Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

May 2020



          Meeting announcement

          Revolution History note

Program Schedule 

          Color Guard Activities & Opportunities

Updates from state and national

           Misc. reminders and information


Meeting Announcement

Due to the continuing emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus, there will be no May meeting.  However, we still want to keep everyone connected and make sure you do not forget about the SAR. This truncated version of the newsletter includes a brief account of Lafayette’s Battle with the British outside of Philadelphia in May 1778 as well as some updates from Dick Young.  We have also included the tentative program schedule for the fall when we will all be back together again enjoying our usual fellowship.  In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy.


American Revolution Notes

May 20, 1778—The Battle of Barren Hill.   

While not a well-known battle, had it resulted in a British Victory it might have had serious ramifications for the Continental Army.


Washington’s army was just a few weeks away from leaving their winter quarters at Valley Forge.  In order to better ascertain what the British in Philadelphia were doing, Washington dispatched a force of 2200 men, under the command of the Marquis de Lafayette, to reconnoiter and keep an eye on the British. The British found out about this and decided to send out a much larger force to either destroy or capture the American force and…get “the boy” *.

Lafayette as a lieutenant general in 1791; portrait by Joseph-Désiré Court


Upon learning of the British advance, Lafayette began sending his men via a somewhat hidden road to a ford the British did not know about. Meanwhile, Lafayette with 500 men and 50 Oneida warriors went forward to confront the British to provide cover for the retreating troops. Through deft maneuvering and superb handling of his men, Lafayette pulled it off. His entire command, with exception of a very few casualties, escaped the British trap.


Had the British been able to cut off the American force and capture Lafayette, both the loss of manpower and the psychological loss of Lafayette would have been felt keenly by Washington. Instead of the British leaving Philadelphia for New York shortly after the skirmish, they might have been emboldened enough to strike Washington at Valley Forge as he was breaking winter quarters.


*If you have seen the Lafayette chapter of the History Channel series Washington’s Generals, you will remember       they make a big deal about this engagement and of the British fixation with capturing Lafayette.

Tentative Program Schedule

Sep 19         Compatriot Charles Klug—the Port of Tampa

Oct 17         Law Enforcement, Firefighter & EMS Recognition

Nov 21         Three or four students from St Petersburg College answering the question: The most interesting thing I learned about the American Revolution that I did not know before taking Mr. Yarnell’s class is ________. Or, The one event from the revolution I would most like to have witnessed is ____________.

Dec 19         Wreaths Across America                                                                     


Color Guard Activities & Opportunities

As expected, many of the events normally attended by our Color Guard have been cancelled for the spring months of 2020.  This includes the Galvez Day Celebration in Pensacola, the Memorial Day Service at the American Legion Post #5 here in Tampa and all other Memorial Day events I have searched.    We will wait and see if Independence Day events are permitted and, if so, if there is an opportunity for our Color Guard to participate. 




For those that may be interested, the North Carolina SAR is hosting a virtual Commemoration of the Battle of Ramseurs Mill on June 20.  There is an opportunity to virtually participate in their Color Guard.  If interested, visit their website at www.ncssar.org, click on their “calendar”, find June 20 and open that event for details.  Of if you just want to watch the Commemoration without participating, you can do that on their Facebook page, … somehow. 


Updates from Florida and National SAR

The Florida SAR postponed its Spring BOM and Annual meeting from May 1-2 to June 12-13.  At this time, the plan is to hold the meeting at the Embassy Suites in Kissimmee, assuming state guidelines for meetings allow us to do so.  If there is a meeting, the BOM and Annual Meeting itself will be streamed live for those who wish to watch.  If there is no formal on-site meeting, the Florida President plans to host a virtual meeting.   


The National SAR Annual Congress scheduled for Richmond on July 10-15 is still scheduled for a formal meeting on site, using local and state guidelines for social distancing and meeting size.  Registration deadlines are unchanged.


The National Headquarters was closed for several weeks.  It is now opening, somewhat, in that the Merchandise Shop is open 1-2 days a week and genealogists are working from home, rotating into the office one day a week.  Due to the closure, no membership applications have been approved since around mid-March.  At the chapter level, we continue to work with interested applicants and submit applications to the Florida Registrar as they are completed. 


Miscellaneous Reminders

Chapter Website—remember you can find about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.      http://www.tampasar.org/


One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain 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 Chaplain Sessums 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 editor.