Revolution History note
Dues are Due
Wreaths Across America
Other Dates of Interest
Misc. reminders and information
The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace. The new venue is working out fine. As always, members will start gathering at 11:30, the formal meeting will start at 12:00 with a break for lunch. Please remember to pay on your way in and keep your receipt for the waitress. This month is Law Enforcement, Fire Fighter and EMT recognition.
The street address for the Golden Corral is:
11801 N 56th St
Tampa, FL 33617
The October meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, was held at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace. Compatriot Bob Yarnell presented a brief book review of Washington’s Immortals by Patrick O’Donnell. President Charles Krug made an excellent presentation on Cato: A Tragedy written in 1712 by Joseph Addison.
Compatriot Dick Young and Chapter President Charles Krug presented SAR Heroism awards to Corporal Wallick and Officer Thanasas of the City of Tampa Police Department for their bravery in a life-threatening situation where they de-escalated the situation, saved hostages, and prevented any injury or loss of life.
______________________________________________________________ Revolution History Note:
This is the second of a two-part series on how historical sites (battlefields and homes, for example) speak to us. Last month we looked at how the people involved, and the geography of the place informs us about what happened there. This month we’ll look at the archaeology of the place. What artifacts have been found and what do they tell us? How has the location changed since the events took place or since the “historic” people lived there? Both can impact our under-standing of the place or event.
Why is the archaeology of a place important? Bullets found on a battlefield can help pinpoint the locations of firing positions and locations being fired into. Shards of pottery, pieces of glass, even discarded toys can tell us much about a house and who lived there. They can also help us decipher what the people ate and what they grew or manufactured.
The Battle of the Little Big Horn is an excellent example of how archaeology can help us understand a battle. Several years ago, following a wild fire that swept the battlefield, the park service allowed archaeologists to do digs. Since they knew what weapons the Cavalry had it was easy to determine from shell casings where they were positioned and from spent bullets the positions they were firing into. Any other shell casings and bullets found could be assumed to be in possession of the Sioux and Cheyenne and their positions could be more accurately located. This resulted in some (necessary) re-writing of the more familiar account of that battle. Since very few battlefields from the War for Independence have been preserved and, on those that have, very little in the way of systematic archaeological surveys have been done, this is less helpful for students of that war. Likewise, most civil war battlefields prohibit archaeological digs.
Archaeology is more important when researching locations of homes and settlements. Much of what has been restored at Colonial Williamsburg has been based on archaeology. Everything they find, from original building foundations to something as simple and mundane as a garbage pit, has been used to make the site as accurate as possible. In nearby Jamestown, some important artifacts were unearthed a few years ago---toys. There is nothing in most of the written documents about there being children in Jamestown and what little is known is more implied than directly stated. But, then, some toy soldiers, a doll, a carved small wooden horse, and a small leather shoe were found. They provided the proof that children ran and played in Jamestown.
From bullets on a battlefield to the contents of a garbage pit, archaeology helps us understand and interpret the past.
What has happened to the ground since?
This presents the biggest problem and challenge to people visiting battlefields and historic sites. In the case of Cowpens, we are fortunate that the land was in the hands of the same family and only used for light farming (most of that behind the main battle lines) and grazing. Thus, it has come down to us very much as it was in January of 1781 when the battle occurred.
Antietam and the Little Big Horn, likewise, have come to us in relatively pristine condition. But many of the most visited sites have not. The best example would be Gettysburg. A visitor to the Gettysburg battlefield today cannot get a clear picture of the engagement unless they have done some homework and have learned of the changes to the battlefield—both in the lay of land (undulations in the ground that have since disappeared) and the locations of areas of woods-some of which were there at the battle and most of which were not.
Most of the battlefields from the War for Independence have disappeared. It is impossible to stand in modern Brooklyn and try to imagine the battle lines and undulations of the ground where the Maryland Line formed Washington’s rear guard or to appreciate the location of woods that helped break up British advances at Monmouth. Or closer to home, the Dade battle site, now preserved, was used as a camping ground for tin can tourists in the 1920’s and 30’s and most of the vegetation was removed. Most of the re-growth does not fit with the few eye witness accounts we have.
We often limit our knowledge of historical sites to the written record. But each of the four topics we have mentioned these past two months is necessary to get a clear picture of what happened and why. History by its nature can be considered “exact imagining.” The written record, geography, archaeological finds, and knowledge of what has happened at the site since give us the best picture we can get. That is the exact part. It is then up to us to use our imagination to put all that information together in our minds to get as good a picture as we can of what happened.
To ponder and dream, to realize while forms change, spirits linger and on great fields something abides, something for us to imagine and from which we learn. *
*Paraphrased (with additions) from Joshua Chamberlain.
Nov 18 Law Enforcement & Fire Fighter Commendation and Recognition
Dec 17 Brief business meeting after Wreaths across America ceremony — (site to be determined)
Tentative—Christmas social get-together
Jan. Officer Installation - site to be determined
Feb/March—Tentative hopes for a joint meeting with the DAR, maybe a speaker on
genealogy, possibly a presentation on the SAR Youth Protection Training
April JROTC Recognition
May perhaps Sept speaker re-scheduled; perhaps local museum speaker; perhaps Rodney Kite-Powell of the Tampa Bay History Center
Dues Are Due
By now, everyone should have received a dues renewal notice from Membership Secretary Jason Krajnyak. Please bring a check to this meeting or put check in mail to address in Due's Notice as soon as you can. Many thanks for your prompt attention to this matter.
If you are an SAR Life Member, you pay only State and Chapter Dues
If you are active duty military, you pay only National Dues
If you are a Junior Member, your dues are paid by the Tampa Chapter
Wreaths Across America
For the fourth year, the Tampa Chapter will sponsor the American Legion Post #5 Veterans Cemetery Wreaths Across America Ceremony. The Ceremony will be held at Noon on December 16. Information on the nationwide WAA Program can be found on their website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. Donations can be made on their website or the American Legion Post website at www.post5tampa.org or using the attached form. Everyone is encouraged to attend and participate in the Ceremony. Our Chapter Color Guard will be there in uniform.
Other Dates of Interest
December 16 Wreaths Across America Ceremony
February 4 Florida Winter BOM & Oration Competition (Kissimmee)
March 10 Commemoration of Last Naval Battle (Merritt Island)
April 7 Commemoration of Battle of Thomas Creek (Jacksonville)
May 18-20 Florida Spring BOM & Annual Meeting (Kissimmee)
July 13-18 National Congress (Houston)
Misc. Notes and reminders:
Chapter Website—remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website. http://www.tampasar.org/
One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain John Sessums is to send cards to our members that are sick. Another is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone that should be the recipient of these cards please mention it to the Chaplain or one of the other officers at our next meeting.
Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the Newsletter Editor Bob Yarnell at email@example.com.