On 21 October 2023, the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter conducted a muster to commemorate the Culpeper Minutemen during the Revolutionary War.  Michael Weyler, 2nd VP, Virginia Society presented greetings.  He mentioned the unit began due to the Boston Port Act.  In Virginia, this was an attack on the  colonies ability to engage in free commerce and their liberties.  Next, the Virginia House of Burgess declared 26 May 1774 a day of prayer and fasting to acknowledge the plight of Bostonians.  Lord Dunmore then dissolved the House of Burgess.  On 1 August, the first Virginia Convention passed resolutions supporting non-importation of British goods and non-exportation of colonial goods to Britain.  In March 1775, the Second Virginia Convention, produced guidelines for defensive action.  The third convention met in July, authorizing the creation of Virginia military districts  This led to the formation of the Culpeper Minute Battalion.  Compatriot Bill Schwetke presented their story.  Culpeper completed its battalion with a company of riflemen.  They were required annually to conduct two 12-day battalion training periods and monthly four day company training sessions (except for the three winter months).  The battalion was led by Colonel Talliaferro, Lieutenant Colonel Stevens and Major Marshall.  Four companies were led by Captains Buford, Jamison, Reverend McClanahan and Williams with the company of riflemen commanded by Captain Green. 

They began training September 1775, then marched to Williamsburg, arriving 21 October.  They wore hunting shirts the color of leaves, that were emblazoned with "Liberty or Death", carryed a flag emblazoned with a rattlesnake, the words "Don't Tread on Me" and Patrick Henry's "Liberty or Death".  On 25 October, British ships attempted to bombard Hampton.  Captain Buford took a company of riflemen, stationing them in a house at a breastwork.  At daybreak, the ships arrived to begin bombardment.  They were met with accurate, withering fire.   British sailors could not man their guns, which led to the ships fleeing to safety.  As a result of the Culpeper actions, they captured the British ship, the Hawk Tender.  Returning to Williamsburg, they joined Colonel Woodford's 2nd Virginia Regiment and marched to block Great Bridge south of Norfolk. At daybreak 9 December, a company of British grenadiers charged across the bridge.  The Culpeper Minutemen, led by Billy Flora, a free black man from Princess Ann County stopped the attack, causing a British retreat to Norfolk and the safety of their ships. 

In existence for 15 months, the Virginia Legislature disbanded the battalion in December 1776.  Their actions at the Battle of Great Bridge, along with their service at Hampton and Norfolk, significantly impacted the outcome of the Revolutionary War.

Dignitaries included Culpeper Mayor Frank Reaves, Jr. and Supervisor Tom Underwood.  Wreaths were presented by Virginia State, six SAR Chapters, (Culpeper Minutemen, George Mason, Fairfax Resolves, Norfolk, Col James Wood II and Sgt Major John Champe) and  DAR from Culpeper Minute Men, Fauquier Court House and Lanes Mill Chapters.  A musket squad fired a salute in honor of the men of the Culpeper Minute Battalion. 

Photo are SAR participants at Culpeper Minute Battalion monument, l. to r. Mark Crain, Brett Osborn, Charles Jameson, Chip Daniel, Dave Cook, Mark Sink, Ken Morris, Ken Bonner, Bill Schwetke, Jim Cordes, Mike Dennis and Mike Weyler.


Photo is the color guard l. to r. Jim Cordes, Ken Morris, Ken Bonner, Dave Cook, Chip Daniel, Mike Dennis, Brett Osborn and Bill Schwetke.


photo is the musket squad firing a salute l. to r. Bill Schwetke, Ken Bonner, Mike Dennis, Chip Daniel, Mark Sink, Dave Cook and Jim Cordes.  (Photos courtesy of Dale Corey.)

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