17 Mar 2018 Greensboro, NC
On March 15th, 1781, forces including a large number of Virginia Militia, under General Greene fought those under General Cornwallis in a fierce battle at Guilford Courthouse, NC. Though the British controlled the battlefield at the end of the day, their grievous casualties caused Cornwallis to abandon his Southern Campaign and go to the coast for replenishment, eventually leading him to defeat at Yorktown.
This event was celebrated in a ceremony at the site of the battlefield this past Saturday morning. The Virginia Society was represented by 1st Vice President Peter Davenport, who presented the Society wreath and marched in the Color Guard. Ten Virginia SAR Chapters were represented at the ceremony: Colonel George Waller, Culpeper Minutemen, Dan River, Fairfax Resolves, Fincastle Resolutions, George Mason, George Washington, Lieutenant David Cox, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Nelson, Jr. Seven Virginia compatriots also participated in the Color Guard.
16-18 Mar 2018 Marriott, Richmond, VA
This weekend 725 Daughters of the American Revolution gathered for the Virginia DAR's 122nd State Conference at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Richmond. The Virginia SAR was represented by President Pat Kelly, who presented greetings at the Friday evening banquet. Compatriots attending included, President Kelly, Trustee Mike Elston, Will Elston, Williamsburg Chapter President Bill Greaf, C.G.Miller, 2nd VP Bill Schwetke,, and Jack Sweeney. Will Elston, who is also Virginia State Historian for the C.A.R., carried the C.A.R. flag for the presentation of the debutants.
Submitted by Dennis C. Peterson, President, Richmond Chapter, VASSAR
Patrick Henry’s immortal “Liberty or Death” speech was celebrated on its 243rd anniversary by VASSAR’s Richmond Chapter in a program where the speech was actually delivered in 1775. Nearly 100 Compatriots and guests from as far away as Cleveland, Ohio and across Virginia were treated to a re-enactment of the speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond on Saturday, March 17.
“We honored the man but more importantly celebrated his words,” said Richmond Chapter President Dennis C. Peterson. “The words I heard over and over were ‘Long overdue. Long overdue,’ so we were proud to host so many visitors to relive this Revolutionary War flash point at this site unique to Richmond history.”
It was a colorful ceremony on a chilly overcast mid-March morning quite possibly just as it was on the very day the 2nd Virginia Convention convened here a year before shots were fired at Lexington-Concord. It was the day “liberty found its voice” declared the program given to each person there.
Participating in the program was VASSAR President Pat Kelly who also led the VASSAR Color Guard in formation to the steps of the Church. VASSAR Chaplain Rev. Dr. Gene Thomas prayed from the very spot where Henry stood. Past President General Joseph W. Dooley represented NSSAR with a speech reminding all why we work so hard to preserve the memories of these important years in American history.
A highlight for all there was entering the church through the very doors used by giants of American history like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Pendleton, Payton Randolph and others attending the convention so long ago.
While Henry’s declaration “Give me liberty or give me death!” was no surprise to anyone sitting in the pews watching the re-enactment, his words were no less a thrill to hear as each there absorbed the moment.
Two veteran actors from the troop which performs re-enactments at St. John’s Church, Joseph Bromfield as Patrick Henry, and Chris Dunn as Edmund Pendleton, also appeared in character at the luncheon in Parish Hall which followed the indoor/outdoor ceremony.
Thirteen organization from VASSAR, SAR Chapters, DAR and the C.A. R’s presented wreaths. Many presenters were in period uniform and costume adding greatly to the character of the event. Plans are underway for the 2nd Annual “Liberty or Death” Commemoration Program in 2019.
On March 10th, 1783, The USS Alliance, commanded by Captain John Barry, and the USS Duc de Lauzun, commanded by Captain John Green, were sailing off of Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying 72,000 Spanish Silver Dollars to finance the Continental Army. They were set upon by three British men of war. Captain John Barry, though out-gunned, surprisingly took on the HMS Sybil, and in a 40-minute fight subdued the British frigate. This, along with the arrival of a French man of war, caused the British to withdraw. The Spanish silver was then successfully delivered.
This victory was celebrated this weekend at Merritt Island, FL. The Virginia SAR was represented by Charles Jameson of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter, who also marched in the Color Guard.
10 Mar 2018 Galax, VA
The Lt. David Cox Chapter celebrated its 70th Anniversary at Porky's Restaurant in Galax, VA. The chapter was chartered on March 19th, 1948. The Virginia SAR was represented by 2nd Vice President Bill Schwetke, who gave a talk on the "Origins of the SAR & DAR" as part of the celebration. Chapter President Harrell Story presided at the celebration, to which the local DAR & C.A.R. chapters were invited.
Williamsburg Chapter Contributes to Colonial Williamsburg’s Teacher Institute to Empower Teachers to Teach Colonial and American Revolution History in U. S. Elementary and Secondary Schools
2-3 Mar 2018, Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY
Virginia compatriots at Spring Leadership, left to right, seated: Brett Osborn, President Pat Kelly, Theresa WIicox, Andrew Lyngar (dual); standing, left to right: Ernie Coggins, Librarian General Doug Collins (dual), Allison Collins, PG Joe Dooley, Trustee Mike Elston, Darrin Schmidt, Larry McKinley, Cilla Tomme, PG Mike Tomme (dual), PG Bruce WIlcox, Mrs Barlow, Surgeon General Matthew Barlow (Dual), Bill Schwetke. Attending, but not pictured: 1st VP Peter Davenport, Surgeon Kirk Sheap, Norma Sheap, PG Lindsey Brock (dual), Billie Brock, PG Larry Guzzy( dual), Karin Guzy, PG Ed Butler (dual).
President Pat Kelly led a strong contingent of 12 Virginia Compatriots and 7 dual members to the Spring Trustees and Leadership meeting at the Brown Hotel in Louisville this weekend.