On Sunday March 27, the Fairfax Resolves, Sergeant Major John Champe and Colonel William Grayson Chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution honored the men and women who served and sacrificed during the now second longest conflict in United States history. The event was held at the Fairfax County Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, at the Historic Fairfax Courthouse. The commemoration honored the nine million veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed forces from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975. This includes 2.7 million U.S. service members who served in Vietnam, 58,000 who paid the ultimate sacrifice, 304,000 who were wounded and 1,253 still missing in action.
Those present paid homage not only to those who gave their lives but to their comrades present. Compatriots Larry McKinley, Mike Weyler, Ross Schwalm, James Cordes and Jack Sweeney spoke of their own, the experiences of others that served, and the lessons learned because of that war. We are forever indebted all our Vietnam veterans.
Figure 1 Darrin Schmidt Pays Homage to Michael Bogar
The Fairfax Resolves (FXR) and Sgt Maj John Champe (SMJC) Chapters of the Virginia Society, and the Sgt. Lawrence Everhart (SLE) Chapter, Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution sponsored an event marking the graves of five revolutionary war patriots at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lovettsville, Virginia on 10 April 2022. At least sixty-nine lineage society members represented 28 NSSAR, NSDAR and C.A.R. chapters and societies. Participants included Christopher Hornbaker, Vice Mayor of the Town of Lovettsville, direct descendants of the patriots, representatives of American Legion and other veteran organizations, church members and citizens of the City of Lovettsville for a total of about one hundred people in attendance.
Brett W. Osborn, Col. James Wood II Chapter (CJWII), commanded the Color Guard. He organized it into three elements, the seven-member Color Guard carried the National and Maryland and Virginia State colors, the thirteen-member Honor Guard carried chapter and other flags, and a twelve-member musket detail. Doug Hall, drummer, (CJWII Chapter) accompanied the presentation of the colors and the musket firing.
Attendees gathered to commemorate the lives and service of five Revolutionary War patriots, their families, and their community. All patriots were members of the church, founded in 1765 in the “German Settlement.” Histories of Loudoun County describe the residents of the German Settlement as, “intensely loyal” to the cause of freedom and to the cause of the American Revolution.
The Reverend Doug Jones (SLE Chapter) gave the Benediction following the presentation of the colors. Dim Dioquino (FXR) led all in the Pledge of Allegiance and John Thomas (FXR) led the Pledge to the SAR. The posting of the colors then followed.
The main portion of the program began with Vice Mayor Hornbaker presenting greetings and reading the Town’s Proclamation declaring 10 April 2022, “Revolutionary War Patriots Day.” Michael P. Zapf, Historian of the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church summarized the history of the church from its beginnings in a log cabin located in a corner of the present graveyard. The German-speaking members of the church came from Switzerland, Alsace, and Lorraine (now part of France), the upper Rhine territories of Wurttemberg, Baden, and the Palatine. Michael described how the colonies offered them an opportunity for asylum from the disasters of war and economic hardship. They came to see this new land as theirs, “das gelobte land,” the promised land.
The reading of short biographies of the five patriots followed starting with Don Cooper (FXR), who spoke about his patriot ancestors Michael Cooper, Sr (1742-1815) and John Fawley (1719-1803). Dave Cook (FXR) spoke about Frederic Belse (1741-1831) and Ed Spannaus (SLE Chapter) talked about patriots Michael Bogar (1762-1822) and John Compher (1740-1814). All the patriots were farmers who owned or leased their land and paid the supply tax for 1782, 1783 or both.
The readings of the biographies concluded with three rousing huzzahs, a signal to our volunteers to prepare for the unveiling of grave markers. A fourth huzzah given immediately after the Grave Marking Dedication signaled the unveiling. Dale Corey, Col James Wood II Chapter led all in a hearty rendition of “God Bless America.” the wreath presentations were by five State Societies, eleven SAR Chapters, ten DAR Chapters, two C.A. R. Chapters and the Virginia Order of Founders and Patriots of America.
The moment all had been waiting for began with the movement of the musket squad across the field and into position. The sound of gunfire echoing across the fields easily reminded one of skirmishes that could very well have happened on these very grounds so many years ago.
While anticlimactic, the event ended with the SAR Recessional, led by Richard Rankin, George Washington Chapter, the Benediction given by The Reverend Krista Vigelis, and closing remarks by the chapter president, David Huxsoll, Fairfax Resolves.
The SAR Chapters who participated were the Fairfax Resolves, Sgt Major John Champe, Sgt Lawrence Everhart (MD), Col James Wood II, George Mason, George Washington, Col William Grayson, Col Fielding Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones (MD) and Thomas Stone (MD). The DAR Chapters include Ketoctin, Mary Hemings Bell, Fairfax County, Bottony Cross, Lane’s Mill, Elizabeth McIntosh Hammill, Stone Bridge, Frederick, James Madison, and Pack Horse Ford. Children of the American Revolution Societies were Rev. John Marks, and Col Alexander Spotswood.
Figure 2 Color and Honor Guard Prepares to Present the Colors
Figure 3 Wreath Presenters at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery
Figure 4 Musket Salute
THE COLONEL GEORGE WALLER CHAPTER PARTICIPATED IN A DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION SPONORED GRAVE MARKER DEDICATION
On April 23, the Patrick Henry Chapter, DAR organized and sponsored a ceremony to honor William McAlexander for his patriotic service during the American Revolution. Along with the Patrick Henry DAR Chapter, compatriots of the Colonel George Waller Chapter were invited to participate with members of several DAR chapters which included the Colonel Abram Penn Chapter, the Floyd Courthouse Chapter, and the General Joseph Martin Chapter. Scouts from Troop 69 from the Blue Ridge Mountain Council and descendants of McAlexander also participated in the dedication ceremony.
The location of the event was along Rock Castle Creek in the Griffith Valley near Woolwine in Patrick County. In addition to the DAR marker, descendants of McAlexaner provided a new grave stone copied from the original which had been damaged and a new modern stone which provided more information about the patriot and his family.
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 email@example.com
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