September 2020

Presidents Message

Dear Compatriots,

It’s good to be back after the summer hiatus and re-engaging in the business and activities of the chapter.  Indeed, we are in strange and unprecedented times due to the pandemic.  Take a look at the situation back in 1918 with the Spanish Flu.  All of the precautions and restrictions we have today were the same back then; isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings.  We missed our traditional summer picnic at the Weddell’s which provided a very nice and patriotic atmosphere to gather and socialize. 

Labor Day was on September 7th.  Hope you all enjoyed the holiday as best one can with all of the social distance restrictions.   Labor Day was set aside as a National Holiday to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.

Due to the pandemic once again, we will need to skip meeting as a group on September 15th at Mimi’s in Lake Forest.  This month the chapter plans to hold a virtual on-line video meeting using Zoom.  It’s is important that we maintain synergy as a chapter and try to keep things moving forward in spite of the difficult conditions.  I look forward to “seeing” you on my computer screen.

As noted in the May message if any of you have any needs due to COVID or any other matter please do not hesitate to reach out to me for assistance in any way.  The chapter cares about its compatriots, appreciates your membership and support of the SAR; and wants to maintain communication with its members.

I’ve been busy on the side doing data entry for the Patriot Research System (PRS).  All of the South Coast chapter’s member and supplemental 600+ applications have been entered into the database in large part due to the efforts of Paul Sapp. 

Another matter of interest to the chapter membership is the proposal to update and revise the Chapter Bylaws.  The Chapter Bylaws have not been changed since the chapter was first formed in 1986.  The primary motivation for the change to the Bylaws is to add the position of Color Guard and Sergeant at Arms. 

The two-year term for the chapter’s elected officers is up at the end of this December.  This means that we need to hold an election.  Please let me know if you feel a calling to fill any of the positions. This is an excellent opportunity to promote patriotism in the local community and promote the ideals upon which our great country was founded.

The Fall meeting of the CASSAR is coming up in November in Northern California.  I plan on attending and representing our chapter.  

Try to stay positive during these trying times.  Pray for the discovery of a vaccine.  Pray that none of you contract the COVID.  Looking forward to when we can meet again as a group.

In compatriotism,

Scott Whitman


South Coast SAR Monthly Meeting

7:00 PM, Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Zoom Video Conference Instructions

We will be using the Zoom Videoconferencing application for the South Coast SAR Monthly Meeting

Members please contact webmaster for link and meeting ID.

on Tuesday, September 15, at 7:00 PM.  If you are new to Zoom, below is a link to an online tutorial for new users on How to Join a Zoom Meeting.  I am also providing a list of a few helpful tips to get you started using Zoom before the day of the meeting.

Getting Started: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697

How to join a Zoom Meeting (new or occasional users):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9isp3qPeQ0E&t=2s

This is an excellent up-to-date short walk thru of many of the ZOOM features.

Helpful tips:

  • View the tutorial (above)
  • Don’t wait until the evening of the meeting to Install the Zoom application or test it.  Do it now.
  • Install the Zoom application on the device you plan to use for the meeting: Desktop computer, laptop, tablet or cell phone.  For tablets and cell phones go to your device App Store.  For Desktop and Laptops go to Zoom.com
  • Test the Zoom application to make sure it is working before the meeting:  Zoom Test
  • On the evening of the meeting, find a quiet, private room or area where you will not be disturbed, and where there will not be dogs barking, people talking, dishes clattering, or TV’s blaring.
  • This is a video meeting so wear appropriate clothing: a shirt with shorts, jeans, or slacks
  • About 5-10 minutes before the Open Forum begins, join the meeting using a link or meeting ID.
  • You may need to wait online before being admitted to join the meeting at 7:00 PM.
  • If you are not talking, please MUTE the microphone on your device. (Mute button or key in *6)
  • DO NOT CONNECT to the Zoom meeting using 2 devices located in the same room. The audio feedback will disrupt the entire meeting.
  • If you have a question that cannot wait for the Q&A, then UNMUTE and ask to interrupt.
  • Always stay on topic, be concise, and get to the point without telling a story.

Other links:

Zoom website: https://www.zoom.us/

Zoom Help Center: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us 

Thank you for participating in the South Coast SAR Monthly Meeting!


Service Pins Reinstated:

The chapter has resurrected the awarding of service pins.  The service pin with certificate are traditionally awarded at a monthly chapter meeting.  Due to the pandemic service pins with certificates were mailed in August to the following chapter members.  The chapter is grateful and thankful for their continued SAR membership and support of the South Coast Chapter.

  • Omer Long, 50 years
  • Kurt Camp, 25 years
  • Paul Weddell, 25 years
  • Scott Whitman, 15 years
  • Robbie Jones, 10 years
  • Bill Yost, 10 years
  • Scot Durant, 5 years

State and National SAR News

The NASSAR Fall Leadership Meeting, in Louisville has been cancelled in favor of a zoom video conference on September 26.

November 13-14, 2020:  The 145th Fall CASSAR Fall Board of Managers meeting will be held at DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country in Rohnert Park, CA

Upcoming Dates and Events.

September Chapter (Zoom) Meeting-Tuesday, September 15:  See above for details.

Constitution Day-Tuesday, September 17:  Thursday, September 17, is the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.  Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

U.S. Air Force Birthday-Friday, September 18:  We salute our members who served in the U.S. Air Force.  The Air Force is the youngest of all five services. It became a separate service on Sept. 18, 1947 after President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947.

SOCCGS Family History Seminar:  The South Orange County California Genealogy Society has canceled their seminar for this year, per SOCCGS’s web site:

www.soccgs.org.

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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.

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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

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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.

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