recognition Committee Chairman, Ken Morris.