The Battle of Great Bridge discussion Wednesday December 6th Noon – 1:00pm.


Join Encyclopedia Virginia managing editor Patti Miller in conversation with Norfolk Chapter compatriot, former U.S. Marine and professor at the National Defense University Dr. Patrick Hannum and Jon Stull, docent at the Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways History Foundation, to discuss the Battle of Great Bridge.

The Battle of Great Bridge was the first major battle of the American Revolution fought in Virginia and a significant, if little recognized, factor in the eventual Patriot victory over the British. Find out how Great Bridge changed everything.

This event is free, but registration is required.



Photo are the SAR participants with law enforcement and Mayor Charles Harbaugh.  (Photo courtesy of Marc Robinson.)

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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.


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Williamsburg Chapter Activities

At the Williamsburg Chapter, SAR meeting and luncheon on August 12th, Chapter President Bruce Laubach presented the SAR Bronze Eagle Scout Fund Certificate to Ron Adolphi.

The Robert E. Burt Boy Scout Volunteer Award is a national recognition approved by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). It is presented Ron for his outstanding dedication to the Scouting Program.

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Figure 1 Fifteenth Army Air Force Reunion Color Guard: Forrest Crain, Fairfax Resolves Chapter; Ed Clendenin, Alexander Hamilton Chapter; Dave Cook, Fairfax Resolves Chapter; and Dale Corey, Col. James Wood II Chapter

On 14 October, members of the Virginia and Texas Society Sons of the American Revolution where honored to present the colors at the All-Groups Banquet held at the reunion of the Fifteen Army Air Force Bomber Group.  Participating from the Fairfax Resolves Chapter were President Forrest Crain, Past President David Cook and dual member (Col James Wood II Chapter) Dale Corey.  The Group holds reunions at different locations annually.  This year’s three-day event was held in Herndon.  Group activities included visits to Mt Vernon, the National US Army Museum, the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, the Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the World War II Memorial. 

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The General William Campbell Chapter of the SAR with Black’s Fort and Royal Oak Chapters of the DAR and the Overmountain Victory Trail Association was busy in the last 10 days in the main events of the year centered on the mustering of militias from Abingdon, Virginia, under Col William Campbell to the meeting with Overmountain militias commanded by Cols Isaac Shelby and John Sevier at Sycamore Shoals, near today’s town of Elizabethton, TN. This was a National event on September 16, for the march to the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.


In the Washington County, VA, area, the Campbell SAR Chapter with the DAR observed the annual memorial with laying of wreaths to Col William Campbell and his loyal servant John Broddy at two cemeteries, Aspenvale and the John Broddy cemeteries (both in today’s Smyth County).  Campbell’s marking was a rededication with a newly set Patriot’s stone and Broddy’s was a grave marking with a Patriot’s stone. We did a flag retirement and a presentation of a flag.

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On Sunday, October 8, 2023, the New River Valley Chapter attended an Eagle Scout Court of Honor held by Scout Troop 158 in Blacksburg, VA.  Our chapter awarded Eagle Scout Certificates to Patrick Davis, Seth Provenzano, and Gideon Colliver.  Information was announced for Eagle Scout awards at Chapter, VASSAR Convention and NSSAR Convention and written material provided to those interested.

L-R. NRV Chapter President Terry Blevins, NRV Secretary and Eagle Scout Awards Chair Jim Holt, Jr., Gideon Collier, Patrick Davis, and Seth Provenzano.



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.