Tampa Chapter – November 2019
Revolution History Note
Dues are Due
Wreaths Across America
Color Guard Activities & Opportunities
Other Dates of Interest
Chapter Facebook Page
The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will be held on Saturday, November 16th at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace. Please remember to pay on your way in and keep your receipt for the waitress. Social time and lunch will precede the meeting. The formal meeting will start around 12:00 Noon. The street address for the Golden Corral is:
11801 N 56th St.
Tampa, FL 33617
This is our annual Law Enforcement/Firefighter/EMT awards meeting. Let’s have a good turnout to meet and show our support for these fine folks for all they do for our community.
Our October meeting, also at the Golden Corral featured a presentation by Compatriot Bob Yarnell on how teachers are taught how to teach, how that negatively effects how our students learn, or not learn, and how it can be remedied. There was a good discussion following Bob’s presentation.
American Revolution Notes
The Valiant Stand of Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer
Following his victory at Brandywine, Sir William Howe led his army into Philadelphia during the last days of Sept. 1777. However, the capture of the rebel capital presented him with a problem. The campaign to capture Philadelphia had exhausted most of his supplies. A flotilla of British naval vessels anchored in Delaware Bay had the supplies he needed but they could not get the supplies to him. The Americans had constructed two forts, Ft. Mifflin, located on the Pa. side of the Delaware River on Mud Island, and Ft. Mercer on the New Jersey side
that effectively cut off the British troops in the city.
While Washington’s army setup their winter encampment and constructed defenses to deter Howe from attacking, the men manning the forts had to prevent the supplies from reaching Howe. If the forts could delay the supplies long enough, winter would set in and Howe would not have enough good weather to make an attempt on the encampment at Valley Forge.
Howe immediately ordered the navy to capture or destroy the forts and open his supply line. Near the end of October, the two sides exchanged cannon fire, but a three-day storm brought a mutual cessation of hostilities as men on both sides tried to stay dry and warm. By the second week of November the British Navy increased the number of ships and cannons they could bring to bear on the fort until by November 15th, they had ships on three sides of island, with a combined total of 207 cannons with which to assault the fort.
The tremendous cannonade lasted all day on Nov. 15th. The 400 plus defenders of Ft. Mifflin fired back with their ten cannons. A French engineer, Major Francis de Fleury, ably led the men in their effort to repair the damage caused by the British onslaught.
That night, after having suffered approximately 250 casualties and being out of ammunition, the Fort’s commander led his remaining men to safety at Ft. Mercer across the Delaware River. General Cornwallis landed 2000 British troops on the New Jersey side after Ft. Mifflin fell. The Americans evacuated Ft. Mercer on Nov. 20th. While eventually forced to evacuate and withdraw, the American defenders had done their job.
By the time sufficient supplies reached Howe for his planned assault on Valley Forge, the calendar had turned against him. It was too late, and the American position at Valley Forge too strong. The valiant defenders of Forts Mifflin and Mercer had delayed the British Navy for 6 weeks, buying Washington the time he needed.
Dues Are Due
SAR Dues for 2020 are due. If you have not already paid, please bring your payment to the November meeting and turn it over to either Membership Secretary Jason Krajnyak or Treasurer Paul Ergler. If you forget please mail a check or money order, payable to Tampa Chapter SAR, to…
Paul Ergler, Treasurer
Tampa Chapter SAR
506 Surrey Lane
Lutz, FL 33549
Annual Dues are unchanged for 2020 at $80. This includes Chapter, State and National Dues. Active Duty personnel pay only National Dues of $35.00. Life Members pay only Chapter and State Dues of $45.00.
Wreaths Across America – December 14, 2019
Our Chapter will again be a WAA sponsor for the Veterans Cemetery owned and maintained by American Legion Post #5 USS Tampa (3810 West Kennedy Blvd). The Chapter Color Guard will also, again, participate in the formal ceremony. The WAA Ceremony will serve as our December meeting, with an informal gathering of members and guests after the Ceremony.
The Ceremony will begin at 12:00 Noon with a presentation of the National Colors and conclude with a laying of wreaths on each of the more than 700 grave sites in the Cemetery. Due to parking limitations and the size of the expected crowd, you should plan to be there no later than 11:30. Attached to the email that delivered this Newsletter is the 2019 Wreath Sponsorship form. If you have not had a chance to order your wreath, use the attached form to do so. You can mail your payment to the address on the form, bring it to the November meeting, or go on-line at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org, complete the form and pay by credit card.
Dec. 14 Wreaths Across America, American Legion Post #5 USS Tampa
Jan. 18 Officer Installation Luncheon, Floridan Hotel, Tampa (tentative)
Feb. 15 TBA
Color Guard Activities & Opportunities
October 22 - The Tampa Chapter Color Guard greeted Honor Flight Mission #40 at the St Petersburg/Clearwater Airport and a full flight of 75 or so veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The Pithlachascotee Chapter DAR and many other patriotic organizations and individuals were there as well. As always, it was an honor for us to meet these veterans and thank them for their sacrifices and service to our country. Pictured below are Robert Anderson (Clearwater) and Tampa Compatriots Bill Swain, David Bryant, Dick Young and John Goolsby. Compatriot Sam Bryant (son of David) also joined us.
December 14 – Wreaths Across America
Other Dates of Interest
Feb 27-29 National SAR Leadership Conference, Louisville, KY
Mar Florida SAR Rumbaugh Oration Contest, The Villages, FL (date TBA)
Mar 7 Last Naval Battle Commemoration, Merritt Island, FL
Mar 28 Battle of Thomas Creek Commemoration, Jacksonville, FL
May 1 - 3 Florida SAR BOM & Annual Meeting, Kissimmee, FL
From the President - The new Facebook page for the Tampa Sons of the American Revolution is “S.A.R. Tampa Chapter”. The password to add anything is American1776. Please feel free to upload pictures or comments. Invite all your friends to look.
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 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 Chaplain Sessums 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 editor.