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photo is the Virginia State SAR Honor Guard at present arms

15 September 2023, Colonel James Wood II Chapter, conducted a plaque dedication to General Daniel Morgan.  It was held at the Burwell-Morgan Mill, Clarke County, Virginia.  Morgan left home as a teenager to Virginia and became a teamster.  He was part of General Braddock’s British Army, who was defeated by the French in the Ohio Valley.  Later, he joined the Rangers. When ambushed by Indians, took a musket ball through the back of his neck that crushed his left jaw.  In the American Revolution, Captain Morgan formed a company of riflemen to meet with George Washington in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  His unit marched 600 miles in 24 days in the Beeline March.  He was next sent to the ill fated invasion of Quebec, where he was captured fighting his way into the city.  After release from captivity, he was appointed to colonel and took charge of a light infantry unit.  They distinguished themselves throughout 1777 and at the Battle of Saratoga, helped turn the tide of the battle.  After being passed over for promotion, he resigned and returned to Virginia.  In 1780, Morgan was persuaded to return to the Army as a brigadier general.  General Nathanael Greene split his army, sending Morgan to the South Carolina backcountry.  He was pursued by the British and on 17 January 1781, made a stand at Cowpens.  His South Carolina.  Morgan secured a complete victory and a turning point in the campaign in the south.  His victory contributed greatly to the Cornwallis defeat at Yorktown.  Morgan returned to Winchester to recover from a sciatica injury.  He retired to what is now Clarke County and built a house he named Saratoga.  In 1794, as Brigadier General, he led a force against the Whiskey Rebellion.  In 1797 he was elected to the House of Representatives.  He died 6 July 1802 and was buried at the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Winchester, with the grave being moved to Mt Hebron Cemetery after the Civil War.  Daniel Morgan worked hard to improve himself and proved to be a master tactician and a prime reason for the colonial victory. The VASSAR Color Guard presented the colors and greetings were given by AMSA VP General James Engler, Sr; VASSAR President Ernie Coggins; Virginia DAR Vice Chair DAR/SAR Relations Committee Anita Bonner and Virginia C.A.R. Past President Will Elston.  Wreaths were presented by VP General Engler, President Coggins, Florida Society Past President William Popham, German Society Dave Cook, French Society Pat Kelly, and 19 VASSAR chapters, 3 DAR Chapters and 1 C.A.R. Society.   Anita Bonner and Jocelynn Wilson lead the singing of "God Bless America" followed by a musket salute by the VASSAR Color Guard.  Additional guardsmen were Brian Bayliss, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Doug Hall, Patrick Moore, Brett Osborn, Allan Phillips, Will Reynolds, Marc Robinson, Richard Tyler and Ryan Williams.  Others included Dave Cook, Gary Dunaway, John Lynch, John Hamilton, Mark Jackson, Paul McComb, Paul Parish, Barry Schwoerer, Mark Sink, Mike Weyler and Michael Wilson. 


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The Virginia SAR Musket Squad firing a musket salute.


On 16 September 2023, the VASSAR Color Guard created a reenactment of Captain Daniel Morgan's Beeline March.  The ceremony was sponsored by the Colonel James Wood II Chapter with participation from four SAR societies, 18 SAR Chapters, four Daughters of the American Revolution Chapters and two Children of the American Revolution Societies.  In 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the establishment of 10 rifle companies recruited from local militia. Virginia responded by forming the Frederick County Riflemen commanded by Captain Daniel Morgan and the Berkeley County Riflemen Commanded by Captain Hugh Stephenson.  The original plan was for the two companies to travel together with Stephenson's command in the lead.  Morgan made the decision to leave prior to the Berkeley Company’s arrival  at the designated meeting point.  They were to come together at "Morgan's Spring" near Shepherdstown to begin the march to Cambridge.  On 15 Jul, Morgan and his men left the camp and marched 600 miles in 24 days, reporting on 6 August 1775.  When Washington saw the dust covered riflemen file into camp, he asked Captain Morgan where they came from.  Morgan's response was "From the right bank of the Potomac, sir!"  Washington inspected the ranks, shaking hands with each of the riflemen. 


The march was from the George Washington Hotel on to the Old Stone on Piccadilly Street.  The church is where Daniel Morgan was originally buried in 1802.  In the churchyard, a camp had been constructed with General George Washington (Phil Williams) meeting his staff as the marchers were led up the hill by Daniel Morgan (Brett Osborn) with bagpipe and drummer.  The General's staff were depicted by Dave Cook, Dale Corey, Mike Elston, Chris Melhuish, Ken Morris and Darrin Schmidt.  After arrival, Washington inspected the troops followed by a wreath presentation ceremony commemorating the occasion.   A musket squad fired a three round salute and Chris Yohn lead the singing of "God Bless America”.  Morgan's men were formed for a return march to the Hotel.  49 color guard compatriots from the VASSAR Chapters included Col James Wood II (Brian Bayliss, Bryan Buck, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Richard Collins, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Kelly Ford, Doug Hall, Erick Moore, Patrick Moore, Allan Phillips, Will Reynolds, Eric Robinson, Marc Robinson, Chase Tyler, Richard Tyler, Walker Tyler); Nansemund Indian Patriots (Tom Badamo); Sgt Maj John Champe (Ken Bonner, Barry Schwoerer, Mark Sink); Fairfax Resolves (Dave Cook, Forrest Crain, Larry McKinley, Darrin Schmidt, Jeff Thomas); Patrick Henry (Mark Day); Williamsburg (Gary Dunaway, John Lynch, David Westenberg); George Washington (NSSAR Treasurer General Mike Elston, Mark Jackson); Col Fielding Lewis (John Hamilton, Steve Boulton); Thomas Nelson, Jr (Gary Hodges); Thomas Jefferson (Pat Kelly); George Mason (Ken Morris); Gen Daniel Morgan (Paul Parish); Culpeper Minutemen (Mark Crain, Bill Schwetke, Doug Schwetke); and Col William Grayson (Michael Weyler, Michael Wilson).  VASSAR President Ernie Coggins, Mid Atlantic VP General James Engler and C.A.R. Past President Will Elston were honored guests.  Camp followers were Rachel Bayliss, Georgeanna Moore and Michelle Phillips (DAR). 


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 Guard at Order Arms, l. to r. Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Gary Hodges, Ken Morris
, Forrest Crain, David Westenberger, Michael Wilson and Chris Melhuish

On 15 September 2023, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter,  conducted a grave marking ceremony to honor patriot Robert Wood.  The ceremony was conducted at the Wood Family Cemetery at Glen Burnie,  Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.  Robert Wood was born in Frederick County in 1747, the son of Colonel James A. Wood, Sr. (founder of Winchester) and Mary Rutherford.  Robert became a farmer and eventually the owner/operator of Glen Burnie Estate.  In 1774, he married Mary Rutherford and they had five children.  During the Revolutionary War, he served as paymaster for  12th Virginia Regiment under the command of his brother, Colonel James Wood II.  Later, he provided 2000 lbs of hay for the Continental Army and 28 gallons of Brandy which was issued to Maj Charles Magill, Virginia State Garrison Regiment.  During the last decade of the 18th century, Glen Burnie burned to the ground.  In 1794, Robert rebuilt the mansion.  It survives to this day as part of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley with gardens and outbuildings.  This was a highly successful estate and the Woods were leaders in the community social life.  At the time of his death in 1801, the Glen Burnie plantation was a large farm, one of the wealthiest households in Frederick County at that time.  His wife, Comfort continued to manage the property until she passed away in 1840.  Both were buried in the family cemetery located on the property of the plantation.  The ceremony was emceed by Paul Christensen with Paul McComb as chaplain.  Greetings were presented by Virginia State President Ernie Coggins; Mid Atlantic District Vice President General James Engler, Sr; Virginia  DAR Vice Chair DAR/SAR/S.R. Relations Anita Bonner and Virginia C.A.R. Past President Will Elston.  A tribute to Robert Wood was presented by Dale Corey with Grave Dedication by Chris Melhuish and Bob Bruce.  C.A.R. compatriots Will Elston and Jocelynn Wilson unveiled the headstone.  Wreaths were presented by compatriots from 18 SAR Chapters, four DAR Chapters and the Providence Society of the C.A.R.   Chris Yohn and Jocelynn Wilson led the singing of "God Bless America" prior to the closing remarks.  Additional participants from the Col James Wood II Chapter included Brian Bayliss, Sean Carrigan, Chip Daniel, Doug Hall, Patrick Moore, Brett Osborn, Allan Phillips, Will Reynolds, Jim Simmons, Richard Tyler.  Other SAR participants included William Lee Popham (Florida Society), Pat Kelly (French Society and Thomas Jefferson), Dave Cook (German Society), Forrest Crain, Larry McKinley (Fairfax Resolves), Ken Bonner, Barry Schwoerer, Mark Sink (Sgt Maj John Champe), Gary Dunaway, Robert Laubach, John Lynch, David Westenberger (Williamsburg), Gary Hodges (Thomas Nelson, Jr), National Treasurer General Mike Elston, Mark Jackson, Rand Pixa, Tom Roth (George Washington), John Hamilton U Jeremy Utt (Col Fielding Lewis), Ken Morris (George Mason), Edmund Davidson, Paul Parish (General Daniel Morgan), Bill Schwetke, Doug Schwetke (Culpeper Minutemen), Mike Weyler, Mike Wilson (Col William Grayson), Robert Bruce (Norfolk), Philip Barnard, Chris Yohn (Richmond). Jarred Marlowe (Col George Waller). Randy Atkins (Fort Harrison).  


photo is Chris Yohn and Jocelyn Wilson leading the singing.  (Photos courtesy of Brian Bayliss.)

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  photos is the Color Guard at Culpeper Sheriff's Office l. to r. Doug Schwetke, Bill Schwetke, Jim Bish,
Mike Dennis, Charles Jameson, Brett Osborn, Paul Christensen, Ken Morris and Chip Daniel.

They began the day at a Massing of the Colors sponsored by the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2524.  The chapters combined with Fairfax Resolves, George Mason and Sgt Maj John Champe SAR Chapters as members of the Virginia Society State Color Guard.  A commemoration was held to honor the 2,977 individuals who lost their lives during the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), the Pentagon and the plane that went down in western Pennsylvania before reaching its targeted destination.  The ceremonies began at the Culpeper Fire Station to honor the victims of American Airlines flight 11 attacking floors 93-99 at WTC Building #1.  Included in the ceremony were color guards from the Culpeper Fire Department, Culpeper Sheriff's Office, Culpeper Police Department and Culpeper Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2524.  The color guards were aligned and brought to Present Arms.  A reading of the incident was conducted, a moment of silence and Taps played at 8:46 a.m. to honor those who lost their lives.  The contingent then moved to the Culpeper Sheriff's Office for to commemorate American Airlines Flight #175 hitting floors 77-85 of WTC Building #2.  After a reading of that event, Taps was played at 9:03.  They then moved to Wine Veterans Park in Culpeper to commemorate the loss of United Airlines Flight #93 when passengers fought back against the hijackers and the plane went down near Stoney Creek Township in western Pennsylanvia.  Again, a reading was followed by Taps played at 9:37.  Color guards then went to the intersection of Main Street and Davis Street, Culpeper. A reading of the final event was conducted and Taps played at 10:03.  This has become an annual event supported by the Culpeper Minutemen SAR Chapter, VFW Post 2524, Culpeper Fire Department, Culpeper Sheriff's Office and the Culpeper Police Department, along with the Sons of the American Revolution Chapters from surrounding areas.  SAR guardsmen participating were Jim Bish (CMM), Sean Carrigan (CJW), Paul Christensen (CJW), Jim Cordes (FR), Dale Corey (CJWII), Mark Crain (CMM), Thomas "Chip" Daniel (CJW), Mike Dennis (CMM), Charles Jameson (CMM), Ken Morris (GM), Brett Osborn (CJW), Bill Schwetke (CMM), Doug Schwetke (CMM), Barry Schwoerer (SMJC), Mark Sink (SMJC) and Richard Tyler (CJW). 

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Williamsburg Chapter SAR presented Eagle Scout recognition certificates


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Death of Eugene (Gene) Foster Thomas

Wednesday, 16 August 2023


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Photo by Karen Corbett.

This business proudly displays and maintains the flag of our nation properly and with great pride.  Pictured (L to R) are George Corbett. Chapter Flag Recognition Committee Chair, Andrew Marcotte, Vice President and Greg Wilson, Service Advisor.  

Revolution Rarities III


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Photo by Bruce Laubach.

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photo are DAR ladies Past Regent Lila Thurman, Beth Henningson, Regent and Joella Barbour at Yeary Cabin


On 23 May 2023, the General William Campbell Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution with Black's Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Over Mountain Trail Association conducted Plumb Alley Day at the Yeary Cabin in Abingdon, Virginia.  Plumb Alley Day is a street fair promoting the health, education and welfare of children in Washington County, Virginia.  The event is held in the town's historic district between Main and Valley Streets.  It features food, music, dance performances, children's activities and vendors.  Demonstrations by the three organizations were seen by 1,000 visitors concerning the colonial era of the valley.  John Britton, Rob Richmond, Lee Saunders, Michael Shaver, Emmitt Yearly and other compatriots talked about the life of long hunters and pioneers in the back country, retelling the history of the frontier.  Activities included baking bread on outside brick ovens, spinning yarn and baking cookies from recipes of the colonial era and SAR guardsmen John Gullion, James Johnson and others, giving presentations on different types of firelocks to include their loading and care.  The demonstration concluded with a live volley fire.  Dr. Kevin Combs, (SAR compatriot) spoke about vaccinations for small pox, amputations and the often unsanitary conditions on the battlefield.  It was noted that doctors would sometimes wash their hands, but it was not always possible due to the conditions at the time.  There was a display of colonial flags along with maps, documents, coins and writing instruments to reflect the life of colonials.  Music was supplied by pipers, fifes and drums from the Appalachian Highlanders.  J.W. Hornsby, event coordinator said "The Historical Committee for Festival Excellence has decreed that all Plumb Alley Day 2023 participants from the SAR, DAR and OVTA be herewith awarded the Golden Horseshoe.  This award is given to worthy participants of the fair who provide outstanding support and participation in the event.  The following is the proclamation provided by Hornsby. 

  "To the SAR, OVTA and DAR, Plumb Alley Day 2023, Abingdon, VA.  Hear ye, Hear ye!  The Historical Committee for Festival Excellence has decreed that all Plumb Alley Day 2023 participants from the SAR, DAR and OVTA be herewith awarded the Golden Horseshoe - the highest available level of recognition. 

  The Yeary Cabin was buzzing with your Revolutionary War re-enactors telling engaging stories to captivated attendees.  Muskets were properly loaded and fired upon command, fifes and drums were played with precision and delicious sweet bread was cooked in a replicated period brick oven.  In addition, delicious ginger and coconut cookies were available (along with cookbooks) and ladies in period costumes used foot pedal-driven spinning wheels to create authentic twisted yarn from local sheep's wool. 

In the 13 years that I've been running Plumb Alley Day, I've never seen a more active and vibrant cluster of activities at the Yeary Cabin...It was all very exciting to see!"


photo is Richard Vogel, OVTA and                                                                         photo is compatriot Rob Richmond preparing to present a Patriots Chest.

Candy Walton, DAR baking bread.                  



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2023 SemiAnnual Meeting

The Semi Annual meeting will be held in Winchester, VA, this year.  For information click on the link below.



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After months of work Sgt Maj John Champe would like to announce the launch of their new website.  It can be found at  It will be fully integrated with MemberClicks and will come to be the benchmark by which other websites are measured.

A special thank you to Sean Schwoerer, webmaster, the most knowledgeable person of the group,. He was not the only person contributing to the success.  It could not have happened without the entire team working together to a common goal.

Richard Henry Lee

“VASSAR Color Guard”

On Saturday, July 8th the Richard Henry Lee Chapter of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) hosted a celebration of the 247th Anniversary of the Battle of Cricket Hill (aka, the Battle of Gwynn’s Island) at water’s edge in front of the original battle earthworks at Morningstar Marinas in Hudgins, Virginia.


Participating in the celebration were Virginia Society SAR Past-President and keynote speaker Mr. Jeff Thomas; a Virginia Society SAR Color Guard contingent; representatives from the following Virginia Society chapters – Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minute Men, George Mason, James Monroe, Norfolk, Richard Henry Lee, and Thomas Nelson Jr.; Dr. Kenneth Hawkins, Governor of the Virginia Society Order of Founder and Patriots of America; representatives of three National Society Daughters of the American Revolution chapters – Augustine Warner, Cobbs Hall, and Cricket Hill; and Virginia Society of Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) Senior State President Anne-Cabrie Forsythe accompanied by C.A.R. State Historian Jocelynn Wilson.  Friends, family, and members of the general public were in attendance as well.


A brief history.  Lord Dunmore (John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore) was the last Royal Governor of the colony of Virginia.  In May 1774, after British Parliament closed Boston Harbor as punishment for the Boston Tea Party and the Virginia House of Burgesses adopted resolutions in support of the Boston colonists, Lord Dunmore dissolved the Virginia assembly.


The colonists of Virginia revolted and Lord Dunmore was driven out of the Governor’s Palace.  He and an entourage of British troops, Loyalists and slaves who were promised freedom for allegiance to Britain engaged in many skirmishes with the patriot Virginia colonists in late 1775 through the spring of 1776 up and down the Virginia coastline.


By June of 1776, Lord Dunmore and his troops had sailed on British ships up the Chesapeake Bay and set up a base of operation on Gwynn’s Island. 


By July 8th, patriot Virginia troops had set up defensive earthworks on the mainland just across the water from Gwynn’s Island. On July 9th, patriots under the command of Brigadier General Andrew Lewis opened  fire on Lord Dunmore’s fleet with a battery of 18- and 9-pound cannon, quickly placing a dozen rounds into the hull of Dunmore’s flagship, and wounding Dunmore.


Overnight, Lord Dunmore quietly weighed anchor and fled from Gwynn’s Island.  He left behind hundreds of dead and sick slaves who been ravaged by disease including small pox.  Lord Dunmore fled to New York, never to return.  This event ended British rule in Virginia just days after the Declaration of Independence.


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Dispatch Criteria

Welcome to the Dispatch
It is the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution Blog.  We only post articles that fall within the goals and objectives of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution.
We do not post the following:
    Articles with a religious theme.
   Articles with a Political theme.
   Articles that are personally insulting.
   Articles that are an attack on someone or some entity.
   Articles containing inappropriate language.
Chapters and compatriots of the Virginia Society are encouraged to post articles and comments about activities in which they are involved.  The article should be 500 words or less, 12-point font, typewritten, single spaced, Word format.  Along with it, you may submit three pictures or less in jpeg format.  The pictures need to be at least 300 dpi picture quality as an attachment to the article.  Clearly describe and identify the photograph as it relates to the article.  Include a courtesy line to show the identity of the owner of the photo.
Articles will be submitted by sponsoring chapters.  Those events covering
multi-chapter events are submitted by one chapter as agreed by those involved in the sponsorship. 
 It is the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution Blog. The Dispatch does not post political articles of any kind.  We do not post articles outside of the mission of the Sons of the American Revolution:
Articles with a religious theme.
Articles with a political theme.
Articles that are personally insulting.
Articles that are an attack on someone or some entity.
Articles that contain inappropriate language.
Both chapters and members are encouraged to posts article and comments about activities that you are involved in.  The article should be roughly 500 words, or less, 12-point font, typewritten, single spaced, Word format.  Submit no more than three pictures (jpeg format) at least 300 dpi picture quality, separate attachments from the article, clearly identify the photograph in the text and name the photograph to match the description. Articles involving multi-chapter events are submitted by the sponsoring chapter, unless otherwise agreed with participating chapters. Please send articles for posting to:
Wm. David Carpenter
[email protected]