Sgt Maj John Champe Chapter Commemorates their namesake: Revolutionary War Hero - Sgt Maj John Champe
23 April 2022 John Champe homesite Middleburg, VA
The Sgt Maj John Champe Chapter sponsored the commemoration of Revolutionary War patriot and hero Sergeant Major John Champe at the Champe homesite in Middleburg, VA. Participating were four officers of the Virginia Society (VASSAR), and representatives of the Fairfax Resolves Chapter (FR), George Washington Chapter (GW), Colonel William Grayson (CWG) and Colonel James Wood II Chapter (CJWII). The Daughters of the American Revolution were represented by Stone Bridge (SB), Ketoctin (KT), and Lanes Mill (LM). The Children of the American Revolution had representatives from the Rev John Marks (RJM) and Colonel William Grayson (CWG) Societies. Ken Bonner, President of SMJC, emceed the program with Chaplain duties by Right Rev Larry Johnson (CJWII). Greetings were given by Jeff Thomas, Alternate National Trustee and Past President of VASSAR; Ernest Coggins, 1st Vice President VASSAR and Dr Michael Weyler, Governor of the Virginia Order of Founders and Patriots of America. Steven Powers (SMJC) gave a biographical sketch on Sgt Maj Champe.
John Champe was a Revolutionary War soldier and hero. He was born in 1752, near Aldie Virginia. In 1776, he enlisted in the Virginia Cavalry and quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant Major in the unit commanded by Major Henry Lee III, later known as "Lee's Legion". In October 1780, near Bergen, New Jersey, the legion was camped across the river from New York City and British encampments. A month earlier, Benedict Arnold had deserted to the British. General George Washington wanted to capture Arnold, who was in New York recruiting men to fight for the British. Washington developed a plan to capture, court-martial and make an example of the traitor Benedict Arnold. This would require an individual to be a double agent, act as a traitor to the colonial cause and infiltrate the British forces. The soldier would ride through American pickets and board a boat that would cross the Hudson. In New York, he would present himself as a deserter and gain Arnold's confidence. With the aid of an accomplice, he would kidnap Arnold and bring him back to the American camp. Major Lee told Washington, that John Champe was the right man for the job. Lee's Memoirs describe Champe as "Rather above the common size -- full of bone and muscle -- grave, thoughtful, taciturn -- of tried courage and inflexible perseverance". Champe accepted the assignment and at about 11:00 pm on 20 October 1780, rode away from camp with his personal effects, weapons and the unit Orderly Book to prove his desertion. Only a handful of American leaders knew of the plan. Champe was chased by and shot at by his own unit. He eventually made it to the river and was captured by the British.
Taken to British Headquarters, he convinced Arnold of his desertion and was assigned as a recruiting sergeant. The job gave him access to Arnold's home where he observed Arnold and his nightly routine. A plan was made with sympathizers to seize Arnold on his evening stroll, take him to a waiting boat and transport him across the Hudson. Before the plot could be put into play, Arnold moved the headquarters to another part of Manhattan, taking Champe with him. Arnold then moved his forces to Virginia. Once in Virginia, Champe served in the British Army for months before finding a way to escape back to the Continental Army. Upon rejoining the Americans, Champe wanted to continue fighting the British, but Major Lee dissuaded him from it. It was noted that if captured, he would now be hanged as a spy. Lee believed Champe had acquitted himself well and discharged him honorably from the Continental Army. After the War, Washington personally recommended Champe for the position of Sergeant-at-Arms for the Continental Congress. His name was recorded as such in the Congressional log dated 25 August 1783. After serving, he returned to Loudoun County near what is now Champe Ford Road. An obelisk was erected near the site of that home using stones from the home. NSDAR installed a marker on the obelisk in 1939. He later moved his family to what is now Pendleton County West Virginia. He married Phebe Susan Barnard and they raised six children. He died 30 September 1798 in Fort Prickett in what is now West Virginia. Sergeant Major John Champe was a true hero of the American Revolution.
The Color guard and musket squad was commanded by Barry Schwoerer (SMJC). Wreath presentations were made by representatives of the participating organizations followed by a musket salute from the Virginia State Color Guard. Photos courtesy of Steven Powers.
Presentation of Colors, L-R: Barry Schwoerer, Ken Bonner (back view), Michael Weyler, Dale Corey, Brett Osborn (Obscured by 250th flag), Christian Powers (SMJC junior member
26 April 2022 Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Eastern Loudoun Station, Sterling, VA
Deputy First Class Camron Gentry and Deputy First Class Charles Ewing were recognized at the Eastern Loudoun Station Quarterly Meeting. DFC Gentry was awarded a Heroism Medal and Citation and Deputy First Class Ewing was awarded a Life-Saving Medal and Citation by the Sergeant Major John Champe Chapter in cooperation with Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. Representing the Sgt Maj John Champe Chapter were Rhett Wade, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee and Vice President Barry Schwoerer.
L-R: Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman, Rhett Wade, DFC Gentry, Barry Schwoerer
The citation for honoree DFC Gentry reads: On 2 January 2021 in the face of extreme danger DFC Camron Gentry engaged an armed suspect without regard to himself. He placed himself between the suspect and innocent citizens. The suspect opened fire, striking DFC Gentry multiple times. Despite his wounds, he advised dispatch of the situation and requested immediate assistance. DFC Gentry’s extraordinary courage in the face of danger by placing his body between the suspect and himself brings great credit to himself, the community he serves, and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office. For exceptional bravery and heroism, he was awarded the National Society Sons of the American Revolution Heroism Medal and Citation.
The citation for honoree DFC Ewing reads: On the same date Deputy First Class Charles Ewing was with DFC Gentry when violence erupted. He returned fire, striking the suspect, then followed the suspect into the parking lot where he abandoned the pursuit. He then returned to administer first aid to DFC Gentry. He applied tourniquets to two life-threatening wounds and administered first aid to other wounded. Medical professionals credit DFC Ewing’s actions for saving the life of DFC Gentry. For exceptional service to his community, to his fellow man, and to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office DFC Ewing was awarded the National Society Sons of the American Revolution Life Saving Medal and Citation.
23 April 2022 John Champe Homesite, Middleburg, VA
The first battle of the Revolutionary War took place 19 April 1775 at Lexington, Massachusetts. On that day, a small company of militiamen commanded by Captain John Parker engaged a much larger British force. Eight men were killed in the initial exchange of musket fire. The Sgt Maj John Champe (SMJC) Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), commemorated the “Shot heard around the world” with a remembrance by Virginia SAR Chaplain Reverend Dr. Eugene Thomas followed by ringing a bell after the names of each of the first eight killed in action were read. A moment of silence was observed for other militiamen killed on that date. Ringing the bell were Jacob Schwoerer and Christian Powers both junior members of the SMJC Chapter.
L-R; Christian Powers, Jacob Schwoerer, Reverend Dr Eugene Thomas, Ken Bonner
THE VIRGINIA SAR COLOR GUARD AIDED THE PRESENTATION OF THE COLORS FOR THE RETIREMENT CEREMONY OF MASTER SGT. JERAD MYERS
From left to right: Andrew Mills of the COL William Grayson Chapter, Jack Mills of COL William Grayson Chapter, John Hamilton of COL Fielding Lewis Chapter, and MSG(r) Jerad Myers of COL Fielding Lewis Chapter
The Virginia SAR Color Guard members of the William Grayson and Colonel Fielding Lewis (CFL) Chapters aided the Presentation of the Colors for the Retirement Ceremony with the Army Geospatial Intelligence Battalion for CFL Historian Master Sgt. Jerad Myers at the National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir. CFL Secretary Brian Madigan also presented Compatriot / Master Sgt. Myers with the National Society of the SAR War Medal with Southwest Asia Device.
Master Sgt. Myers retired after 24 years of service to the United States Coast Guard, Indiana Army National Guard, and United States Army Reserves. As a Second Class Petty Officer, Myers deployed across the Pacific Ocean in support of illegal immigration operations, fisheries enforcement, counter narcotics patrols, and search-and-rescue standby. As a Staff Sgt. in the Indiana National Guard, Myers was assigned to support federal, State, and local law enforcement in Gary, Indiana and deployed to Afghanistan. Master Sgt. Myers' exploits in the Army Reserve include another Afghanistan deployment and support to the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Ground Intelligence Center, Special Operations Command South, US Special Operations Command, and US Central Command.
THE RICHARD HENRY LEE CHAPTER AND THE JAMES MONROE CHAPTER PRESENTS AN AWARD MIRIAM SISSON FOR WINNING THE RHLC POSTER CONTEST.
On 21 April, Michael Rhodes, President of the Richard Henry Lee Chapter (RHLC) and Charles Belfield, President of the James Monroe Chapter (JMC) of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR) presented a monetary award to Chesapeake Academy student Miriam Sisson for winning the RHLC poster contest. The presentation was made at the Academy’s academic award ceremony. Miriam, a 5th grade student, is the daughter of Michael and Courtney Sisson of Farnham, Virginia.
Miriam whose poster captured highlights of Paul Revere’s ride at the beginning of the Revolution will now represent RHLC at this year’s VASSAR’s poster contest. Last year Miriam not yet a student at the Academy represented JMC in the VASSAR contest. If Miriam wins this year’s VASSAR contest she would represent Virginia in this year’s National Society Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) contest. Cash awards are presented to the winners at each level.
The poster contest is one of four annual NSSAR events aimed at boy and girl students from the 3rd to 12th grades. The other contests are brochure (6th to 9th grades), essay (9th-12th grades) and oration (9th -12th grades). Each of these contests begin at the Chapter level and are open to students in public school, parochial, scouts, home school or Children of the American Revolution.
The next poster contest will start in January 2023. The theme for the poster contest for academic years ending in even numbers is Revolutionary War Events; for those ending in odd numbers it is Revolutionary Person or Persons.
The brochure contests also begins in January. The permanent theme for this contest is “The Founding Documents of the United States.” They are: Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The theme for both the essay and oration contests are announced at the beginning of the academic school year. RHLC will judge its local contests in December. Winners of the local contests will represent the Chapter at the VASSAR annual meeting the following February. Winners of the poster and brochure contests are decided after the VASSAR annual meeting.
To learn more about these contests log into the NSSAR website. sar.org. On the website you will find efforts of winners past. Or you can contact RHLC via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: May 14, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Historic Henry County Courthouse Plaza
1 East Main St., Martinsville, VA 24112
Parking lots located across the street and below courthouse
Greetings, fellow Compatriots!
My name is Jarred Marlowe and I am the president of the Colonel George Waller Chapter in Martinsville. I hope this email finds you well on this beautiful April Sunday. This year, like last year, our chapter has the honor and privilege of hosting the Raid At Martin's Station National SAR event, coupled with a celebration of the life and accomplishments of General Joseph Martin, namesake of the city of Martinsville. We had a great event last year, and look forward to an even better event this year!
The event will be on Saturday, May 14th at 1 PM here at the Historic Henry County Courthouse in beautiful Martinsville, Virginia. There will be several distinguished and noted speakers, a wreath laying/dedication, and hopefully a cannon firing and musket volleys. On behalf of our chapter and the Martin's Station chapter, I invite all of you to come down and help us celebrate on May 14th.
I have included a link to an online form to fill out to let us know if you are bringing a wreath or greetings so we can properly note your participation in the day's events. I also humbly ask all of you to share this event with your chapter members because we welcome all who want to come. If you received this email and are not in chapter/state leadership, I apologize and ask that you forward it to the current leadership.
We look forward to seeing all of you who can make it to our Joseph Martin commemoration on May 14th. if you have any questions/comments/etc., feel free to let me know. Thank you all, and may God bless you.
The National Memorial Day Parade is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday, May 30. The national and state color guards have been incredible supporters of this event, and the organizers are resuming the full, in-person parade on Memorial Day this year. I hope you will be able to support the event as we finally emerge from the pandemic.
Participants should plan on being on site by 12:45 p.m., although we do not yet have an assigned assembly point -- I assume it will be near where we usually are on 7th Street and the Mall.
Attached is the release form that I need from every participant in the parade by May 14. I need the signed form with e-mail addresses so that I can submit them to parade organizers and provide updates to participants. Please circulate the form as widely within the state and national color guards as you see fit.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
Michael J. Elston
Sons of the American Revolution
THE COLONEL JAMES WOOD II CHAPTER CONDUCTED A FLAG RAISING CEREMONY AT THE WAYSIDE INN, MIDDLETOWN, VA.
THE RAISING OF THE NEW FLAG
On 26 March 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Wayside Inn, Middletown, VA. The Wayside Inn is the oldest continuously operated inn in America. The original building was constructed in 1797 and has been used as a stage coach stop, a place for aide and comfort for both sides during the Civil War and known as America's first motor inn. It was originally known as Wilkerson's Tavern. In the mid 1800's, it was named Larrick's Hotel and in 1960 was renamed the Wayside Inn. The Sons of the American Revolution regularly conduct events at the inn to include chapter meetings, color guard musters and flag retirement ceremonies. For the flag raising event, Dale Corey emceed with compatriots Patrick Morris and John Petrie as the flag detail. The color guard was commanded by Brett Osborn and consisted of the compatriots Paul Christensen, Kelly Ford, Erick Moore, Nathan Poe, Tom Reed, Will Reynolds, Marc Robinson and Mike St Jacques. The retired flag will be properly disposed of at a flag retirement ceremony to be conducted 14 Jun 2022 at the Wayside Inn.
color guard members Brett Osborn, Erick Moore, Paul Christensen and Marc Robinson with the U.S. flag. (Photos courtesy of Thomas "Chip" Daniel)
On 26 March 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society conducted a ceremony to commemorate National Vietnam Veterans Day at the Veterans Memorial, Middletown, VA. In 2017, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey and Joe Donnelly introduced legislation to honor Vietnam Veterans with a Day. The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict. U.S. involvement began in 1954 after the French lost the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, ending a century of rule in Indochina. Vietnam was split at 17 degrees north latitude. By 1957, a civil war was in full swing. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy began a stronger involvement. By 1962 there were 9,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam. As a result of a coup in South Vietnam, the political instability persuaded President Lyndon Johnson to further increase U.S. support. In August 1964, two U.S. destroyers were attacked and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed giving Johnson broad war making powers. By June 1965, 82,000 combat troops were in country with increases of 100,000 in July 1965 and again in 1966. Approximately 2,700,000 American men and women served and for the first time, America failed to welcome its veterans home, as opposition to the war in the United States bitterly divided Americans. In 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords and ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces. On 29 March 1973, U.S. combat and combat support units were withdrawn from South Vietnam. For almost two decades, Americans had raised their right hands and committed to serve and defend our Constitution as uniformed members of the United States Armed Forces during a tumultuous period in our country’s history. Throughout the years of the Vietnam War, 9 million Americans earned the title of United States veteran. Returning veterans did not always receive the deserved respect for serving the country. Over 58,000 did not return and are duly recognized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. Every service member of the Vietnam generation should know their sacrifices mattered and their service made a difference. On 28 March 2017, President Donald Trump signed the National Vietnam War Veterans Day Act, calling for 29 March to be a day of recognition of the service and duty rendered by all servicemen and women of this era. Today and every day, we now honor the bravery and commitment of a generation of Americans who valiantly fought in service of the country they love and recognize the continuing impact of the veterans of the Vietnam conflict, including their families, caregivers and survivors. Dale Corey emceed the commemoration with a color guard commanded by compatriot Brett Osborn and included Paul Christensen, Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Kelly Ford, Erick Moore, Patrick Moore, Nathan Poe, Tom Reed, William Reynolds, Eric Robinson, Marc Robinson and Mike St Jacques. Virginia Society First Vice President Ernie Coggins led the Pledge of Allegiance with Rev Jim Simmons providing chaplain service. A grateful thank you is given to the town of Middletown and Mayor Charles Harbaugh for providing us the opportunity to honor and commemorate Vietnam veterans.
Colonel James Wood II color guard commanded by Brett Osborn. Second photo is Dale Corey presenting a commemoration to Vietnam Veterans.
Brett Osborn giving a presentation on the life of John Holker.
On 2 April 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a grave marking to commemorate the service of John Holker in the struggle for independence. The ceremony was conducted at the Burwell Cemetery, Millwood, Clarke, Virginia.
John Holker was born in Manchester, England. His father, fled to Rouen, France in 1745 and became prominent in French textile manufacturing. John returned to England between 1769 and 1772 to study the British manufacturing processes. In 1777, along with his father, he became involved in assisting American commissioners in Paris to obtain military clothing and supplies. The following year, he was sent to America as a diplomatic representative and observer to the American Revolutionary War effort.
When the French increased their aid to America in 1779, Holker became a key figure in the alliance. General George Washington relied on him for information concerning the French fleet and he became the go between Washington and Admiral D'Estaing. He was further, instrumental in purchasing supplies for the French fleet and horses for General Rochambeau's French army.
By 1780, Holker had become Consul General for Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. During his time with these States, he become engaged in private business. When the French government was informed of his financial activities, he was asked to observe their prohibition against public officials engaging in trade or resign. He resigned in 1781.
At some time in 1792, he moved his family to the Winchester area. He acquired the home known as Springsbury, near Berryville, Virginia. John Holker, died in 1822 and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Winchester. In 1904 his remains were moved to the Old Chapel Cemetery (also known as Burwell Cemetery).
The ceremony was emcee'd by Dale Corey. Attending were Virginia Society SAR 1st Vice President Ernie Coggins and 3rd Vice President Dr Michael Weyler; representing the national society was Surgeon General Dr Ernest Sutton; from Virginia Society Children of the American Revolution President Sara Cox; French Society Trustee Pat Kelly and Rich Rattan from the Virginia Order of Founders and Patriots of America. France was represented by Colonel Aymeric Tardieu De Maleissye, Lieutenant Colonel Alain Abad and Lieutenant Colonel Marc Gilles with their wives. Wreaths and greetings were presented by all of these organizations.
Virginia SAR chapter wreaths were presented by Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Colonel James Wood II; Tom Hamill, Culpeper Minutemen; Pat Kelly, Thomas Jefferson; Ken Morris, George Mason; Dave Cook, Fairfax Resolves; Paul Cox, Colonel Fielding Lewis; Leamon Duncan, Colonel William Grayson and Ken Bonner, Sergeant Major John Champe. The Daughters of the American Revolution chapters were Darcy Mathes, Commonwealth Virginia; Paula Schwoerer, Elizabeth McIntosh Hamill; Kecia Brown, Ketoctin; Anita Bonner, Lanes Mill and from West Virginia, Michelle Phillips, Pack Horse Ford. Brett Osborn provided a presentation on the life of John Holker and his contributions to the fight for independence. The Virginia State Color Guard presented the colors and fired a three round musket salute to honor John Holker and his support of the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. In the guard were Commander Brett Osborn, Ken Bonner, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dave Cook, Jim Cordes, Dale Corey, Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Leamon Duncan, Kelly Ford, Doug Hall, Pat Kelly, Erick Moore, Patrick Moore, Allan Phillips, Nathan Poe, Will Reynolds, Marc Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Barry Schwoerer, Jacob Schwoerer, Mike St Jacques and Richard Tyler.
After the ceremony, refreshments were provided by Robin Hall, Becky Ebert and Deborah Corey with a presentation of the old chapel and cemetery by Director Bob Randolph. A special thanks is given to Randolph and cemetery caretaker Marcel Bousquet for their support with this event
Participants of the grave marking ceremony