Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

April 2016



          Meeting announcement

          Revolution History note

          Announcements from the President

          Program Schedule

          Kevin Yarnell Update

          Misc. reminders and information


The April meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution will be on Saturday, April 16 at the American Legion "U.S.S. Tampa" Post 5 at 3810 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL.  The doors open at 10:00, the formal meeting starts at 10:30. This is our annual JROTC recognition meeting.  Please note, this is a new location for this month only.



Pictured above is President Klug presenting SAR Certificates of Appreciation to the two former FBI agents, Douglas de Wolfe and Van Magers, who made an excellent presentation on "Senior Scam Awareness" at the March meeting.  There was much discussion and lots to learn.


American Revolution Notes

In honor of our ROTC recognition month we’ll look at another of Washington’s generals. And, in keeping with the theme of this year, we’ll look at another of the lesser known generals, the leader of Washington’s military engineers, Louis Duportail.

Duportail was sent to Washington as part of an agreement between Ben Franklin (the American envoy in France) and the French government. He had previous military/engineering experience and impressed Washington when he arrived.  Washington quickly made him chief of his engineers and persuaded Congress to give him the rank of Brigadier General.  His first experience with the Continental Army was during the late summer/fall campaign of 1777 around Philadelphia.  He helped out at Valley Forge that winter and was then sent south to help with the defenses around Charleston.  He was captured when Charleston fell but exchanged in time to rejoin Washington’s main army for the Yorktown campaign.

It was at Yorktown that he made his greatest contribution to the American cause.  He planned and supervised the building of the siege works around Yorktown and, of course, was present when Cornwallis surrendered.

A letter Duportail wrote to France in the fall of 1777 is available online. It is not full of hope.  It contained a very frank appraisal of the situation as it existed in the fall of 1777 and among the things he mentioned in the letter was the necessity of finding some means to keep large numbers of British troops busy elsewhere—i.e. France jumping into the war.  Since the letter was written prior to the French alliance being formalized, some historians have suggested he had some impact on that happening.  That is, of course, a controversial and debatable idea.  Likewise, some have suggested he exercised considerable influence on Washington’s over all strategic planning—again controversial and debatable.  Regardless of his influence on the political maneuvering in France or his influence within Washington’s war councils, he did a superb job as the leader of the military engineers and therefore does deserve recognition as the father of America’s military engineers. 


Announcements from the President:

This month is our annual recognition of the JROTC Cadets in Hillsborough County.  Due to an Army JROTC event the same weekend, Cadet attendance may be lighter than usual, but we need to make a good showing to honor those Cadets, their families and their instructors that are able to join us.


The Florida Society Spring Board of Management and Annual Meeting is at The Florida Hotel in Orlando on May 13-15.  Officers for the 2016/2017 Society year will be elected and installed at this meeting.  All members are invited to attend and participate in the elections. Chapter Officers are encouraged to attend.  More information is available on the State website at www.flssar.org


The National Society Annual National Congress is in Boston from July 8-13.  More information is available at the National website at www.sar.org


Honor Flight of West Central Florida has announced two more flights before they shut down for the summer:  April 26 and June 7.  I am sure the organizers and veterans would appreciate it if you could meet the veterans on their return from one of these flights. (see www.honorflightwcf.org) Remember too that this is one of the organizations the late Compatriot Robbins Denham designated for memorial gifts in his name. 



Below is the tentative program schedule for the rest of 2016. 


April 16 - American Legion Post #5 Tampa -JROTC Recognition  

May 21 - Tampa Bay History Center - History of Ft. Brooke (possible joint             meeting with C.A.R.)

Sept 17 — location TBA- Donald Miller speaking on his new book Lafayette: His Extraordinary Life and Legacy.

Oct 15 — location TBA - Law Enforcement/Fire Fighter Recognition

Nov 19 — location TBA - First Thanksgiving controversy revisited.—Compatriot Bob Yarnell 

Dec 17 — location TBA - Officers Installation

Park and Museum

Kevin Yarnell Update

Members of long standing in the chapter may be interested to know that Kevin Yarnell will be ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church on May 21st.  He has been informed that he will be assigned to St. Timothy’s parish in Lutz.


Misc. Reminders and notes

Chapter Website—Remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website. www.tampasar.org


One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick and sympathy notes to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone for whom a card should be sent, please mention it to Chaplain John Sessums or one of the other officers at the meeting.


Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send to the editor any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter.