Tampa Chapter

October 2017



          Meeting announcements

          Revolution History note

          Program Schedule

          Other Dates of Interest

          Dues are Due

          Honor Flight

          Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall

          Misc. reminders and information


Meeting Announcements


The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will held on Saturday, Oct. 21. at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace.  The new venue worked out fine last month.  As always, members will start gathering at 11:30, the formal meeting will start at 12:00 with a break for lunch.  Please remember to pay on your way in and keep your receipt for the waitress.  This month Bob Yarnell will be presenting a brief book review of Washington’s Immortals, President Charles Krug will make a brief presentation on Cato: A Tragedy and Compatriot Dick Young will be making two SAR heroism awards to Tampa Police Department officers.  The street address for the Golden Corral is:

 11801 N 56th St

Tampa, FL 33617

(813) 899-1833


The September meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, was held at a new location, the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace.

Our speaker was local author Nancy Turner.  She made an enthusiastic presentation on the U.S.S. Tampa.  From 1913-1917, the U.S.S. Tampa (formerly known as the U.S.S. Miami) sailed alongside the ship Jose Gaspar, firing her cannons to the delight of Tampa parade-goers.  During WWI, she escorted 18 convoys in the North Atlantic, and, in October 1918, she was sunk off the coast of Gibraltar with more than 100 crewmembers - 24 from Tampa - aboard. Ms. Turner presented the storied and little-known  history of the USS Tampa.  She also advised us that, to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Tampa, a memorial mural will be placed at the Tampa Bay History Center.  



Revolution History Note: 

The topic for the next two months is how historical sites (battlefields and homes, for example) speak to us.  We’ll begin by looking at how the people involved and the geography of the place informs us about what happened.


Primary Sources: 

           We start with those involved in the action that occurred at the site or the people who lived there.  More specifically, we look for written accounts - letters, diaries, journals, etc. - relating to the event or the location.  These written primary sources are the meat and potatoes of historical research but, as everyone knows, using eyewitness accounts can be tricky.  People seeing the same event can offer different descriptions.  A general’s account of a battle will differ markedly from that a private simply based on what they were each in a position to see.  Memoirs written later in life might suffer from poor memory or a person’s desire to re-write history in their favor. 

Eye witness accounts include more than just letters written home after a battle or a commander’s after-action report. A plantation’s ledgers or letters telling us what was ordered, what was shipped and what was being grown or manufactured can tell us a great deal.  Something as seemingly mundane as a note home from the teacher can shed light on the education of the children living at that location.

Using primary sources can be fun - the guilty pleasure of reading someone else’s mail - but also frustrating due to the contradictions and incompleteness of the written sources available to us.   Despite this, written primary sources are the necessary starting point for any look at what happened.



          Without knowledge of the topography and location of a site a complete picture cannot be formed.  A very good example of this is the Battle of Cowpens during the War for American Independence.  As Compatriot Jack Bolen has observed in his talks to the chapter about Cowpens, the dispositions of Gen. Morgan and the problems the British faced in their advance all fall into place when the undulations of the ground are observed.

          Washington’s choice of Valley Forge for his winter encampment is another example of geography and topography influencing site selection. That the location was near water, easily defendable, and on a road network that could keep tabs on the British in nearby Philadelphia all made it the right location for the encampment.

          Similarly, when studying a house or settlement it is important to start with the question, “Why here?”  While the answer usually revolves around availability of water, nearness to a river or the sea, as was the case with most colonial settlements, proximity to needed resources—lumber, coal or iron—also influenced site selection. 

Thus, understanding the geographic location and topography of a site are necessary for us to get a more complete picture of what happened there.

While primary sources, geography, and topography are important, these are not our only tools in examining an historic site. Next month we’ll look at the archaeology - what artifacts have been found and what they tell us. And we’ll ask if the location has changed since the events took place or since the “historic” people lived there as any changes can significantly impact our understanding of the place or event.


Program Schedule

Nov 18 Law Enforcement & Fire Fighter Commendation and Recognition

Dec 17 Brief business meeting after Wreaths across America ceremony —              site to be determined

           Tentative—Christmas social get-together

Jan.   Officer Installation - site to be determined

Feb/March—Tentative hopes for a joint meeting with the DAR and a speaker on genealogy for one of the meetings and speaker on the Revolution for the other.

April  JROTC  recognition

May    perhaps Sept speaker re-scheduled; perhaps local museum speaker;     perhaps Rodney Kite-Powell of the Tampa Bay History Center


Other Dates of Interest

October 25-30 - Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall

                             Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park

November 3-4 - Florida Society BOM Meeting – Kissimmee

November 11 Veterans Day (plan to attend a Veterans Day ceremony                                 near you - there are lots to choose from)

December 16 - Wreaths Across America Ceremony


Dues Are Due

By now, everyone should have received a dues renewal notice from Membership Secretary Jason Krajnyak.  Please bring a check to this meeting or put check in mail to address in Due's Notice as soon as you can.  Many thanks for your prompt attention to this matter.

If you are an SAR Life Member, you pay only State and Chapter Dues

If you are active duty military, you pay only National Dues

If you are a Junior Member, your dues are paid by the Tampa Chapter.  


Honor Flight September 26, 2017


Members of the Tampa Chapter Color Guard (Dick Young and Alan Bell, Commander) joined the DAR Clearwater Chapter, C.A.R. Clear Water Harbor Society and the DAR Junior American Citizens at the Welcome Home celebration for the 75 veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam who went on the West Central Florida Honor Flight Mission # 31.  Honor Flight took them  to visit the memorials in Washington DC placed to honor them and their fellow citizen soldiers of these and other wars fought to protect the freedoms of our United States of America.  The next WCF Honor Flight is scheduled for Tuesday October 24.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend the Welcome Home celebration. To learn more about our local Honor Flights, you can visit their website at www.honorflightwcf.org. 


Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall


The Traveling Wall will be available to visit on October 26 - 30 at the Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park.  The Colonel George Mercer Brooke Chapter of DAR at Sun City is the official sponsor of The Wall for this event.  The Tampa Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America is helping to coordinate volunteers to set up The Wall on the evening of October 25 and take it down on October 30.  They also need volunteers to help guests find names on The Wall and to provide overnight security.  Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Jim Fletcher of Tampa VVA at jamesmfletcher@aol.com or 813-352-2764.   


Misc. Notes and reminders:

          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 John Sessums 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 the Chaplain 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 Newsletter Editor Bob Yarnell at rsyarn@aol.com.