Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

Meeting Notice, February 2009



The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter will be held on February 21st in the private meeting room of the Piccadilly Cafeteria, located at 11810 Dale Mabry Highway North, Tampa, Florida (813-963-1660). Meetings begin at noon but members and guests arrive as early as 11:30 for a time of camaraderie.

We will be pleased to welcome the Florida Society President, Ron Toops to our company. Ron will present to the membership information regarding several initiatives of the Florida Society. I trust you値l make every effort to attend. It is always good to see each of you.




Kevin Yarnell

Secretary, Tampa Chapter


Upcoming Meetings

In March we値l present our annual Fire Safety medal. The Hillsborough Fire Chief has a wonderful candidate. The story of the event for which Captain Ryan is being recognized will, we hope, be appreciated by the members.


In April we値l hold our annual ROTC luncheon and we hope you値l make a special effort to attend. We値l honor the cadets chosen by their commanders to receive the SAR JROTC award. It is always a wonderful time meeting and talking with these fine young men and women. So save April 18th on your calendar and remember guests are always welcome.


In May we値l be treated to a presentation on the Battle of Cowpens by Jack Bolen. We appreciate Jack痴 research on this program and his willingness to share it with the members.


A Note from Vice President Yarnell regarding the Battle of Point Pleasant in the recent Patriot magazine

I'm sure some, if not most of you, have already read the article about the Battle of Point Pleasant in the current issue of the Florida Patriot. As Chapter Historian I thought it might be appropriate for me to point out that, in my humble opinion, the 3 page article has some misinformation in it. Of course the first thing you notice is that it was written in the 1920痴. That in and of itself doesn't make it wrong but it includes a bias found in the history written in W. Virginia through out the 1800痴. Anyway, below are a web link and a brief paragraph about the controversies of the Battle of Point Pleasant. The web link provides the best info I have found and you might want to peruse it and compare it to the info in the article.

Just some food for thought and it goes to show that historical controversies will always be with us and be good source for thought and (hopefully) informed discussion. Indeed, if you Google it you will find some articles on the web supporting the view that it was the first battle of the Revolution and that Lord Dunmore was in cahoots with Indians and others that take the point of view (that I take) that it was a frontier Indian War with no real connection to the Revolution. I might also add that when I attended a week long teacher痴 seminar at Colonial Williamsburg in 2000 their view is that it was a separate frontier Indian War and it was only later that the accusations towards Lord Dunmore began.




Controversies about Point Pleasant

Before the Virginians had all returned home from Dunmore's War, the American Revolutionary War had begun at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. Before long, Lord Dunmore was leading the British war effort in Virginia against many of the men who had fought under him in Dunmore's War. Dunmore even sought to enlist American Indian allies葉he very people he had defeated in 1774. As a result, over the years a legend arose that Dunmore had actually been collaborating with the Shawnees all along. According to this story, Dunmore deliberately isolated the militia under Andrew Lewis and directed the Shawnees to attack them, hoping to eliminate potentially troublesome American rebels. There is no evidence to support this conspiracy theory, but it was popular in the 19th century.

On February 21, 1908, the United States Senate passed Bill Number 160 to erect a monument commemorating the Battle of Point Pleasant. Contrary to common myth, the bill doesn't mention the Battle as being the first battle of the American Revolution. Additionally the bill was never enacted, failing in the House of Representatives. The battle is honored as the first battle of the Revolution during "Battle Days", an annual festival celebrated in modern Point Pleasant.


Minutes of the January 17, 2009 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


In the absence of the President and considering that the Vice President was to provide the program, Secretary Yarnell called the meeting to order at 12:03. Jack Bolen offered the invocation. John Sessums led the pledge to the flag and the secretary led the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: Jack Bolen, John Sessums, Ira Ward, Walter Young, Marty Miller, Cy Gamber, Robert Koehler, Robert Yarnell, and Kevin Yarnell.

Welcome guests: a prospective member, Chuck Hawley, June Bolen, Phyllis Ward, Grant Wallin of the Clearwater Chapter and his wife Pat.


The secretary introduced the guests.


The minutes of the December meeting were approved.


The secretary made several announcements:

-          a chapter directory is now available however an address change was reported after they were printed

-          The chapter received an acknowledgement of our recent donation of $94.65 to the Friends of the SAR Library. We are now members until Dec. 31, 2011

-          Several members sent notes to the secretary via email which he passed on to the members


The Treasurer reported a balance of $2,512.11 and petty cash of $159.16. Marty Miller has again agreed to audit the chapter books for 2008. The Treasurer asked for approval of the membership for this which was granted. Also, it is the practice of the chapter to retain financial records for only 3 years. Thus, permission was asked for the 2005 records to be destroyed. This too was granted.


The registrar, Luke Lloyd, sent an update on the status of those applying for membership.

-          Two new names were moved into the 殿pplications category.

-          Richard Beatty痴 application was sent to the state registrar for processing.

-          Chuck Copeland痴 application is at National.

-          Chuck Hawley痴 application is at the state registrar waiting for some further documentation

-          No new member applications were approved since the last meeting however supplementals for Dick Hurley and Luke Lloyd were approved. No other supplementals are pending at National.


The secretary asked Grant Wallin to install the chapter痴 newest members Walter Young and Ira Ward. After taking the oath, Grant presented each with a rosette and their membership certificates.


There was no old business.


Under new business Vice President Yarnell discussed the issue of obtaining speakers. The size of our group has made it difficult to obtain quality speakers and various methods by which we might induce these speakers were discussed. Since several key members were not in attendance Jack Bolen suggested the issue be brought up again at the February meeting. The Vice President had one specific speaker in mind and asked for some guidance in this instance. After discussion John Sessums moved to give the Vice President authorization to spend up to $100 to obtain a speaker from the Seminole War Foundation for March. The motion was seconded by Jack Bolen and passed.


The meeting recessed for lunch.


The secretary reconvened the meeting and introduced Grant Wallin to install the 2009 chapter officers.


Vice President Yarnell then presented a review of the Revolution in east Florida. Members in attendance at the December meeting were nearly universally stumped by a question in the crossword puzzle solved by teams of SAR and CAR members regarding the battle of Alligator Creek. In light of this Bob thought a refresher course in Florida history was in order.


It is first necessary to remember that there were 15 British colonies at the time of the Revolution. Canada and Florida chose not to rebel with the other 13. There were several reasons for Floridaloyalist stand but mostly it boils down to the fact that the economy in Florida at that time depended heavily on British government subsidies. About the only way to make a living in Florida was to be a soldier or sell supplies to soldiers. Further, there was not enough wealth in Florida to be taxed so the colony didn稚 share the concerns over taxes with the other colonies.


The speaker then took the membership through the three 擢lorida Expeditions. These were incursions by Georgia, a colony that rebelled, into Florida which remained loyal to the British. Notes from the speaker follow:


Revolution in Florida

British / Florida Leaders:

-        Patrick Tonyn-Governor of Florida

-        General/Colonel Augustine Prevost, commander of 60th Regiment of Foot Col.

-        Thomas Browne-commander of the East Florida Rangers, (later the Kings Rangers).


Summer 1776 1st Florida Expedition

Col. William Moutrie organizes American/colonial forces to invade and capture East Florida. Due to disease and supply problems, the expedition does not make it south of the St. Marys River


Winter 76-77 Browne raids into Georgia


Spring 1777 2nd Florida Expedition

Co-commanded by Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett. Expedition crosses St. Marys and raids Amelia Island and along lower St. Johns. May 17, 1777 at Thomas Creek forces commanded by Browne defeat advance elements of the Georgia force. Georgians retreat across St. Marys River back into Georgia. McIntosh and Gwinnett fight a duel over who is to blame for defeat and lack of success. Button loses.


Spring 1778 Browne again raids into Georgia


Summer 1778 3rd Florida Expedition

Yet another American/colonial expedition crosses the St. Marys River and invades East Florida. After some raiding along the St. Johns, the expedition is defeated by elements of the 60th Foot and Browne's Rangers at Alligator Creek.


There are no more Colonial incursions into Florida. Some elements of the 60th Foot and some of the East Florida Rangers join with the British Army and participate in the British southern Campaign. A few are even present to surrender at Yorktown.


As a result of the Treaty of Paris, both East and West Florida are returned to Spain.


Location of Battle of Alligator Creek
The Battle took place on the north side of Callahan where U S 301 joins with U S 1. There is a marker located on the east side of U S 1 in Callahan. Callahan is located approx. 20 miles northwest of Jacksonville.


Location of Battle of Thomas Creek
The Battle of Thomas Creek took place in what is now part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. It is located approx. 13 miles east of downtown Jacksonville and north of the St. Johns River.


Bob pointed out that for the most part this wasn稚 patriots versus loyalist but rather Florida versus Georgia and he compared it to the Georgia / Florida football game. As can be seen in the notes, Florida won that 組ame.


The talk concluded with the recounting of how Bob found Thomas Brown痴 diary while doing some moving for the Florida Historical Society. The diary stops after the battle of Alligator Creek. It ends with an entry by his son. The son recorded that Brown moved to Nova Scotia started an unsuccessful business and died there. A friend of Bob痴 may have found Brown痴 grave in a neglected cemetery in Nova Scotia where many graves were marked as belonging to Florida loyalists.


Ira Ward won the 50/50 drawing. The treasury was thus enriched by $8.00.


John Sessums gave the benediction, a prayer by George Washington for the nation. The secretary led the recessional and adjourned the meeting at 1:48 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary



Printed here are background notes on the Revolutionary War in the south provided by the speaker.


Brief chronology of the American war for Independence-Southern Phase


Dec. 1778 British capture Savannah


May 9, 1780 British capture Charleston Gen. Benjamin Lincoln denied "honors of war"


Aug. 16, 1780 British win Battle of Camden Cornwallis routs Americans-Gates flees the field


Misc. guerrilla activity by Francis Marion, Charles Sumter and Andrew Pickens


Oct. 7, 1780 Americans win Battle of Kings Mountain The "Over the Mountain Men" defeat force of Loyalist and British irregulars


Jan. 17, 1781 Americans win Battle of Cowpens Daniel Morgan out generals Banastre Tarleton


March 15, 1781 British win Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Gen. Greene and his men fight Cornwallis to a standstill in North Carolina "Another such victory would ruin the British Army" Charles James Fox Addressing the House of Commons after news of the battle reached London


Oct. 17, 1781 Cornwallis surrenders British forces at Yorktown