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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