Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

September 2014

 

Contents

          Meeting announcement

          Sept. agenda items

          Revolution education note

          Program Schedule

          Misc. reminders and information

 

The Sept. meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will be on Sept. 20th at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, located at 11810 Dale Mabry Highway North, Tampa, Florida (813-963-1660).   Robbins Denham will tell us about his Honor Flight in June and, in honor of Constitution day, Bob Yarnell will give a brief talk about the origins and fight for the Bill of Rights. 

 

Pres. Dick Young will be reporting on the Aug. Board of Governors meeting as well as giving the membership a brief report from the National Congress held this past summer.  Additionally, we will need to elect/appoint a nominating committee.  . 

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Revolution Note:

Battle (Massacre?) of Paoli Night of Sept. 20-21, 1777

The Battle of Paoli, also called "The Paoli Massacre", occurred at midnight on September 20-21, 1777. After Washington's defeat at Brandywine on September 11, his forces retreated toward Philadelphia to receive new ammunition and try yet again to stop Howe.

Howe continued towards Philadelphia with the intent of crossing the Schuykill River.  Washington detached Gen. Anthony Wayne with approx. 2200 men to get behind the British.  He was to send any information he could gather about their forces, movement etc, as well as try to cut off their baggage train as it crossed the river.  Wayne later sent a message to Washington telling him all was going according to plan.  Unfortunately, what Wayne did not know was that Howe was aware of Wayne’s presence and decided to attack.  (see note below).

On the night of September 20th, 1777 General Howe dispatched Major General Grey to deal with Wayne’s division. At General Grey’s direction the flints had been removed from his men’s muskets to ensure that no shots gave prior warning to the Americans. The attack was to be at the point of the bayonet. The first wave of British troops rushed through the woods and attacked the American camp around mid night. In the face of the British charge the Pennsylvania troops were dispersed and driven out of the camp to the West, many through a gap in a fence along the edge of the encampment. The American casualties seem to have totaled around 200 killed, wounded, or taken prisoner of whom around 55 were killed. The British are said to have had fewer than 20 casualties.

Follow-up: Paoli was a severe humiliation for the Pennsylvania Continental troops but probably little more. The fight is referred to as the Paoli Massacre. It is difficult to see how that label can be justified in the light of the small number of American fatalities. Claims are made that the British took no prisoners. This allegation appears frequently in the Revolutionary War and is made against both sides.

The accusation made against Wayne was that he allowed his camp to be surprised. At Wayne’s demand he was subject to a court martial which exonerated him of this allegation. Whether Wayne was taken unawares or not the attack was well executed and highly successful, enabling General Howe to take Philadelphia within a few days with little further resistance from the main American army under George Washington.

Note:  There is some conjecture and difference of opinion as to how the British learned of Wayne’s presence in their rear.  There were many loyalists in Pa. as well as British spies in the area and one theory is that, given the relatively casual nature of how warfare was conducted in the 1700’s, Wayne’s presence could have been easily detected by people living in the area, regardless of how many precautions he took and it would have been easy for someone to get word to the British.  Theory number 2 is that a courier Wayne dispatched with an update to Washington was captured and theory number 3 is that the courier deserted and took the information to the British.  If you work on the assumption that Wayne would send a courier he knew and trusted, it appears to me the probability of Wayne’s location being relayed to the British by a loyalist in the area or a British spy is the probable answer.

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PROGRAM SCHEDULE

Below is the tentative program schedule for the remainder of 2014.

 

2014

September - Honor Flight & Constitution Day

October – Panama Canal

November - CAR Joint Meeting plus Law Enforcement and Fire Fighter recognition

December - Officer Installation

 

Tentative 2015

Feb., April and May are reasonably nailed down but Jan. and March are still open.

Feel free to send along any suggestions to VP Charles Krug

Misc. Reminders and notes:

 

 

Chapter Website— Remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.  http://www.patriot-web.com/

 

One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick. If you know of anyone that I need to send a card to, please mention it at our next meeting. Another duty is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away.

Jack C. Bolen           

Chaplain