June 2020

President’s Message

Greeting Compatriots,

Our chapter meetings have been the victims of the COVID pandemic lockdowns this spring.  We customarily take a break during the summer and reconvene in September.  In August the chapter met in a casual, patriotic setting for a summer picnic.  Sadly, due to the pandemic and the risk of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus the summer picnic is cancelled as well.  

During these difficult times it’s important to keep in touch with our compatriots.  If the group gathering restriction persists in September then the chapter will likely schedule an on-line video conference.  Please reach out to the chapter board if you have any needs, questions or concerns.  The chapter cares about its compatriots, appreciates your membership and support of the SAR; and wants to maintain communication with its members.

Memorial Day was on May 25th.  This day has special significance in our family as my Dad’s brother went down with his plane in the Battle of Midway in the Pacific and my Mom’s brother went down with his ship in the Atlantic.  Let us never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by those defending the freedoms of our great country.

July 4th, Independence Day, is coming up.  Group gatherings are likely not going to be allowed so please think about a way to show your patriotism and appreciation for the birth of our great nation and the courage, bravery and sacrifices made by our patriot ancestors to achieve independence.   

The 2020 National Congress, scheduled to be held in Richmond, VA, was also cancelled.  As a result there won’t be an election and the officers sworn in at the 2019 Congress will remain in office until 2021.  This has happened two other times in the history of the SAR, 1918 and 1945. 

Have a great summer.  Make the best of the difficult situation.  Stay positive.  Pray for the discovery of a vaccine.  Looking forward to when we can meet again as a group.

In patriotism,

R. Scott Whitman

Upcoming Dates and Events

Flag Day – Sunday, June 14:  Flag Day is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers and makers.  Our flag is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation and has a proud and glorious history.  As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag

U.S. Army Birthday – Sunday, June 14:  Two hundred and forty-two years ago, the United States Army was established to defend our nation.  The Second Continental Congress created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775.

Father’s Day-Sunday, June 21:  Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers.

Independence Day – Saturday, July 4 – Holiday observed Friday, July 3.  Celebrate our country’s birthday and remember the sacrifices that our patriot ancestor(s) made.

U.S. Coast Guard Birthday-Tuesday, August 4:  The Coast Guard, one of the country’s five Armed Services, can trace their history back to 4 August 1790, when Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling.

Chapter Meeting – Tuesday, September 15:  Mimi’s Café (Hopefully)

Constitution Day – Thursday, September 17.  Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens.

Battle of Bunker Hill

Contributed by Kevin Forrest

On June 17, 1775, the British defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bunker Hill on the Charlestown peninsula overlooking Boston. Despite their loss, the Colonial forces managed to inflict significant casualties against the British, before being driven from their positions. The battle provided them with an important confidence boost during the ongoing Siege of Boston, from April 1775-March 1776.

Battle of Bunker Hill: The Colonials prepare for a Fight

On the evening of June 16, 1775, soon after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, American troops learned that the British were planning to send troops from Boston to occupy the hills surrounding the city. Acting on orders from Artemas Ward, colonial militiamen marched to the Charlestown peninsula to build earthen fortifications on Bunker Hill. Due to a misunderstanding, the troops took up positions on the smaller Breed’s Hill, closer to Boston and the British positions.

Battle of Bunker Hill: June 17, 1775

On the morning of June 17, 2,200 British forces under the command of Major General William Howe and Brigadier General Robert Pigot landed on the Charlestown Peninsula and marched to Breed’s Hill. As the British Army advanced in columns against the Americans, Colonel William Prescott reportedly told his men “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” Waiting until the Redcoats were within several dozen yards, the Militiamen let loose with a lethal barrage of musket fire, causing the British to retreat.

The British reformed their lines and attacked again, with similar result. Colonel Prescott’s men were now low on ammunition, and when the British made a third assault, they reached the redoubts and engaged the Americans in hand-to-hand combat. Outnumbered, the American forces retreated. However, by the end of the engagement, the British casualties of the Battle of Bunker Hill were significant. Patriot gunfire had killed 200 and left more than 800 wounded. In comparison, more than 100 Americans perished, and another 300 others were wounded. On July 2, 1775, George Washington would arrive in Cambridge, Massachusetts to take command of the fledgling Continental Army. He realized he had a formidable task ahead to prepare for war with, arguably, the most powerful nation on the planet.

Battle of Bunker Hill: Legacy

The British had won the “Battle of Bunker Hill”, resulting in the Charlestown Peninsula falling firmly under British control. Despite the loss of this strategic position, the battle was a significant morale-builder for the inexperienced American forces. In London, when news arrived, King George was convinced that the situation in the colonies had escalated into an organized uprising that would not easily be quelled. Soon after he would issue the Proclamation of Rebellion.

Citation Information:

Battle of Bunker Hill (https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/battle-of-bunker-hill)

U.S. History  (https://www.ushistory.org/us/11d.asp)

Editors Note: Kevin tells me that Bunker Hill Day is celebrated in Massachusetts.

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