On 31 Oct 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) participated with the Ketoctin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in a grave marking ceremony for Charles and Elizabeth "Betty" Lewis Carter. The ceremony was held at the Carter Family Cemetery, North Hill Farm in Clarke County. Kecia Brown, Regent of the Ketoctin Chapter presided over the ceremony with the SAR presenting the colors, firing a musket salute and playing taps to commemorate Charles and Betty as a son and daughter of American Revolutionary War Patriots. Participating in the ceremony from the DAR were LeAnn Turbyfill, Virginia DAR State Regent, Margaret Stromberg, Virginia DAR District VIII Director, Sherryl Belinsky, Stonebridge Chapter Regent, Shawn Beyer, Cameron Parish Chapter and Sara Boppe, Fort Loudoun Chapter. Betty Lewis Carter was the daughter of Fielding Lewis and Elizabeth "Betty" Washington. Her Mother was the only sister of George Washington who lived to adulthood and married Fielding Lewis, a successful Fredericksburg merchant. He owned and leased ships that traded with British Caribbean colonies and operated a family store. Fielding and Betty Washington were successful merchants who provided material support to the colonists, including funding a gun manufactory in 1775. Betty Lewis was born in 1765 and married Charles Carter in 1781. Charles descended from a long line of Virginia gentry with roots back to the earliest settlements. He died and was buried at Deerwood Plantation in Culpeper in 1827. She died at her brother's home, Audley Farm, just to the west of North Hill on 9 April 1830 and was interred at the North Hill Family Cemetery. Charles remains were moved to North Hill in the 1960s and is now buried next to his wife. The SAR color guard was led by Chapter President and Commander Marc Robinson. Participating were Virginia State SAR President William "Bill" Schwetke, Colonel William Grayson Chapter President Mike Weyler, and Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Charles James. Other compatriots included Virginia State Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Mike Dennis, Leamon Duncan, Art LaFlam, Brett Osborn, Nathan Poe, Will Reynolds, Clay Robinson and Jim Simmons. There were six DAR and six SAR wreaths presented to commemorate the Carter's descendancy from Revolutionary War Patriots. First picture are the flag bearers - Paul Christensen, Dale Corey, Leamon Duncan, Bill Schwetke, Charles Jameson, Mike Weyler and Nathan Poe. Second picture is the musket squad preparing to fire a salute - Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel, Clay Robinson, Barry Schwoerer, Paul Christensen, Mike Dennis, Sean Carrigan, Allen Phillips, Art LaFlam and Ken Bonner. These two pictures are courtesy of Linda Christensen. Third photo is a composite of the CJWII Color Guard, courtesy of Cat Schwetke. Submitted by Dale Corey.
The October 29th print addition of the Wall Street Journal has a nice article on the unique preservation of Menokin, Francis Lightfoot Lee's home. The Virginia SAR has participated in this restoration.
John Blair, Public Service Chair for the George Washington Chapter, presented the SAR Life Saving medal to Alexandria Sherriff Deputies Jason Bebow and Julio Ocasio. On November 21, 2019, Deputy Jason Bebow and Deputy Julio Ocasio were working at the Adult Detention Center when their actions resulted in the rescue of an inmate. Deputy Bebow and Deputy Ocasio were on duty in the booking area and were on their way to handle pat down searches of inmates returning from court for the day. As they walked down a hall, the deputies, always vigilant, took care to look through the windows of the cells that they passed. Deputy Bebow, with Deputy Ocasio just behind him, was passing by a cell when he noticed that an inmate had strips of a torn wool blanket wrapped around his neck. Both deputies immediately entered the cell and removed the tightly wrapped blanket pieces from the inmate’s neck.
Deputy Ocasio called for medical personnel and a supervisor to respond to the cell. Before help arrived, the deputies laid the inmate on his mattress and because he did not respond to them, they began chest rubs. Soon the deputies noticed that the inmate’s chest was rising and falling, and they could feel a heartbeat. When the medical team arrived, they checked the inmate’s vital signs and further evaluated him. He was eventually placed in a safety smock for his own protection and he would receive appropriate medical and mental health services. It was evident to the deputies that this inmate had the means and intention of taking his own life. If not for the quick response and life saving measures demonstrated by both deputies, this incident could have had truly tragic results.
Also, on October 28, the SAR Life Saving Medal was awarded to Alexandria Deputy Sheriff Devon Neckles and Alexadria Police Officer Shakita Warren. On October 11, 2019, Deputy Devon Neckles was assigned to serve civil paperwork for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and was on the street in his marked cruiser. A call was dispatched to Alexandria Police to “check on the welfare” of a resident who did not report to work as required. Officer Shakita Warren indicated that it would take her some time to get to the location, just off Richmond Highway, as she was coming from the West End so Deputy Neckles, who was nearby, volunteered to assist because he recognized the seriousness of the call and how far away Officer Warren was. Being the first unit on the scene, Deputy Neckles contacted the individual, who appeared to be unnerved by the presence of a uniformed deputy. Drawing upon his skills and training as a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) member and instructor, Deputy Neckles began to use certain techniques to help guide his interaction with the individual, and after having the man step outside his apartment, he learned that the man was upset about losing his job. Officer Warren, also trained in CIT, arrived on the scene and began speaking with the man while Deputy Neckles followed up with the man’s former employer who had initiated the call. All three then went inside the apartment so they could speak in private, and the man sat down on the couch. Officer Warren noticed a letter and the man told them it was a “goodbye” letter he had just finished. Deputy Neckles inquired how the man was planning to commit suicide and the man stated that he was going to shoot himself. He admitted that he would have done so if Deputy Neckles hadn’t arrived on the scene when he did.
Both the deputy and the officer learned that the man had two handguns and he told them where they could find them. Deputy Neckles went into an adjacent bedroom, found the loaded handguns, and emptied them for their safety and for safekeeping.
They explained to the man that he would need to get help and he agreed to go voluntarily to Inova Alexandria Hospital for evaluation. He has since been cleared by mental health professionals and reunited with his family out of state.
Officer Warren later told Deputy Neckles’ supervisors that had he not arrived when he did and convinced the man to come out of his apartment, the outcome would have been very different. The man himself said that had Deputy Neckles arrived even moments later, they would have found his body. If not for Deputy Neckles’ initial alertness and proactive approach, and the quick response, crisis intervention training, and life saving measures by both Deputy Neckles and Officer Warren, this incident could have had a much different and tragic outcome.
Submitted by John Blair
The NSSAR Fire Safety Commendation Medal was presented to Battalion Chief Brad Beam by Chapter President Roger Cross in a ceremony at the Williamsburg City Fire Department. Beam was thanked for all he does for the Williamsburg Fire Department and this community. President Cross made the following remarks in commendation: “This medal is awarded in recognition of your accomplishments and outstanding contributions to protect human life and property by preventing injuries or casualties due to fires. While serving as the EMS chief, you have been instrumental in the COVID-19 pandemic response and efforts to reduce its spread in Williamsburg and throughout the region. You are also active with fire emergency management, fire prevention, and are the lead for a new program called Mobile Integrated Health providing an additional level of support and service to those most needy in our community.”
Fire Chief David Eagle thanked the Williamsburg Chapter for recognizing one of his worthy members. Chief Eagle then announced that he had received this same Fire Safety Commendation Medal from the Dan River Chapter SAR in about the year 1999 and still wears it on his dress uniform with pride.
Photo by: Barbara Ketchum
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
24 Oct 2020 Culpeper, VA
Today in Yowell Meadow Park, Culpeper Virginia, the Town of Culpeper and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter dedicated a joint Culpeper Minutemen / Charters of Freedom monument and display before a crowd estimated by the local paper as nearly 200.. The Culpeper Minutemen Chapter has worked on this project for over five years, and the Charters of Freedom display was added two years ago. The project was initially conceived by late compatriot Lon Lacey, Jr., and was kick started by a significant commitment from the Virginia SAR Knight Patty Fund. It was brought to completion with significant effort by Culpeper Minutemen Member and Town Councilman Keith Price.
Dignitaries attending the ceremony were Culpeper Mayor Michael T. Olinger, Virginia SAR President and Culpeper Minutemen Chapter Member Bill Schwetke, Virginia DAR Regent LeAnn Turbyfill, Virginia C.A.R. President Catie Wasenko, and Virginia C.A.R. Senior President Stacey Wajciechowski.
Thirty-one SAR compatriots attended the ceremony, representing nine Virginia SAR Chapters. Eighteen participated in the Color Guard, and ten fired in the musket volley. Virginia Chapters attending included Col William Grayson, Col James Wood II, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, Fort Harrison, George Mason, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Williamsburg.
Kieth Price of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter lead the effort for this display for the past two years and was the Master of Ceremonies for the dedication. The Prelude to the ceremony was Revolutionary Fife and Drum Music by Lon Lacey III and Alan Lacey. VFW Post 2524 Color Guard presented the National Colors and fifteen SAR Color Guardsmen carried SAR and Historic flags. Rev Ludwell Brown of Mount Cavalry Baptist Church in Haywood gave the Invocation and Culpeper Sheriff's Deputy Melvin White sang the National Anthem. Remarks were delivered by Mayor Michael Olinger, Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Charles Jameson, Culpeper Minute Men Chapter NSDAR Regent Carol Simpson, Virginia DAR Regent LeAnn Turbyfill, and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke. Then the Charters of Freedom were presented by Foundation Forward Founder Vance Patterson to the Town of Culpeper.
The program concluded with the raising of flags (Grand Union and Culpeper Battalion Flag) at the monument, with a musket volley as they reached the tops of the flag poles, and then an overhead flight by four WWII aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force.
Harley Stewart, a member and past president of the Williamsburg Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, attended the dedication of a monument to the Culpeper Minute Battalion on October 24, 2020 at Culpeper, Virginia. On the monument was engraved the name of one of his patriot ancestors, John Chilton, a captain in the Fauquier County company. Chilton was already recognized by a gold star on Stewart’s ribbon of chapter presidency.
The Battalion was formed in August 1775 as an elite militia unit, it did a lot of training, and, having passed through Williamsburg, fought in the battles of Hampton, Great Bridge, and Norfolk. Those battles ended British presence in Virginia until 1781. The Minute Battalion included a special unit of riflemen (not muskets) that were used with deadly effect at the battles.
The Battalion was disbanded in October 1776 to become part of the army of George Washington, who had appealed for troops from the various states. Chilton found himself a captain in the 3rd Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. He fought in the battles of Harlem Heights, Trenton, and Brandywine Creek. At Brandywine he was wounded and died on the battlefield. He left five orphaned children, one of which led to a grandchild named Lucy Chilton. Lucy married a Hiram Stewart. Lucy and Hiram were the grandparents of Stewart’s grandparents.
Stewart’s Revolutionary War ancestor, John Chilton, is the subject of a book by Mike Cecere, a Williamsburg resident and recipient of the Virginia Society SAR Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 2005. The book, entitled They Behaved Like Soldiers, is a collection of the diary entries and letters home of Chilton while he served.
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
On October 24, the George Washington Chapter memorialized three patriots of the American Revolution, John Longden, John Sloan, and Joseph Smith, at a grave marking ceremony at Trinity United Methodist Church Cemetery in Alexandria. Pastor Grace Han delivered the invocation. Paul Walden, Grave Marking Chairman, served as Master of Ceremonies. Wreaths were presented by the following SAR and DAR chapters: George Washington VASSAR, Kate Waller Barrett VADAR, Col. William Grayson VASSAR, George Mason VASSAR, and George Mason VADAR. The markers were then dedicated by VASSAR Historian, Thomas M. Roth, III. Andrew and Jack Mills served as Color Guards by posting the colors.
Submitted by Paul Walden. Photos by Tom Roth.
Photo on left: Ronald Adolphi (at center), shown with his membership certificate, was inducted into membership on October 21, 2020 in an outdoor ceremony at the Magazine in Colonial Williamsburg. The induction was performed by Chapter President Roger Cross (on left). Accompanying Adolphi was his wife, Celia (on right), who is regent of the Williamsburg Chapter DAR.
Photo on right: Williamsburg Chapter President Roger Cross congratulating Ronald Adolphi and welcoming him as a new compatriot of the chapter.
Photos by: David Westenberger
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
A National Society Certificate of Thirty-Year Membership was awarded to Compatriot Reginald Beane (on right) by Roger Cross (on left), President of the Williamsburg Chapter in a ceremony at Freedom Park, James City County on Nov. 20. Beane is a Past President of the Chapter and a veteran of WW II, having served in the US Army Air Corps.
Submitted by: Harley Stewart