February 2020

President’s Message

Greeting Compatriots,

This month we celebrate President’s Day on Monday, February 17th.  A few fun facts about George Washington … He was the only president unanimously elected.  Meaning all of the state representatives voted for him. He never served as president in Washington D.C., the capital that was named for him. In his first year the capital was in New York City and then moved to Philadelphia.  Washington’s favorite breakfast was hoecakes—simple pancakes made with corn meal—served with butter and honey. Usually fried in butter in a stove-top pan, hoecakes can also be cooked over a fire on the flat back of a hoe, hence their unusual name. Other favorites of Washington were Mashed Sweet Potatoes, String Beans with Almonds, Steak and Kidney Pie, and Fish Muddle. His favorite desserts were Tipsy Cake, also known as Trifle, and Martha Washington’s Whisky Cake. 

This month is the annual Massing of the Colors and Salute to our Armed Forces on Sunday, February 16th at 3pm at Hall of Liberty, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.  It is the largest celebration of its kind in the western United States.  Our chapter Color Guard will be participating.  Please consider attending.  It will be a moving experience.

The chapter still has a critical vacancy on its board, the ROTC committee chairperson.  If any of you are feeling the desire to serve in our chapter here is an important and satisfying opportunity.  The SAR ROTC award program is another way to promote the patriotic ideals of the SAR. 

In compatriotism,

R. Scott Whitman

ChapterActivities

February Dinner Meeting:  Diane Stephens performed a delightful dramatization as Molly Morris, wife of founder, signer and financier of the Revolutionary War – Robert Morris. She narrates the events during the summer of 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. It was an interesting tale of political intrigue, conflicts and eventual compromises that gave birth to our unique three branches of government and bicameral legislature.  Here Diane dressed in period costume receives a Certificate of Appreciation from South Coast Chapter.

L to R: Steve Steinberg, Diane Stephens and Scott Whitman

In attendance at our dinner meeting was Diane’s’ husband, Brian Stephens, who is the CASSAR, Vice President South and James Fosdyck, who is the National Color Guard Commander and his wife Un Hui Yi.

Chapter Registrar, Leon Smith, presented to Compatriot William Yost five supplemental certificates.  The five patriot ancestors that William had documented are:

  • William Fleming who served as a Private in the 2nd Virginia State Regiment,
  • John Dalby who furnished supplies,
  • Ralph Reagan who served both as a Lieutenant and Captain in the North Carolina Militia,
  • Francis Parker who served as a soldier in the North Carolina Militia, and
  • John Parker who furnished supplies to the Wilmington District, South Carolina.

These certificates are William Yost’s 11 through 15 supplemental certificates.  William currently holds the most supplemental certificates for the active members in our chapter.

L to R: Bill Yost and Leon Smith

JROTC/ROTC Chairman:  We are still in need of a JROTC/ROTC Chairman.  Minimum effort is required in this position. The Chairman needs to contact the JROTC/ROTC Commanders at each school (1 college and 6 High Schools) to obtain their recommendation of a cadet to receive our medal and certificate.     

We normally have volunteers that present the medals and certificates and if a volunteer is not available, the certificate/medal is mailed to the JROTC/ROTC Commander for presentation to the cadet.  All presentations are done in the April to early June time frame.  If you can volunteer for this important position, please contact Chapter President Scott Whitman.

State and National SAR News

California Society Annual Meeting

The 145th Annual Meeting of the California Society will be held April 17-18, 2020 at The Murieta Inn and Spa in Rancho Murieta  This year’s meeting is hosted by the Sacramento chapter.

https://www.californiasar.org/events/145th-annual-meeting-of-the-california-society/

Upcoming Dates and Events

Lincoln’s Birthday – Wednesday, February 12:  Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States.  His birthday is observed on Presidents Day, Monday, February 17.

Valentine’s Day – Friday, February 14:  Remember the flowers, cards, etc. for your loved ones.

Revolutionary War Reenactment – Saturday and Sunday, February 15-16:

The Huntington Beach Historical Society is proud to host this reenactment of the American Revolution in Huntington Beach Central Park, behind the library, on the site of their annual Civil War Days reenactment.

As always, these events are absolutely free to the public.  For further details please see: https://www.hbhistory.org/revolution.

Massing of the Colors & Salute to Our Armed Forces – Sunday, February 16:  The largest celebration of its kind in the western United States, 2020 will be the 38th annual celebration of George Washington’s birth sponsored by the Sons of Liberty Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. This upcoming event will be held at 3:00 PM, Sunday, February 16, 2020, at Hall of Liberty, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles. 

For further details go to the Sons of Liberty Chapter website at:  http://www.sons-of-liberty-sar.org/massing-of-the-colors/

President’s Day – Monday, February 17:  This day is set aside to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln plus all of our former Presidents.

Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, February 18

George Washington’s Birthday – Saturday, February 22ndOn this day let’s remember the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States.  His birthday is observed on Presidents Day, Monday, February 17.

Genealogy BASH and Book Faire – Saturday, March 7: The Orange County California Genealogy Society is having an all-day genealogy conference at the Huntington Beach Central Library on Saturday, March 7 from 9:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.  The guest speaker is Paul Woodbury who is Research Team Lead, Legacy Tree Genealogists.  Topics covered will be: (1) Render Yourself Capable – The House of Joseph Ichante; (2) Developing a Research Plan; (3) Modern Research Methodologies; and (4) DNA Case Studies: Choose Your Own Adventure.

There is a fee to attend Paul Woodbury’s presentations.  Visit OCCGS website for details: https://www.occgs.com .


George III’s Proclamation Declaring a Cessation of Arms

14 February 1783

By the KING.

A Proclamation,

 Declaring the Cessation of arms, as well by Sea as Land, agreed upon between his Majesty, the most Christian King, the King of Spain, the States-General of the United Provinces, and the United States of America, and enjoining the observance thereof.

This was the English announcement of cessation of hostilities; reciprocal proclamation by the American Peace Commissioners was issued on February 20th, and signed in type by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay.

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-14-02-0170

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-14-02-0183


British Brown Bess and the French Charleville

Muskets of the American Revolution

Submitted by Kevin Forrest

Many weapons were vital winning our independence, but none more so than the Musket. Whether an ardent history buff, or casual observer, the musket is an iconic image, universally recognized, from the American Revolution. And while the British Brown Bess is the most recognized, it was mainly the French Charleville that the Continental Army carried to victory.

In the early days of the war, the Americans used whatever was available, either personal hunting rifles, or British muskets either stolen from British stores, or left over from the French & Indian War. After 1778, with the signing of the Treaty with France, the Americans were supplied with the French Infantry Musket, also known as the Charleville Musket, after the Charleville-Mezieres Armory where it was manufactured.

Visually and functionally, the 2 military muskets were very similar. The main difference in the two muskets was the caliber. The “Brown Bess” was a .75 caliber smoothbore that fired a .69 caliber ball whereas the Charleville was a .69 caliber smoothbore that fired a .65 caliber ball. The use of black powder as the propellant, and the fouling it produced, both used an undersized ball.

Due to inaccuracy of the smoothbore muskets, the armies off the time would employee mass firing at close range, often as close as 50 yards. In addition, the paper cartridges would use a “Buck and Ball” load, entailed packing 3-5 buckshot on top of the musket ball within the paper cartridge. Even with these tactics, more soldiers died from injuries and not from direct “kill shots”.

While the Kentucky Long Rifle offered much better accuracy, over a longer range, it was significantly slower to load (2 rounds per minute) and took more skill to manufacture. The Americans did utilize the rifle as a specialist tool, picking off officers to disrupt battles, but it was the mass firing of troops armed with smoothbore muskets that did the “heavy lifting” in the war.

British Long Land Pattern “Brown Bess” Specifications French Charleville 1766
10.5lb (4.8 kg) Weight 10lb (4.53 kg)
58.5 in (1.49 m) Length 60 in. (1.52 m)
42 in (1.07 m) Barrel Length 45 in (1.14 m)
.75 (19.05 mm) Caliber .69 (17.526 mm)
Smoothbore Barrel Smoothbore
Single Shot; Flintlock Action Single Shot; Flintlock
Paper cartridge (.69/17.526 mm) Cartridge Paper cartridge (.65/16.51 mm)
3 to 6 Rounds per minute (avg.) Rate of Fire 2 to 3 Rounds per minute (avg.)
1300-1800 ft/s (400-550 m/s) Muzzle Velocity 1000-1200 ft/s (300-370 m/s)
109 yds (100 m) Effective Range 100 yds (91 m)
328 yds (300 m) Maximum Range 300 yds (275 m)
None (Bayonet Lug used in field) Sights Front Sight, cast to barrel
Triple Edged Bayonet Accessories Triple Edged Bayonet
1720 – 1860 Service Life 1717 – 1839

January 2020

President’s Message

Dear Compatriots,

Happy New Year!  I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas.  Looking forward to 2020 with goals to increase chapter membership, increase participation in our monthly chapter meetings, providing interesting and relevant speakers at our chapter meetings, adding members to our chapter color guard, participating in more color guard events and increasing our SAR presence thru support of local school presentations.  Thanks to our chapter volunteers we made good progress in supporting these goals in the second half of 2019. 

We are still in need of a ROTC/JROTC committee chairman.  I have the relevant information and can work with whoever steps up to fill this very important position.  The SAR is staunch supporter of ROTC/JROTC and makes awards to worthy cadets at five (5) local high schools. 

You all may have some ideas on how to improve our chapter meetings and operations.  If you do, please share those with me and we will discuss the idea at our next board meeting.   We are always on the lookout for speakers for our monthly chapter meetings.  Maybe one of you has something interesting to share with the membership. 

My wife and I attended the Wreaths Across America ceremony at El Toro Memorial Park on December 14th.  This is a very moving event where wreaths are placed on every grave of every veteran buried in the cemetery on the same day at the same time as in 1,600 locations across America.  I highly recommend participation in this patriotic event. 

Thank you all for your continued membership in our chapter.  Please promote SAR membership to your friends and acquaintances. 

In compatriotism,

Scott Whitman

Chapter Activities

November Dinner Meeting:  LTC Galo Pesantes of the California Military Department and the California Military Museum Command spoke on the  “Role of the California State Guard to preserve the Military History of our State.” It was an interesting talk and accompanied by some historical weapons from the museum. Here, LTC Pesantes receives our Certificate of Appreciation.

L to R: Steve Steinberg, LTC Pesantes, Scott Whitman and Leon Smith

Chapter Registrar, Leon Smith, inducted new member, Thomas Temple into our chapter.  Thomas’s patriot ancestor was John Temple, Jr. who supported American Independence by serving as a Corporal, in the Reading, MA Militia under Captain Easton’s Company, Colonel Green’s Regiment, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775. We want to welcome Thomas into our chapter and hope to see him at our chapter dinner meetings and functions. Thomas’s son Jason, was inducted into our chapter in October 2019

L to R: Leon Smith and Thomas Temple

Congress Award: Jerry Hereford received a Certificate of Appreciation for exemplary service during the NSSAR 129th Congress this past summer in Costa Mesa.

L to R: Jerry Hereford and Scott Whitman

Two New Members:  We want to welcome two new members to our chapter.  They are William J. Reals, Jr. and his son William Joseph Reals, III.  They recently transferred from the SAR Kansas Society.  We hope to see them at our chapter dinner meetings and functions.

South Coast Chapter Membership:  Our membership has grown.  At the beginning of 2019, our membership was at 40 members.  At the beginning of 2020, our membership was at 55 members.  Our membership comprises of 43 regular members, 6 CASSAR life members, 1 emeritus member, and 5 junior members.  Also, we want to thank everyone for submitting their dues in a timely manner.  It helped with the reconciliation process and ensured that we could submit the required reports by the required due date.

JROTC/ROTC Chairman:  We are still in need of a JROTC/ROTC Chairman.  Minimum effort is required in this position. The JROTC/ROTC Commander at each school (1 college and 6 High Schools) recommends a cadet to our JROTC/ROTC Chairman.  The chairman coordinates with the schools and has the cadets names printed on the SAR provided certificates.

We normally have volunteers that present the certificates and if a volunteer is not available, the certificate/medal is mailed to the JROTC/ROTC Commander for presentation.  All presentations are done in the April to early June time frame.  If you can volunteer for this important position, please contact Chapter President Scott Whitman.

Upcoming Dates and Events

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 20:  This is the day for official observance this year.  His actual birthday is January 15.

January Dinner Meeting-Tuesday, January 21:  See Page 1 for details.

Revolutionary War Reenactment – Saturday and Sunday, February 15-16:

The Huntington Beach Historical Society is proud to host this reenactment of the American Revolution in Huntington Beach Central Park, behind the library, on the site of their annual Civil War Days reenactment.

As always, these events are absolutely free to the public.  For further details please see: https://www.hbhistory.org/revolution.

Lincoln’s Birthday – Wednesday, February 12:  Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States.  His birthday is observed on Presidents Day, Monday, February 17.

Valentine’s Day – Friday, February 14:  Remember the flowers, cards, etc. for your loved ones.

Massing of the Colors & Salute to Our Armed Forces – Sunday, February 16:  The largest celebration of its kind in the western United States, 2020 will be the 38th annual celebration of George Washington’s birth sponsored by the Sons of Liberty Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. This upcoming event will be held at 3:00 PM, Sunday, February 16, 2020, at Hall of Liberty, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles. 

For further details go to the Sons of Liberty Chapter website at:  http://www.sons-of-liberty-sar.org/massing-of-the-colors/

President’s Day – Monday, February 17:  This day is set aside to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln plus all of our former Presidents.

Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, February 18

George Washington’s Birthday – Saturday, February 22ndOn this day let’s remember the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States.  His birthday is observed on Presidents Day, Monday, February 17.

The Battle of Princeton – January 3, 1777

The Battle of Trenton had been a surprising and a significant victory for the Americans and a crushing defeat for the Hessian army. American morale rose and the patriots were ready to face another conflict, fighting for their independence from British rule. General William Howe sent Lord Charles Cornwallis with a strong military force to destroy the American rebels.

George Washington and the main part of the Continental Army was encamped on the south side of the Assanpink. Lord Charles Cornwallis was positioned on the other bank at Trenton. George Washington left some of his troops to build some fortifications over the Assanpink and led the major force toward Princeton, New Jersey. General Charles Cornwallis had left 1,400 British troops under the command of Lt. Colonel Charles Mawhood in Princeton. George Washington was able to mount a night attack and defeat the British troops at Princeton and get out before General Charles Cornwallis could arrive with reinforcements. George Washington then led his army to the safety of highlands of New Jersey where he set up a winter encampment at Morristown. The weather conditions that winter were terrible but the coming of warmer weather also brought an additional 9,000 soldiers when new troops volunteer to fight. The British abandoned nearly all their posts in New Jersey and retired to New York. The Siege of Fort Stanwix & Battle of Oriskany was the next bloody conflict. General William Howe and General George Washington would fight again at the Battle of Brandywine.

Washington at Princton – Don Troiani

Text Reference: https://www.landofthebrave.info/battle-of-princeton.htm

Unveiling of Grand Union Flag

First National Flag of United States of America

Unveiled by George Washington January 1, 1776

By Hoshie, Yaddah. – Made by Hoshie, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=574763

November 2019

President’s Message

Dear Compatriots,

From November 1-2 I attended the CASSAR Fall Board of Managers meeting representing our chapter as a voting member of the assembly.  This was the second CASSAR meeting that I’ve attended.  The meeting was very informative.  I’m always amazed at the extent of the patriotic recognition programs sponsored by the SAR.  At the awards luncheon on Saturday three (3) of our own chapter members, Leon Smith, Steve Steinberg and Curtis Porter, were recognized for their volunteer efforts at the SAR Congress held last July and were awarded the Bronze Congress Appreciation Medal.   The featured speaker at the luncheon was Melissa Wolking, a CASSAR Valley Forge Teacher award recipient.  She spoke about her trip to Valley Forge and Philadelphia that was sponsored by Freedoms Foundation.

I am very pleased to share the good news with our chapter members that our Color Guard is once again on the march.  Thanks to the efforts of Kevin Forrest, our chapter Color Guard Commander, the South Coast SAR Color Guard presented the colors at the South Orange County California Genealogical Society meeting held at Mission Viejo City Hall.  Shane Gates, a ten year old junior member of our chapter, was the drummer and as you can imagine he was a huge hit.  Another initiative of my presidency is to increase our presence and promote patriotism in our youth by making elementary school presentations to 5th and 6th graders studying US History.    Kevin Forrest heard the call to arms so to speak, took the initiative here and made a presentation at a local grade school last month.  Please be on the lookout for grade school speaking engagement opportunities.  

At the Fall Board of Managers meeting I was required to report out on the health of our chapter.  We are on solid ground.  We can always benefit from having new members so please promote our cause whenever the opportunity arises. 

We are still seeking a volunteer to fill the JROTC Committee Chair position.  This is another important chapter function in the promotion of patriotism in our community. 

Coming up on Monday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day.  One of the most important functions of the SAR is to honor American service men and women. Our patriot ancestors who supported the cause of the Revolutionary War were the very first veterans.  Let us all take a moment to reflect on the importance of the men and women who served our country and protected our freedoms.

The chapter meeting on Tuesday, November 19th will be the last one for 2019.  I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

In compatriotism,

Scott Whitman

Chapter Activities

Chapter Registrar, Leon Smith, inducted new member, Jason Temple into our chapter.  Jason’s patriot ancestor was John Temple, Jr. who supported American Independence by serving as a Corporal, in the Reading, MA Militia under Captain Easton’s Company, Colonel Green’s Regiment, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775. We want to welcome Jason to our chapter and hope to see him at our dinner meetings.

L to R: Scott Whitman, Jason Temple and Leon Smith

In addition to inducting a new member, Leon Smith presented to Kevin Forrest two supplemental certificates for his patriot ancestors Jesse Nichols and Samuel Flint.  Patriot Jesse Nichols supported American Independence by serving as a Private under Captain Foster and Colonel Whitcomb of the Massachusetts Line.  Patriot Samuel Flint supported American Independence by serving as a Captain under Colonels Timothy Pickering, Samuel Wyllys, Henry Herrick and Samuel Johnson in Massachusetts. 

These are Kevin’s 3rd and 4th supplemental certificates.

L to R: Kevin Forrest and Leon Smith

October Dinner Meeting

Paul Spitzzeri, Historian and Director at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum gave a very interesting presentation on the history of these American pioneer families in Southern California.  The tale began with the arrival of New England native John Temple in San Diego in 1827.  He later moved to Los Angeles and established the first American style store there.  Englishman William Workman arrived in the area via Missouri and New Mexico in 1841 and the families intermarried.  They have a long history here in Southern California.  Also, our compatriot, Jason Temple, is a descendant of this family.   Below, Paul receives a Certificate of Appreciation from President Scott Whitman and Registrar Leon Smith.

L to R: Paul Spitzzeri, Scott Whitman and Leon Smith

State and National SAR News

CASSAR Fall Board of Managers Meeting

This meeting was held in Irvine on Nov 1-2.  In this event three of our members received the Bronze Congress Appreciation Medal in recognition of their volunteer efforts for the National Congress last July:  Leon Smith, Steve Steinberg and Curtis Porter.

:L to R: Leon Smith, Scott Whitman and Steve Steinberg

In addition, Leon Smith was acknowledged as a Fellow by the George Washington Endowment Fund with a certificate and Gold Lapel pin.

Leon Smith receiving Certificate & Pin

Upcoming Dates and Events

Veterans Day – Monday, November 11: This is the special day to remember those who served and fought in defense of our country.

November Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, November 19:  7PM, Mimi’s Cafe, Lake Forest

Thanksgiving Day – Thurs, November 28:  Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.  We are grateful for the many blessings that we have as Americans.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – Saturday, December 7th: Let’s remember and honor those who lost their lives on December 7th, 1941.

Christmas Day – Wednesday, December 25th. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  Please remember our servicemen and women who cannot be home because they are defending our country.

New Year’s Day- Wednesday, January 1st:  Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

January Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, January 21, 2020: 7PM, Mimi’s Cafe, Lake Forest

South Coast Chapter Classroom Presentation

By Kevin Forrest – South Coast Chapter Color Guard Commander

On Halloween morning, the South Coast Chapter Color Guard provided an interactive Revolutionary War presentation, at the Inspire Charter School in Laguna Niguel, for the 5th-8th grades. The students were given an overview of important dates and events that led to the birth of our country.

The discussion began with the displeasure concerning taxation, starting in the 1760’s, and how this grew into the open rebellion that started with the opening shots at Lexington & Concord. We discussed the desperate early days of the war and how the support of countries like France and Spain soon turned the tide in the favor of the Americans.

Drumming Up Troops

The interactive discussion allowed the students to take an active role in the presentation. From learning how troops were enlisted and how long they served, to getting to try out the drum and seeing other equipment and artifacts from the war the students were asking questions throughout.

Enlisting a New Marine

Some highlights were “signing up” a new recruit and then getting to try on the Continental Marine uniform, and walking thru the process of firing a musket “in line” with other troops.

Learning About Flags of the Revolution

Additionally we discussed the types of foods soldiers ate, and how there often wasn’t enough. How much soldiers got paid and how the soldiers spent their time between battles.

After the discussion, the students got to try out the various items and ask more questions until our time concluded. The only disappointment was that they felt our time was too short.

October 2019

President’s Message

Dear Compatriots,

October was a significant month in the history of the Revolutionary War.  There was the Proclamation of 1763 issued by George III which prohibited all settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains without guarantees of security from local Native American nations. The intervention in colonial affairs offended the thirteen colonies’ claim to the exclusive right to govern lands to their west.  It was in October 1765 that the colony’s declared the Stamp Act unconstitutional as it was a tax levied without their consent.  Then, in October 1768 the British troops arrived in Boston in response to political unrest. 

As mentioned previously we are still in need of Color Guard members.  Our first Color Guard event since reorganizing is coming up on October 19th at the South Orange County Genealogical Society in Mission Viejo.  So, if you feel a calling to support this very important chapter function please contact me or Kevin Forrest.  We still need a volunteer to fill the JROTC Committee Chair position.  This is another important chapter function in the promotion of patriotism in our community.

The California Society Sons of the American Revolution 144th Fall Board of Managers meeting is coming up on November 1-2 and it’s being held right in our own backyard at the Wyndham Irvine Hotel.  Our chapter plans to have representatives at the meeting. 

In compatriotism,

Scott Whitman

Chapter Activities

Chapter Registrar, Leon Smith, inducted new member, Matthew Ricketts into our chapter.  Matthew’s patriot ancestor was Anthony Ricketts who supported American Independence by Signing the Oath of Allegiance in Montgomery County, Maryland.  Matthews wife, Laura, was present at the dinner meeting. We want to welcome Matthew to our chapter and hope to see him at our dinner meetings.

L to R: Matthew Rickets and Leon Smith

In addition to inducting a new member, Leon Smith presented to Kevin Forrest two supplemental certificates for his patriot ancestors Timothy Kennard and Isaac Pierce. Patriot Timothy Kennard supported the American Independence by serving as a Private under Captain S. Leighton in Colonel E. Francis’ Regiment in 1776 and served as a Private under Captain Silas Burbank in the 12th Massachusetts Continental Infantry in 1777.      

Patriot Isaac Pierce supported the American Independence by serving as a Private in Captain John Haraden’s Company, Colonel Ebeneezer Bridge’s Regiment and as a Private in Captain Joshua Walker’s Company, Colonel David Greene’s Regiment (2nd Middlesex Company).

L to R: Kevin Forrest and Leon Smith

Sept Dinner Meeting: We were treated to tales of peril and adventure by whalers on the Southern California coast by guest speaker and Nautical Historian Bob Minty.  In addition to anecdotes on the whaling industry and life aboard ship, we were introduced to myriad artifacts and (scary) devices from the whaling period.  Below, Bob receives a Certificate of Appreciation from President Scott Whitman.

L to R: Steve Steinberg, Bob Minty, and Scott Whitman

State and National SAR News

The CASSAR 144th Fall Board of Managers meeting is being held 1-2 November at the Wyndham Irvine Hotel in Irvine and is being hosted by the Orange County Chapter.  See CASSAR website for more details.

Upcoming Dates and Events

U.S. Navy Birthday – Sunday, October 13:  The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Congress Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775.

October Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, October 15:  See Page 1 for details.

U.S. Marine Corps Birthday-Sunday, November 10:  A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.  The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775 officially forming the “Continental Marines.”

Veteran’s Day – Monday, November 11:  This is the special day to remember those who served and fought in the defense of our country.

November Dinner Meeting-Tuesday, November 19th

History of the Continental Marines (1775 – 1783)

In October of 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the acquisition, and manning of two vessels for the Continental Navy. Then on November 10th 1775, The Continental Marine Act of 1775 decreed;

That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant-Colonels, two Majors and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates as with other battalions, that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies; unless dismissed by Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalions of Marines.

While it was intended that these battalions were to be drawn from the Continental Army, and used for a planned invasion of Nova Scotia, only the First Battalion was formed by December when British and Hessian reinforcements in Nova Scotia made the amphibious invasion impossible.

The Naval Committee published the Continental Marines uniform regulations on September 5, 1776 that specified the following;

Green coats with white facings (lapels, cuffs, and coat lining), and a black leather high collar to protect against cutlass slashes and to keep a man’s head erect.

It is thought that the green color was selected as it was plentiful in Philadelphia, and it served to distinguish Marines from the Blue coats of the Continental Army and Navy. Also, Sam Nicholas’s hunting club wore green uniforms and hence his recommendation to the committee was for green.

Washington was reluctant to support this and suggested recruitment be made in Philadelphia and New York. Legend has it that the first recruiting post was at a Tavern in Philadelphia, making the Marines the only branch of the armed forces “started” in a bar. The Tun Tavern is often named as the “birthplace” although it is more likely to have been the Conestoga Wagon which was owned by the family of Captain Samuel Nichols, the only Commandant of the Continental Marines.

In December 1775 the initial 5 companies joined the Continental Navy as it headed for the Caribbean. The Battle of Nassau, March 1776, marked the first amphibious invasion by American troops. After 13 Days the Marines had captured 2 forts, the Government House, occupied Nassau and captured large stores of supplies.

In December 1776, a detachment of Marines were sent to Trenton to reinforce Washington’s troops, though their arrival was delayed for the Battle of Trenton, they did provide assistance in the American victory at Princeton. Marines continued to serve alongside the Continental Army thru the end of the war. The shipboard Marines continued to support naval engagements with the successful taking of various prize ships and an “invasion” of the British Isles.

In June 1785, as the Continental Navy and Marines were disbanded, the last official act of the Marines was to escort French crowns, loaned from Louis XVI, from Boston to Philadelphia to enable the opening of the Bank of North America. While the United States Marine Corp was re-established in 1798, they still mark their inception as November 10, 1775.

References

  1.  Hoffman, Jon T. (2002). USMC: A Complete History. New York City, New York: Universe Publishing.
  2. Abbot, Willis J. (1890). The Naval History of the United States. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier.
  3. Millet, Allan R. (1991). Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps. New York City, New York: The Free Press. ISBN 1-59114-790-5.
  4. Journal of the Continental Congress (9–10 Nov 1775), Committee on Nova Scotia: Proposals; NDAR, II: 972, 957–958.
  5. Jackson, John W. (1974). The Pennsylvania Navy, 1775–1781. New Brunswick City, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.