Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

May 2016



          Meeting announcement

          Revolution History note

          ROTC Recognition

          Color Guard Opportunities

          Announcements from the President

          Program Schedule

          Misc. reminders and information


The May meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution will be on Saturday, May 21st at the Tamp Bay History Center (801 Old Water Street, Tampa)  in a meeting room on the upper floor of the building.  The room will be open at 10:00 with the meeting starting at 10:30.  Several compatriots have already indicated an interest in having lunch, after the meeting at the mini-Columbia Restaurant on the ground floor. 


Rodney Kite-Powell, Saunders Foundation Curator of History at the museum, will present a program on Ft. Brooke, including a look at their exhibit on Ft. Brooke.  Please read the following from Rodney concerning parking and the program.

          "I now have May 21st confirmed in may calendar.  I will also reserve     the classroom for you all for that morning.  As for my program, I can     do a talk in the classroom but I’d like to include a stop in the Fort          Brooke exhibit as well.  That space is within our “fee” area but I am        happy to bring the group in for free, but they cannot stay past my talk           without paying admission.  They would certainly qualify for the group   rate if desired.

          Parking may be easy or it may be difficult, depending on the       Lightning’s success this post season.  If there is nothing going on at the arena next door then everyone can park in the Blue Lot right next    to the History Center.  Parking is free with paid admission; otherwise     I think it is $5 payable on the way out.  If there is a game, then all      bets are off.  There are options around, particularly the Channelside       Parking Garage, but parking a little further away and taking the       streetcar may be an easier option."

There will be no hockey game this Saturday. 

The Ft. Brooke Society of the Children of the American Revolution has been asked to join us for this presentation on their namesake. 


American Revolution Notes

Since the program this month involves local Florida history, we’ll turn to the north Florida Battle of Thomas Creek. In late April and early May 1777 an expedition of patriot Georgia militia invaded British east Florida.  The goal was the capture of St. Augustine but the impetus for the action was the raiding of southern Georgia by the East Florida Rangers, a loyalist group that augmented the British garrison in St. Augustine.  The British defense of east Florida depended on just a small garrison of regulars at St. Augustine augmented by the Rangers, commanded by Thomas Brown.

        The British learned of the Georgia force and moved north from St. Augustine to meet them.  On May 17, at 10am, the British force attacked the Georgians who were camped on Thomas Creek, near where it joins the Nassau River. The fight did not last long.  Brown’s Rangers and some Creek allies attacked the Georgians forcing them to retreat.  The British regulars had maneuvered to the rear of the colonials and the result was an overwhelming British victory. Given the small numbers - approx. 109 colonials and perhaps a few more on the British side - it was more a brief fire fight or skirmish than a battle.

        The main source of controversy about the fight concerns the death, at the hands of the Creeks, of 24 of the approximately 40 Georgians who surrendered. Those who read the Florida Patriot may recall four eye witness accounts reprinted in the summer 2015 issue (available on line at the FLSSAR website).  According to the British commander Major Prevost, he and Col. Brown did their best to protect the captives but the Creeks were intent on exacting revenge for the mutilation of a Creek warrior by the colonials. For that reason it is sometimes referred to in early colonial accounts as the Thomas Creek massacre.

        Following the battle, the colonials withdrew to Georgia.  The following year another colonial expedition was halted by Brown and his Rangers at Alligator Creek, thus ending for good any threat to British east Florida.



JROTC Recognition

The April Meeting was our usual JROTC Recognition meeting.  Compatriot Terry Doan did an excellent job of coordinating the 16 JROTC and 2 ROTC Awards presented by the Tampa Chapter.  Terry sends his thanks to all those who took the time to visit one of the many high schools or colleges to personally make a presentation of the SAR JROTC or ROTC Medal and Certificate.  This personal presentation is very much appreciated by the cadets, their families and the instructors. 



We had 4 JROTC Cadets join us for our April Meeting.  Each was presented with a Tampa Chapter JROTC "citation" in recognition of their efforts in their respective units. 

In 2016, the Tampa Chapter participated in the Enhanced JROTC Competition where the Cadet is asked to submit a list of accomplishments, an essay, a letter of recommendation from his/her HS Principal and more.  We had only two participants this year.  Winning cadet was Christopher DiBias of Wharton High School.  He is the cadet at the far right in the above picture.  He received the Enhanced JROTC Bronze Medal and a $100 check from the Chapter and was entered into the state competition.  Runner-up was Cadet Devin Gano of Zephyrhills High School. 


Color Guard Opportunities


With Memorial Day coming up the Tampa Chapter Color guard has been asked to join (1) the St. Petersburg Color Guard at the cemetery on the corner of 54th Ave and 49th St.  It will be from 11 to 12 with a nice meal afterwards in the Memorial Gardens Funeral Home and (2) the Withlacoochee Color Guard at the Flora City Cemetery on US 41 in Flora City.  Time has not been provided, yet.

The last Honor Flight of the Spring season will be on Tuesday June 7 at the St Petersburg/Clearwater airport.  Commander Alan Bell has announced that we want to be represented at this event.  It is an evening event.  More details will be provided soon. 

We are coordinating with the Ft. Brooke Society of C.A.R. and will join them in the Lutz Independence Day parade, if they participate. 


Announcements from the President:

This is the last meeting until September.  As usual we will suspend meetings for the summer months.  The closing of the Piccadilly Cafeteria has made it difficult to find a new permanent meeting place.  We have tired a different option each month since January.  The Executive Board will make a decision on a more permanent location, at least for September to November.  Your input is needed.  

We have a great set up of programs already lined up for you for the fall.  You can see the schedule below.



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

Program Schedule

May 21 —Tampa Bay History Center

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

Oct 15 — law enforcement and fire fighter commendation awards

Nov. 19 — first thanksgiving controversy revisited—Compatriot Bob Yarnell 

Dec 17 — Officers installationPark and Museum


Misc. Reminders and notes


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 at the Cathedral in St Petersburg.  He has been informed that he will be assigned to St. Timothy’s parish in Lutz.  Kevin will celebrate his first Mass as an ordained priest on Sunday, May 22 at 12:00 in the Church of the Incarnation at 5111 Webb Road in Tampa.  Everyone is invited to attend.


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 at our next meeting.


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