18-19 Sep 2020 South Boston, VA
The 2020 Semi-Annual Meeting of the Virginia Society was held at Berry Hill Plantation on September 18th & 19th hosted by the Dan River and Culpeper Minutemen Chapters. Fifty-three compatriots from nineteen chapters participated, and were joined by twenty wives. Five Virginia C.A.R. dignitaries joined us including this year’s and last year’s Presidents and Senior Presidents. Participants opened the meeting with a grand ceremony starting with thirty compatriots parading historic revolutionary flags behind the Color Guard around the circular drive in front of the Mansion and placing them around the circle where they remained for the duration. The Society President declared the meeting in session which was followed by the discharge of a cannon by Chancellor Monday. After an invocation and pledges the cry was heard to “Follow the Colors” and the participants followed the Color Guard up the front steps of the Mansion, through the doors and down the halls to the Grand Ballroom. The first day was filled with various committee-lead workshops, an Awards Ceremony, Ladies tour of the Mansion, and a back-yard BBQ. The Awards were highlighted with noting the national recognition of Virginia as the best state society (1,000 or more members) with the Allene Wilson Groves Award for 2019, and the recognition of the Colonel James Wood II and Fairfax Resolves Chapters as the best chapters of their size in the entire SAR for 2019 with the Liberty Bell Americanism Award and President General’s Cup. The evening ended with the President’s Reception in the Mansion Library Bar. As soon as glasses were filled, we all gathered on the Portico for a magnificent display of Fireworks to celebrate the anniversaries of Victory at Saratoga and our Constitution. The fireworks started with an intense barrage, similar to the ending of usual fireworks displays, but one that continued for the full ten-minute program.
During both days masks and social distance were enforced along with the use of much hand sanitizer and cleaning crews that prepared meeting rooms and wiped down microphones after each use.
The second day began with breakfast in the Mansion before the General Membership Meeting. The General Membership accomplished a lot, most importantly significant changes to our Constitution and Bylaws as part of an extensive update of our Handbook led by 1st Vice President Jeff Thomas. We had previously, at special meetings in July, amended our Bylaws to permit virtual meetings for all business. We have already held one Board of Managers Meeting on Zoom and are prepared to use that venue when unable to meet physically. The meeting wound up with a Luncheon in the Mansion Ballroom featuring special awards to the Virginia C.A.R. for pioneering virtual meetings with their Annual Meeting in March.
At the end of the Luncheon the Color Guard departed with, once again, the cry to “Follow the Colors” and led us through the Mansion back to the front steps, where an invocation and recessional were followed by Chancellor Monday’s discharge of a cannon at the announcement of adjournment. Everyone briefly held their place as Historian Tom Roth orchestrated the taking of a picture to record this physical meeting.
A special thanks is due to Chancellor Eric Monday who was responsible for the elegant programs, the historic Revolutionary War Flags on the circular drive in front of the Mansion, the fine cigars, and the fireworks. His resourcefulness and effort on our behalf truly made this a memorable Semi-Annual Meeting.
This pandemic may at times divert us to alternative schemes, but it will not stop the Virginia SAR.
Magnificent display of fireworks to celebrate the Anniversaries of Victory at Saratoga and our Constitution.
Attached are the agenda, hotel, and registration information. The files are also on the Coming Events Tab.
The attached amendments will be discussed and voted on at the Semi-Annual Meeting
On 17 Sep 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution gave a reading presentation to celebrate the birthday of the Constitution of the United States at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility in Front Royal. Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel and Art LaFlam provided an oversight of the birth of the Constitution and an overview of what the original document means. The Articles of Confederation was the governing document for the federal government into the 1780s. It was woefully inadequate. It gave little power to the central government and lacked enforcement powers. Decisions required unanimous approval of all 13 State legislatures. Another problem was money. They could print money, but it was worthless. They borrow but couldn't pay it back. They had little ability to defend its sovereignty. Many of the 625 man Army had not been paid, some were deserting and others were threatening mutiny. There was no international power to protect American interests from other nations. Overall, it was a failed document. In 1787, a convention was called at Philadelphia to propose a plan of government. Original plans included 23 articles. After considerable discussion and debate, a final draft was approved with seven articles. By the end of July 1788, 11 States had ratified and on 13 September 1788, a resolution was passed putting the new Constitution into operation. the new government was in place effective 4 March 1789. George Washington was inaugurated 8 weeks later as the first President of the United States. There were 39 signers of the document, to include three from Virginia. These were John Blair, James Madison and George Washington. The Constitution with the Bill of Rights and the additional amendments are the basis of the governments structure and law and order in the United States of America. Pictured l - r are Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel and Art LaFlam.
Submitted by Dale Corey
On September 15th, the Colonel George Waller Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution presented its EMS & Public Safety Recognition series.
Shown here are (L-R):
Andrew Doss - Chapter President
Jarred Marlowe - Chapter Vice President
John Turner - Fire Safety Award Recipient
Logan Peters - EMS Award Recipient
Andy Powers - Heroism Award Recipient
Ted Anderson - Martinsville Fire Chief
Bob Vogler- Public Safety Committee Vice Chairman
Mike Bass - Public Safety Committee Chairman
Submitted by Andy Doss
On 12 September 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter sponsored a commemorative celebration of Daniel Morgan, Revolutionary War Hero at Mt Hebron Cemetery. The ceremony was emcee'd by Dale Corey with greetings presented by Chapter President Marc Robinson and Virginia State Society Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR) 1st Vice President Jeff Thomas. The Reverend Jim Simmons provided an invocation in front of a Color Guard consisting of members of the Colonel James Wood II, Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, George Mason and General Adam Stephens Chapters and a contingent from the Trail Life youth organization from the Chelsea Academy in Front Royal. The Color Guard was led by Virginia State Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner. A presentation on Daniel Morgan was given by Brett Osborn. Morgan was born in New Jersey about 1735 and ran away from home to the wilderness of Pennsylvania and western Virginia. He became a teamster, hauling freight between remote frontier settlements. In 1755 he was hired as a wagoner for the Braddock expedition against Fort Duquesne. Three years later he was an ensign with the Virginia Militia. In 1763, he served as a Lieutenant in Pontiac's War and in 1774 was fighting Indians in the Ohio Valley. After the Revolutionary War began, he raised a company of marksmen in Virginia and marched north to meet General Washington's Army at a pace of over twenty-eight miles a day. This became known as the Beeline March. He was part of the assault on Quebec. Morgan took command when Benedict Arnold was wounded and led his men into the narrow streets of the Lower Town. While waiting for reinforcements, the unit was surrounded and captured, being held until late 1776. Morgan rejoined Washington's Army in April 1777 after raising a new corps of sharpshooters. He was sent to join Horatio Gates in New York. His leadership was a major factor in the decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga. In 1781, he led his men against the British Light Troops in South Carolina with a three tiered plan. The first row would fire two shots and retire, the second row 150 yards behind would do the same. The third row and a reserve force were his battle hardened veterans. On the right flank was his cavalry. The plan went off to perfection, almost totally destroying the larger more experienced British force, inflicting over three hundred casualties and taking six hundred prisoners out of the eleven hundred troops engaged. The Americans suffered seventy-two casualties, in this the battle known as Cowpens. After the war, he operated a gristmill, speculated in western lands, took the field briefly during the Whiskey Rebellions as commander of a Virginia Militia outfit and in 1797 won a seat in the House of Representatives. He died in 1802. Wreaths were presented to honor the memory of Daniel Morgan. These included wreaths from VASSAR by 1st VP Jeff Thomas, the SAR Chapters represented by Will Reynolds (Col James Wood II), Mike Weyler (Col William Grayson), Mike Dennis (Culpeper Minutemen), Dave Cook (Fairfax Resolves), Ken Morris (George Mason) and Allan Phillips (General Adam Stepehns). The DAR was represented by Anita Bonner (Lanes Mill DAR), Michelle Phillips (West Virginia State DAR) and Marlyn Keesecker (Pack Horse DAR). A musket squad comprised of Ken Bonner, Brett Osborn, Paul Christensen, Sean Carrigan, Dave Cook, Marty Keesecker, Art LaFlam, Eric Robinson and Barry Schwoerer fired three rounds prior to Marc Robinson playing Taps. Also participating were Flag Bearers Chip Daniel, Dennis Parmeter, Erick Moore and drummer Doug Hall. The Color Guard then formed up and marched the length of the cemetery to perform at the Birthday Celebration of the US Constitution. The first picture is of sentinels Marty Keesecker, Eric Robinson, Steve Englebright and Art LaFlam guarding Daniel Morgan's gravesite. The second picture is the members of the Color Guard standing l - r Jim Simmons, Allen Phillips, Mike Weyler, Marty Keesecker, Jeff Thomas, Eric Robinson, Erick Moore, Paul Christensen, Steve Englebright, Art LaFlam, Eniis Parmeter, Ken Morris, Barry Schwoerer, Brett Osborn and Doug Hall. Kneeling l - r are Chip Daniel, Dale Corey, Marc Robinson, Ken Bonner and Sean Carrigan. The third picture is the musket squad firing a round. Eric Robinson, Marty Keesecker, Sean Carrigan, Mike Dennis, Art LaFlam, Dave Cook, Barry Schwoerer, Paul Christensen, Marc Robinson and Ken Bonner.
Submitted by Dale Corey
On 5 September, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a grave marking for Private Daniel Cloud, a patriot of the American Revolution. Dale Corey and the Rt Rev Larry Johnson conducted the dedication ceremony with a color guard consisting of compatriots from the Colonel James Wood II, Culpeper Minute Men, George Mason, George Washington, Fairfax Revolves and General Adam Stephens Chapters of the SAR, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.). Also participating were Virginia Society President Bill Schwetke and 2nd Vice President Ernie Coggins. Daniel Cloud was born in 1755 to Henry and Eleanor Cloud. During the Revolutionary War, he was listed as a Private with his brother William on the rolls of Captain Joseph Bowman's Dunmore company from 1775 - 1776. He served from June 1776 to 1778 in Captain Richard Campbell's Company under Colonel Abraham Bowman in the 8th Virginia Regiment. The unit was part of George Washington's Continental Army and fought at the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. After returning home from the war, he married 1st Nancy Jennings and had two children. After her death in 1792, he married Elizabeth Branson and had four more children. Daniel died in 1815 and was buried at the Willow Glen family cemetery. This was located on land that became the property of the American Viscose Company (Avtex) just prior to World War II. In 1939 all the known graves at Will Glen were moved to Prospect Hill in Front Royal. The Color Guard was led by Virginia State Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner and assisted by Virginia Color Guardsman of the Year Brett Osborn. Commemorative wreaths were presented by the various chapters and a musket salute was fired in honor the the patriot. In addition to those mentioned earlier, other participating compatriots were Chip Daniel, Sean Carrigan, Dave Cook, Fred Gill, Marty Keesecker, Art LaFlam, Eric Robinson, Erick Moore, Ken Morris, Kelly Ford, Mike Dennis, Nathan Poe and Will Reynolds. Representing the DAR were Deborah Corey and Anita Bonner. Attending from the C.A.R. were Leona, Sam and Jackie Gill. The 1st picture is the color guard led by Ken Bonner, drummer Doug Hall, Eric Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Chip Daniel, Brett Osborn, Don Dusenbury, Erick Moore and Ken Morris. The 2nd photo is from l-r, Dave Cook, Kelly Ford, Bill Schwetke, Ken bonner, Chip Daniel, Brett Osborn, Nathan Poe, Marty Keesecker, Mike Dennis, Don Dusenbury, Art LaFlam, Sean Carrigan, Erick Moore, Jackie Gill, Leona Gill, Sam Gill, Eric Robinson, Fred Gill, Dale Corey, Larry Johnson and Doug Hall. The 3rd photo is a picture of the sentinels guarding the grave of Private Daniel Cloud, Marty Keesecker and Art LaFlam.
Submitted by Dale Corey
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