May 2020

President’s Message

Dear Compatriots,

Hope all of you are keeping safe while sheltering-at-home to reduce the risk of contracting the COVID virus.   Group gatherings are still not permitted which means the chapter’s regular monthly meeting scheduled to be held on May 19th is cancelled.  Chapter meetings are traditionally not held during the summer so the next time we meet as a chapter will likely be in September, God willing.  The annual summer picnic typically held in August is also up in the air. 

The CASSAR 145th annual meeting scheduled April 16-18 in Rancho Murieta, south of Sacramento, was changed from a face-to-face meeting to a virtual meeting.  I did attend the meeting representing our chapter.  Of course, it was not near the same as being there in person but the important agenda item of installing the new officers did take place. 

If you are in need in any way please do not hesitate to reach out to the chapter for help.  We are compatriots and friends and need to support each other during these most difficult of times.  While we are sequestered please consider keeping in touch with other members via email, phone or text. 

The chapter was able to maintain its support of the local high school ROTC programs and awarded the Bronze ROTC Medal to five (5) worthy cadets.  This year the school’s ROTC award ceremonies are being held virtually. 

Our great country has been through and survived many hard times and it is certain that we will endure and overcome this pandemic.  We pray for those who have lost loved ones to the virus.  We pray for those who are on the front line risking their lives to treat those who have contracted the virus. 

Stay safe and I look forward to when we can meet again as a group.

In patriotism,

R. Scott Whitman

April 2020

President’s Message

Greeting Compatriots,

The chapter meeting scheduled to held on April 21 is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.  I pray that none of you or your loved ones have contracted this deadly virus.  The 145th CASSAR In Person Annual Spring Meeting scheduled to be held on April 16-19 at Murieta, CA was also cancelled and is being replaced by a Zoom.com telecommunications meeting on April 18th.  Fortunately, the video teleconference technology has advanced a lot in the past few years which makes it possible to hold a virtual meeting.  I plan on attending representing our chapter and will report out on the meeting next month. 

Please stay hunkered down and do your part to contain the spread of the virus.  I’m sure you share my desire for things to return to normal.  The May 19 monthly chapter meeting is a remote possibility and we will advise you whether the meeting will be cancelled. 

Diseases such as Smallpox, Dysentery, and Malaria, were commonly suffered by Colonial and British soldiers alike, during the American Revolution.  In the first years of the Revolutionary War, George Washington and the Continental Army faced a threat that proved deadlier than the British:  a smallpox epidemic, lasting from 1775-1782.  After heavy losses due to disease in Boston and Quebec, Washington implemented the first mass immunization policy in American history.  You can be certain that the medical and academic communities are working feverishly to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

As mentioned in prior communications our chapter is still seeking a volunteer to lead our ROTC committee.  The chapter intends to follow through with making awards to the worthy cadets in the ROTC programs at the six (6) schools supported by our chapter.  Due to the need to avoid group meetings in the current environment the chapter will be mailing the medal, certificate, and cash award to the ROTC instructor to give to the cadet.  It is hoped that one of our members will respond to this calling and volunteer to fill this important position.    

In compatriotism,

R. Scott Whitman

Chapter Activities

March Dinner Meeting:  This meeting was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

JROTC/ROTC Chairman:  We are in urgent 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 normally done in the April to early June time frame but that is unlikely this year since the schools are all closed for the remainder of the school year.  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, scheduled to be held April 17-18, 2020 at The Murieta Inn and Spa in Rancho Murieta, is cancelled. This year’s meeting will be conducted by remote teleconference on zoom.com.

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

Upcoming Dates and Events

Currently all public events in California have been suspended until further notice by the Governor’s order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, May 19

This is our scheduled meeting for May which has not yet been cancelled but there is a distinct possibility that it will be.

Sarpatriots.sar.org Progress:

Currently volunteers are in the process of entering the lineages on SAR applications into the website so that they can be viewed online.  There are four members of the South Coast Chapter participating in this effort.  At the latest tally, we have entered the data on 187 of the 363 applications for our chapter or 51.5%.  If you want to join our volunteer effort please contact me and I will put you in touch with the compatriots running this project.

https://sarpatriots.sar.org

Paul

The Massachusetts Line – America’s Early Army

Submitted by Kevin Forrest

History

In the immediate aftermath of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress raised 27 regiments as a provincial army. These units, which were mostly organized by mid-May, were adopted into the first establishment of the Continental Army in June 1775. Typically, the units were referred to by the names of their colonels, and were numbered one way by the state and another by the Continental Army.

At the end of 1776 the army was again reorganized, restoring a state-based regimental numbering scheme which was retained until the end of the war. At this time Washington’s General Order formalized the uniforms of the Continental army as a Blue Coat with the facing & lining to be used to identify the State/Regional Regiments. The Massachusetts regiments were designated by white facing and lining of their coats, this applied to all regiments from the “New England” states (New Hampshire, Rhode Island & Connecticut)

1775 Birth of the Line

On April 23, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress voted to raise a volunteer force of 13,600 men, and it called upon the other New England colonies for assistance in raising an army of 30,000 men. The Massachusetts provincials were raised in the spring of 1775 and were eventually formed into 26 infantry regiments. Massachusetts also took responsibility for a 27th regiment, originally raised in New Hampshire.

Massachusetts regiments consisted of 599 officers and men in ten companies, five regiments had an additional eleventh company. The troops enlisted to serve until December 31, 1775 with the commissions of all Massachusetts officers dated May 19, 1775. While the regiments of the Line were numbered, the Massachusetts regiments were commonly identified by the name of its commanding Colonel.

On June 14, 1775, at the urging of the New England delegates to the Continental Congress, the Congress assumed responsibility for the provincial troops that were blockading Boston. This included troops from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. These troops were designated the as Continental Army. George Washington was selected as commander in chief of this force, with his command expanded to include all other troops the following day.

In an effort to create a single “Continental Army” from the separate New England armies, on August 5, 1775, General Washington ordered that a board be convened to determine the rank of the regiments at Boston. The task was completed on August 20, 1775, and the Continental Army regiments were numbered without reference to their colony of origin, resulting in thirty-nine “Regiments of Foot in the Army of the United Colonies”

1776 – Reorganization

On November 4, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved that on January 1, 1776, the Continental Army, exclusive of extra “militia” regiments and artillery would consist of 27 infantry regiments with the troops enlisted to serve until December 31, 1776. The quota of regiments assigned to the states was Pennsylvania (1), New Hampshire (3), Massachusetts (16), Rhode Island (2), and Connecticut (5).

Each regiment was to consist of 728 officers and men in eight companies. The regiments were to receive numbers instead of names. For the campaign of 1776 Massachusetts provided the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th Continental Regiments. The reduction of the Massachusetts Line from 16,468 officers and men in 275 companies to 11,648 officers and men in 128 companies required a difficult reorganization.

The numbered regiments from Massachusetts were widely scattered in the campaign of 1776 and following the British evacuation of Boston in April, the 6th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 27th regiments were ordered to remain in Massachusetts, four of them occupying Boston. In July the 14th, 16th, and 27th joined the Main Army under Washington while the 6th and 18th Regiments joined the Northern Army in August. Of the eleven regiments that moved to New York City in April, the 15th, 24th, and 25th were ordered to Canada as reinforcements with the 15th rejoining the Main Army in November, serving at Trenton and Princeton. The 24th and 25th regiments also rejoined the Main Army in November, but marched directly to the army’s winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey.

1777 – Resetting the Lines

On September 16, 1776 the Continental Congress finally overcame its ideological objections to maintaining a standing army, and resolved that on January 1, 1777, the Continental Line was to consist of 88 infantry regiments, to be maintained for the duration of the war.

The Massachusetts regimental quota was reduced to 15 as the addition of regiments from outside the Northern states were now included in the Continental Army quotas.

Reorganizing Again – 1778-1779; 1781

On May 27, 1778 Congress resolved that the Main Army, the portion under Washington’s immediate command, would be reduced from 88 infantry regiments to 80, to improve tactical efficiency. Overall, the quota of regiments from the states was reduced while Massachusetts (15) was unchanged. Due to the late timing of the resolution, it wasn’t until March 9, 1779 that the reorganization would be completed.

The regiments were reduced to 582 officers and men with each regiment to consist of nine companies rather than eight. The 9th company was to be a company of light infantry, and was to be kept up to strength by drafting men from the regiments eight other companies. During the campaigning season, the light infantry companies of the regiments in a field army were to be combined into a special corps of light infantry.

Congress passed the last reorganization in October 1781 reducing the number of regiments from 80 to 50, reducing the Massachusetts quota to 10. Each regiment now would consist of 717 officers and men in 9 companies, including 1 company of light infantry. Additionally, each regiment would have a permanent recruiting party of 1 Lieutenant 1 drummer and 1 fifer. This final reorganization would last until the end of the war.

Peace and Going Home

After the surrender of Cornwallis on October 19, 1781, Congress faced a financial dilemma of maintaining a standing army until a final armistice could be signed. On August 7, 1782 Congress resolved each state would reduce their lines on January 1, 1783 to not less than 500 rank and file troops.

In his General Order April 18, 1783 Washington announced the Armistice would go into effect the next day. After November 3, 1783 no troops of the Massachusetts Line remained in the field, and all troops of the Northern Army were disbanded November 5, 1783.

The last Regiment of the Continental Army in service after January 1, 1784 was under the command of Massachusetts Colonel Henry Jackson and was known as the 1st American Regiment, this regiment was formally disbanded at West Point, New York on June 2, 1784.

References

  • Carrington, Henry B. Battles of the American Revolution. New York: Promontory Press (Reprint Edition. Originally Published, 1877).
  • Chamberlain, George Walter. “Soldiers of the American revolution of Lebanon Maine
  • Fitzpatrick, John C. Editor. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources. Available [1] from the University of Virginia website.
  • Force, Peter. American Archives. Available, in part, [2] from the Northern Illinois University website.
  • Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April 1775 to December 1783. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967 (Originally published, 1914).
  • Lesser, Charles H. Editor. The Sinews of Independence: Monthly Strength Reports of the Continental Army. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1976.
  • Martyn, Charles. The Life of Artemas Ward, First Commander-in-Chief of the American Revolution. New York: Artemas Ward, 1921.
  • Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War. A compilation from the archives, prepared and published by the Secretary of the Commonwealth in accordance with chapter 100, resolves of 1891. 17 vols. Boston: Wright and Potter Printing Co., State Printers, 1896-1908. Online at
  • Peterson, Harold L. The Book of the Continental Soldier. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1968.
  • Wright, Robert K. The Continental Army. Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History, 1983.
  • Boatner, Mark M. III. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. New York: David McKay Co., Inc. (Bicentennial Edition, 1974. Originally Published, 1966)

Plan of Battles of Lexington and Concord – from Boston, April 1775

From Library of Congress – https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3764b.ar090000/

A plan of the

town and harbour of

Boston

and the country adjacent with the road from Boston to Concord, showing the place of the late engagement between the King’s troops & the provincials, together with the several encampments of both armies in & about Boston.

Taken from an actual survey.

March 2020

President’s Message

Greeting Compatriots,

As a Son of the American Revolution it’s interesting to look back at what happened in the month of March in the Revolutionary War timeline.  It was a cold, snowy night on March 5, 1770 when a mob of American colonists gathered at the Customs House in Boston and began taunting the British soldiers guarding the building. The protesters, who called themselves Patriots, were protesting the occupation of their city by British troops, who were sent to Boston in 1768 to enforce unpopular taxation measures passed by a British parliament that lacked American representation.  These men must have been very upset with the British to go out in masse in the cold and stage this protest. 

One of the Patriots threw a snowball at a British soldier.  The soldier fired his rifle at the crowd.  The other soldiers panicked and also began firing their rifles into the crowd.  When the smoke cleared five colonists were dead or dying and three more were injured. This tragic event was recorded in history as the Boston Massacre and some historians view these casualties as the first fatalities in the American Revolutionary War.  So, it could be said that the Revolutionary War was started by a snowball fight. 

Last month our chapter color guard proudly participated in the Massing of the Colors and Salute to Armed Forces at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.  Many of the local SAR chapter color guards support this event.  We are still looking for a few more volunteers to march in our chapter color guard. 

Our chapter is still in need of a volunteer to lead our ROTC committee.  Our chapter supports making awards to worthy cadets who exemplify the spirit of our Revolutionary War ancestors at five (5) local high schools and Cal State Fullerton.  This position does not require much personal time and the process is already in place.  Hope to see you all at our March meeting which happens to fall this year on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.

In compatriotism,

R. Scott Whitman

Chapter Activities

February Dinner Meeting:  Past CASSAR President and Orange County chapter Registrar Kent Gregory presented a talk on the SAR Education Center and Museum which will house galleries and exhibits highlighting the ideals of our patriot ancestors and tell the story of the American Revolution on the world stage. The presentation revealed details of the planned internal architecture of the museum which revolves around different exhibit areas for the distinct periods of the revolutionary era where historical timelines and artifacts will be displayed.  The intended mission is to provide education and awareness of the events of the American Revolution and their historical significance, which many feel is not adequately covered by today’s education system.  The facility, located at SAR headquarters in Louisville, KY, is scheduled to open on the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. Below, Kent Gregory received our Certificate of Appreciation from Steve Steinberg and President, Scott Whitman.

L to R: Steve Steinberg, Kent Gregory
and Scott Whitman

Chapter Registrar, Leon Smith, presented to Compatriot Dale Tarkington a supplemental certificate for Dales’ patriot ancestor Philip Jinkins Scroggin, who assisted in establishing American Independence while acting in the capacity of Bombardier in Captain Edward Gale’s Company of Maryland Artillery, 1779-1780.

L to R: Scott Whitman, Leon Smith and
Dale Tarkington

JROTC/ROTC Chairman:  We are in urgent 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

Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, March 17 – See page 1 for details.

The Swallows’ Day Parade – Saturday, March 21:  The 62nd Swallows’ Day Parade and Mercado Street Faire will be held on Saturday, March 21st. The Fiesta de la Golondrinas, or Festival of the Swallows, celebrates the return of the migratory songbird to Mission San Juan Capistrano on St. Joseph’s Day.  This event is the reason behind all the fun festivities.

The Swallows’ Day Parade is the nation’s largest non-motorized parade so it is a spectacular event that you will want to attend. In addition to our Color Guard marching in the parade, many members of DAR and CAR will be marching in this parade.

Arrive early as most street closures are in effect by 10:00 a.m.  There is free parking at designated parking lots and shuttle service. The shuttle service is only $2.  For complete details, go to parade website at www.swallowsparade.com.

sarpatriots.sar.org Progress:

Currently volunteers are in the process of entering the lineages on SAR applications into the website so that they can be viewed online.  There are four members of the South Coast Chapter participating in this effort.  At the latest tally, we have entered the data on 154 of the 363 applications for our chapter or 42%.  If you want to join our volunteer effort please contact me and I will put you in touch with the compatriots running this project.

https://sarpatriots.sar.org

Paul


Massing of the Colors 2020

By Kevin Forrest, Color Guard Commander

On Sunday February 16th, the South Coast Chapter Color Guard took part in the 38th Annual Massing of the Colors, in Celebration of George Washington’s birth. Held at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, and sponsored by the Sons of Liberty Chapter of the SAR, the Massing of the Colors is one of the largest celebrations of its kind on the West Coast.

The annual event draws ROTC and Junior ROTC Color Guard units from area Colleges and High Schools, as well as the attendance of many Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard units. In addition to the entrance of the Color Guard units, those in attendance heard from military representatives, National Color Guard Commander Jim Fosdyck (OC Chapter) and were treated to a speech by “General Washington”. A flyover of vintage military planes and cannon salutes helped to round out the Event.

This year marked the return of the South Coast Chapter Color Guard to the event. In attendance were Chapter President Scott Whitman (American Flag), Jr. Member Shane Gates (Drummer), Jr. Member Nolan Forrest (SAR Flag), and Color Guard Commander Kevin Forrest (Musketeer). Here is our SCSAR Color Guard posing and marching in the Massing of the Colors.

We joined our brothers from the Harbor, Kern, Orange County, Redlands, Riverside, San Diego, and Ventura chapters. Here are all of the Color Guards marching with their flags:

And, here is the group posing together by the mural at Forest Lawn:


Boston Massacre

5 March 1770

By Engrav’d Printed & Sold by Paul Revere Boston.
The print was copied by Revere from a design by Henry Pelham for an engraving eventually published under the title “The Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or the Bloody Massacre,” of which only two impressions could be located by Brigham. Revere’s print appeared on or about March 28, 1770. – http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsc.00174, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4415919

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