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


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.


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.



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
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