Minutes of the September 19, 2009 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


President Bell called the meeting to order at 12:03. Jack Bolen offered the invocation. Robert Koehler led the pledge to the flag and the President led the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: Jack Bolen, Marty Miller, John Sessums, Terrell Sessums, Allen, Bell, DeVeux McLean, Roger Quackenbush, Ira Ward, Chuck Copeland, Milton Alexander, Dick Young, Robert Koehler, Robert Yarnell, and Kevin Yarnell.

Welcome guests:Judy Copeland, Lissette Young and prospective member Ralph Maples


The President introduced their guests.


The minutes of the May meeting were approved.


The secretary read several emails received from members unable to attend and a thank you card sent by Dennis Spiker, the Brandon JROTC cadet who received our award in April. Bill Floyd suggested via email that we might add the names of the chapter members to the website. The secretary asked if this was agreeable to the membership. After a brief discussion the group thought a list of the members with their ancestors might be most appropriate. The secretary will post this to the website.


The Treasurer reported a balance of $2,164.73 and petty cash of $70.84. The balance is down due to our recent purchase of ROTC medals and other awards that will be needed in 2010.


Luke Lloyd was unable to attend but sent, via email to the secretary a note detailing his efforts on behalf of the chapter.


Vice President Yarnell reported on the schedule of upcoming speakers. Several speakers have cancelled and so a few alterations were required. We hope to reschedule Rodney Kite-Powell for October and will do the Law Enforcement award in December along with our annual CAR joint meeting.


The President reported that the color guard marched in the Lutz 4th of July parade. Four members participated.


Jack Bolen asked for information about the ancestry database started by Rod Stebbins. The secretary reported that he thought he had the database file but not the program needed to access it. Jack suggested that perhaps a member with some expertise would like to take this on to provide a valuable resource for the chapter.


The President pointed out that the chapter must, at the September meeting, elect a nominating committee. Robert Yarnell agreed to chair the committee. He spent a few minutes discussing with the membership the duties of the various officers and committees. A number of chapter members are relatively new to the chapter and this review was helpful to them. The nominating committee as elected was Robert Yarnell, Jack Bolen, and John Sessums.


The President presented Roger Quackenbush with the membership certificate for his son Thomas. Thomas lives in NY but will be in Tampa later this weekend and so Roger will present the certificate on our behalf.


As Terrell Sessums and Chuck Copeland were present, the President inducted them as our newest members.


The meeting recessed for lunch.


Chuck Hawley, also a recently approved member, arrived a bit late and was not noticed by the secretary until lunch. President Bell inducted Chuck following the reconvening of the meeting.


The President called on Vice President Yarnell to provide the program on the battle of Pensacola. Bob began by giving some detail on how Florida had been partitioned prior to the Revolutionary War. In 1763 Spain ceded Florida to the British as a result of the treaty ending the Seven Years (French & Indian) war. The territory was divided into East Florida with the capital at St. Augustine, and West Florida with the capital at Pensacola. The Apolachicola / Chattahoochee Rivers marked the dividing line.


Spain offered the English a deal whereby they would not get involved in the war if the English gave them Florida and Gibraltar. The English didnít take this deal. Spain never signed an alliance with the patriots or France. Instead they just declared war on England in large part just to retake Florida.


Don Bernardo de Galvez, Governor of Spanish Louisiana was waiting for an opportunity to march on Florida so when the chance came he moved quickly. In fact he got to Baton Rouge before the British knew war had been declared. Thus the capture of the city was easy as was the capture of Mobile. Galvez then moved to Pensacola. Approximately 1100 men defended the town including about 100 British regulars, colonial loyalists that had joined the British, and about 600 German mercenaries. Galvez had 7000 regulars as well as ships and able supplies.


The Spanish had some internal command issues especially with the fleet commanders, but for the most part the battle was uneventful. A shot by the Spanish guns that hit the British power magazine clearly helped the battle. Bob retold a possible story on how the Spanish hit the magazine but pointed out that the story may not be reliable.


Following the surrender of Pensacola, Spain effectively controlled West Florida. As it turned out, the Spanish sent 800 of the British troops to New York. Since this reinforced the troops opposing the colonial revolutionaries, Washington was quite concerned. Bob pointed out that he demanded and received an apology from the Spanish government.


The fact that Spain never joined an alliance with the revolutionaries accounts for the fact that some do not consider the Battle of Pensacola as part of the American Revolution but rather a side issue between Spain and England.


Bob answered a few questions from the membership.


Jack Bolen won the 50/50 and donated the proceeds to the chapter. Thus $17.00 was added to the treasury.


The President led the recessional, Jack Bolen gave the benediction, and the meeting adjourned at 1:37 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary