Chapter members attended VASSAR’s commemoration of the 278th Anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday on Sunday, April 11 in Richmond at Historic Tuckahoe, Jefferson’s boyhood home. Pictured L to R, behind the chapter wreath and representing the Williamsburg Chapter, were Roger Cross, president and wreath presenter; James Morford, chaplain, who delivered the invocation; David Westenberger, newsletter/website editor; and William Greaf, past president and 3rd vice president of the Virginia Society.
17 Apr 2021 Culpeper, VA
President Jeff Thomas played a prominent roll in ceremonies at the Culpeper Masonic Cemetery this past Saturday in honor of Patriots Day, to mark the grave of patriot General Edward Stevens, and to Gather & Bless Virginia Soil for the mass grave of Virginians at Waxhaws.
Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Charles Jameson was the master of ceremonies and in addition to President Jeff Thomas representing the Virginia SAR the Virginia Society of Founders and Patriots was represented by Governor Michael Weyler. Members of six Virginia SAR Chapters (Col James Wood II, Col William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, George Mason, and Thomas Jefferson), two DAR Chapters, and one C.A.R. Society also participated.
The program began with the usual rituals, including the posting of the colors led by Virginia SAR Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner. Ten compatriots and one DAR daughter participated in the color guard.
The first program, was a commemoration of Patriots Day, noting the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Bill Schwetke spoke to those and related events from the perspective of Virginia. Of note, it took 15 days for the news of the battles to be published in a Virginia Newspaper.
Next was the ceremony to unveil the SAR Patriot Marker for the grave of General Edward Stevens. In this program CMM President Charles Jameson talked about the life of Edward Stevens, Historian Bill Schwetke and Chaplain Len Cowherd conducted the ceremony, and Michael Dennis, a descendant of a patriot who served with Stevens, unveiled the marker. This was immediately followed by a musket volley from the Color Guard and everyone singing "God Bless America" led by Dale Corey.
The program contained this brief bio of Edward Stevens:
Edward Stevens was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, in 1745. As a Captain he led Culpeper’s Independent Company in response to the alarm over the seizure of weapons and gunpowder from the Williamsburg Magazine in April of 1775. On December 9, 1775 he led the victorious Culpeper Minute Battalion in the crucial Battle of Great Bridge. He then was commissioned as Colonel of the
10th Virginia Regiment and fought at Brandywine and Germantown. He returned to Culpeper and was commissioned as a Brigadier General of Virginia Militia and led militia at Camden, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown. After our Independence was gained, Edward Stevens returned to Culpeper where he served as a state senator and died in 1820. The cemetery where he is buried is on land that he donated.
After the ceremony, wreaths were presented by eleven of the participating organizations. President Jeff Thomas presented the Virginia SAR wreath.
The last ceremony was to gather Virginia Soil, in this case that removed for the Patriot Marker at Edward Stevens' grave, bless it, and present it to Virginia SAR President Jeff Thomas to spread on the mass grave of Virginians in the 3rd Virginia Detachment killed at the Battle of Waxhaws during the ceremony marking the 241st anniversary of that battle in South Carolina. CMM President Charles Jameson handled the urn, Bill Schwetke filled it with Virginia Soil, President Thomas accepted it, and Father Henry Minich blessed the soil.
On May 29th, the 241st anniversary of the Battle of Waxhaws, President Thomas will spread this blessed soil on the mass grave of Virginians who died there.
Information for your Patriot Grave Marking Medal Form. Are you tracking your accomplishments? - participate in marking a total of 15 similar graves and you're eligible for the NSSAR Patriot Grave Marking Medal.
30 minute video of ceremony available at this link.
On 19 April 2021, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted Patriots Day Commemoration at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility. This date is honored to celebrate the 246th anniversary of the first shots fired in the American Revolutionary War at the Battles of Lexington, Concord and Menotomy Massachusetts on 19 April 1775. After the French and Indian War, Great Britain enacted several measures to raise revenue from the 13 colonies to help pay for that war. This created a great deal of resentment among the colonists. The Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773 resulted in King George declaring Massachusetts in a state of rebellion. On 18 April 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren (namesake of Warren County), a member of the Sons of Liberty found that the British were sending a contingent of Marines to Concord to capture powder and arms from the local armory. He dispatched Paul Revere and William Dawes to warn residents of the British march. The two took different routes, meeting in Lexington. It was here they met revolutionary leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, warning them to flee and then set out for Concord. On the way, they met Samuel Prescott (a third rider). Prescott made it to Concord, Dawes was thrown from his horse and returned to Lexington with Revere being captured by a British patrol. On 19 April, 700+ British troops arrived in Lexington and met 77 minutemen on the town green. An unknown fired a shot, which in turn caused several British volleys. When the smoke cleared, eight militiamen were dean with nine wounded. Only one redcoat was injured. The British then continued to Concord where they found most of the equipment had been relocated. They then began to burn what they did find causing a fire that got out of control. Hundreds of militiamen seeing the smoke ran to the defense of the town. As they came to Concord’s North Bridge, they were met by a contingent of British soldiers. The British fired first but fell back when the colonists returned fire. This became known as the "shot heard 'round the world". When the British began the 18-mile return march to Boston they found 2,000 minutemen shooting at them from cover along the route. Upon reaching Lexington, the British were reinforced and continued to retreat. The colonists stayed with them into Menotomy where some of the fiercest fighting ensued. By the time they had reached Boston, over 3,500 minutemen had joined in what had become the first battle of the War for Independence. These battles proved that the American colonies could fight and stand up to the strongest Army in the world at that time. In 1894, Massachusetts Governor Greenhalge proclaimed Patriots Day, 19 April as a holiday. It was followed in 1907 by Maine. Currently, four States, Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, and Connecticut recognize this date as a school holiday. For this event, Dale Corey was the emcee with Larry Johnson providing chaplain duties. Both compatriots provided presentations on the SAR and Patriots Day to the seniors at the facility. They were supported by Doug Hall and Allan Phillips as flag bearers. The first picture is of Dale Corey, Doug Hall, Larry Johnson, and Allan Phillips during the presentation. The second picture is Larry Johnson telling the story of the Lexington Battle. The third picture is Doug Hall and Allan Phillips as flag bearers. Picture’s courtesy of Allan Phillips
On 11 April 2021, members of the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (Virginia SAR) participated in the 278th Anniversary Commemoration of the birth of Thomas Jefferson. The ceremony was held at the Tuckahoe Plantation, Virginia. This was the boyhood home of Jefferson from the time he was two years old until he was nine years old. Tuckahoe is a mostly complete plantation complex started about 1714 by Thomas Randolph. It has a plain clapboard exterior, but the interior is an example of outstanding craftsmanship from the eighteenth century. William Randolph inherited the complex from his father. He and his wife, Maria Judith Page, had three children William and Maria died young. She in 1742 and he in 1745 leaving three young children as orphans. Peter Jefferson had married Williams first cousin Jane Randolph and they had become good friends. One of William's last requests prior to his death was to have Peter care for his children until the eldest son was old enough to assume the responsibilities of managing the plantation. Thomas along with his parents and younger sister, lived at Tuckahoe for seven years. The children were taught lessons in a one room schoolhouse which is still present next to the main house. This was built at the direction of William Randolph in his will to ensure his son's education was at home. In 1752, Thomas Mann Randolph at age 11 was deemed old enough to assume the management of the plantation. He died in 1795, operating Tuckahoe for 43 years. His namesake son married Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha. The ceremony was conducted by David Cooke, President of the Thomas Jefferson Chapter of the Virginia Society. Participating with the Virginia State Color Guard were Colonel James Wood II Chapter members and dual members. These included Marc Robinson (President, Colonel James Wood II Chapter), Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Ken Bonner (Virginia SAR Color Guard Commander, dual member from Fairfax Resolves (FR) Chapter), Bill Schwetke (Past President Virginia SAR and dual member from Culpeper Minutemen Chapter (CMM)), Charles Jameson (dual member and President of CMM Chapter) and Mike Weyler (dual member Colonel William Grayson Chapter and Governor, Virginia Order of Founders and Patriots of America (OFPA)). Wreaths were presented by Brett Osborn, Charles Jameson and Mike Weyler among the 21 laid in honor of Thomas Jefferson. Included from the Fauquier Court House Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution was Cat Schwetke who provided a wreath and photographic support for the event. The first picture is the Virginia SAR Color Guard presenting the colors. Second Picture is Brett Osborn presenting a wreath. Third picture is the CJWII members l. to r. Bill Schwetke, Ken Bonner, Pat Kelly, Brett Osborn, Marc Robinson, Charles Jameson, Dale Corey and Mike Weyler. Pictures courtesy of Cat Schwetke and Anita Bonner.
On 10 April 2021, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter (CJWII), Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) sponsored a Patriot Grave Marking Ceremony to honor William Ewing, a Revolutionary War Patriot. The ceremony was held at the Ewing Family Cemetery, Stephens City in front of several descendants of William and neighbors from the surrounding area. William Ewing was born in 1711 in Ireland. His family immigrated to the new world in 1729 to avoid religious persecution. They arrived in Chester, Pennsylvania and settled just south of Lancaster. In 1737 William, along with other pioneers migrated to the Shenandoah Valley. They settled in what was known at the time as Stephensburg. He purchased land from Lord Fairfax and after several legal disputes settled on 625 acres. During the French and Indian War, William Ewing served in the Frederick County Militia in a company commanded by Colonel George Washington. He was 64 years old when the Revolutionary War started, but supported the colonial effort by providing goods and services to the militia contributing butter and cheese. He had a brother and two sons who served in the militia during the War and his wife provided support to the cause after Williams death. He died 27 Dec 1781 and was buried in the family cemetery on land from the original Ewing homestead. The ceremony was emcee'd by Dale Corey with the Virginia Society Color Guard commanded by Ken Bonner with Doug Hall (drummer), Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dave Cook, Chip Daniel, Mike Dennis, Erick Moore, Brett Osborn, Dennis Parmerter, Will Reynolds, Eric Robinson, Marc Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Barry Schwoerer and Jacob Schwoerer. The Rt Rev Larry Johnson provided chaplain duties with a family presentation by Mike Ewing. Wreaths were presented by Ray Ewing (Ewing Family), Mike Weyler, (Governor Virginia Order of Founders and Patriots), Will Reynolds (CMWII SAR), Virginia Society Past President Bill Schwetke (Virginia Society SAR), Barry Schwoerer (Colonel William Grayson SAR), President Charles Jameson (Culpeper Minutemen SAR), President Dave Cook (Fairfax Resolves SAR), Regent Sara Boppe (Fort Loudoun DAR), 2nd Regent Nancy Watford (Ketoctin DAR), Paula Schwoerer (Elizabeth McIntosh Hammill DAR), Anita Bonner (Lanes Mill DAR) and Jacob Schwoerer (Colonel William Grayson Society C.A.R.). Bill Wright played the bagpipes during a Betsy Ross Flag folding by Chip Daniel and Charles Jameson. The flag was presented to Ray Ewing, the eldest descendant of William present for the commemoration. A musket salute was performed by Ken Bonner, Sean Carrigan, Dave Cook, Chip Daniel, Mike Dennis, Brett Osborn and Barry Schwoerer. Also participating for the CJWII Chapter were Marshall DeHaven, Gary Fletcher and Peter Himmelberger. Descendants of William who were present included Ray Ewing and his wife Betty, Bill Ewing, Charles Ewing and his daughter Kim and Mike Ewing with his wife Brenda and son Kyle. First picture is the combined color guard, standing l. to r. Bill Wright, Larry Jonson, Bill Schwetke, Dale Corey, Dennis Parmerter, Erick Moore, Will Reynolds, Paul Christensen, Chip Daniel, Mike Dennis, Brett Osborn, Dave Cook and Paula Schwoerer; kneeling l. to r. jacob Schwoerer, Marc Robinson, Eric Robinson, Ken Bonner, Doug Hall, Sean Carrigan, Barry Schwoerer, Mike Weyler and Charles Jameson. Second picture is the wreath presentation l. to r. Anita Bonner, Will Reynolds, Bill Schwetke, Charles Jameson, Mike Weyler, Dave Cook, Barry Schwoerer, Sara Boppe, Paula Schwoerer, Jacob Schwoerer, Bill Ewing and Nancy Watford. Third pictures is the musket squad preparing to fire l. to r. Ken Bonner, Sean Carrigan, Chip Daniel, Dave Cook, Mike Dennis, Barry Schwoerer and Brett Osborn. Pictures courtesy of Deborah Corey.
Roger Cross (right), President of the Williamsburg Chapter presented an acrylic medal, a $500 check and an award citation to Mr. Jeffrey Nicoloff (center), Walsingham Academy Lower School history teacher, on Feb. 25. On the left is Jenafer Naswadi, Director of the Lower School of Walsingham Academy. The award was given, at its annual meeting on Feb 6, by the Virginia Society SAR for nomination to the Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Contest of the National Society.