Williamsburg Holds Chapter Meting

At the February 18th meeting of the Williamsburg Chapter SAR held at Colonial Heritage Club House, Williamsburg, Virginia.  Bruce Laubach, President presented Gerald Sailors the Roger Sherman medal.  This is awarded to a compatriot in recognition and in appreciation for outstanding services rendered to the Williamsburg Chapter.

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Williamsburg Chapter Celebrates 250th Anniversary



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Introduction to the Monthly Health Tip



            To introduce myself as your new Surgeon General, I will share my background as a physician.  I am an MD graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, I completed a Family Medicine Residency at Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie, Indiana, and earned a Masters in Health Science Education.  I entered the military as an Air Force Flight Surgeon during the Viet Nam era with the rank of Major, and then entered private practice at the time of my discharge.  After two years, the University of Iowa recruited me from practice into teaching; I remained at the University of Iowa for 17 years having served as Professor and Head of the Department of Family Medicine.  Moving to Lynchburg, VA, in 1999, I directed the Family Medicine Residency and Geriatric Fellowship for Centra Health until my retirement in 2012.  Volunteer practice at the Free Clinic of Central Virginia followed until full retirement in 2018.  I remain board-certified in Family Medicine and fully Licensed in Virginia.

            Education and scholarship have always been key elements of my career in medicine and I am pleased that, as your Surgeon General, you have provided me with a further opportunity to teach.  My plan is to create a monthly column about health on the VASSAR web site with a health tip, response to any emergency group need for medical advice (vis-a-vis the Covid pandemic), or provide education on any medical topic you might request.  My email is [email protected] and your thoughts and comments are always welcome. 

Charles E. Driscoll, MD

Surgeon General, VASSAR


 Spring Leadership and Trustees Meeting 2023


The Spring Leadership meeting in Louisville, KY, held from March 2-5, was attended by 17 Virginia SAR compatriots including Chancellor General Mike Elston, VPG Pete Davenport, PG Joe Dooley 2013-14, Trustee Jeff Thomas, Alternate Trustee Bruce Meyer, President Ernie Coggins, 1st Vice President Bill Greaf, Secretary Tim Dioquino, Assistant Secretary Forrest Crain, C.A.R. Liaison Chair Darrin Schmidt, Genealogy Committee Chair Bill Schwetke, Reenactor & Living History Committee Chair Brett Osborn, Ken Bonner, SGM John Champe President, David Cook, Ken Morris, Larry McKinley and first time attendee Mike Wilson, Col. William Grayson President.


Events at the meeting included the Executive Committee, Museum Board and Foundation Board meetings on Thursday, committee meetings and the opening banquet on Friday, and the Trustees meeting and closing formal banquet on Saturday.


Report of the Virginia Society Trustee

Trustees Meeting – March 4, 2023


The Board of Trustees took the following actions during the business meeting:

  • Approved the Investment Policy statement and allocations.


The Board of Trustees received the report of the Executive Committee. The following actions were reported by the committee:


  • Approved the Credentials and Registration rules for the 2023 Congress

  • Approved the Revolutionary War Rarities podcast as an official program of the SAR

  • Approved the use of the SAR logo on Henry commemorative rifles for America 250

  • Pre-approved the use of the SAR Eagle logo by states and chapters on all memorials.

  • Approved the Investment Policy statement and allocations.


The Board of Trustees received the report of the Nominating Committee. The following compatriots were nominated for the following national officers:


President General       John Dodd of California

Secretary General       Darryl Addington of Tennessee

Treasurer General      Michael Elston of Virginia

Chancellor General     Edmon McKinley of Alabama

Genealogist General   Gary Green of North Carolina

Registrar General       Allen Greenley of Georgia

Historian General       Brooks Lyles of North Carolina

Librarian General        Fred Olive of Alabama

Surgeon General         David Chaffin of Tennessee

Chaplain General        Dwight Elam of Florida

Foundation Board       Bruce Pickette of Alabama

Foundation Board       Jeff Thomas of Virginia


The Board of Trustees received the report of the Minuteman Committee. The following compatriots have been named Minutemen for the Class of 2023:


Bob Fish of West Virginia

Ken Goodson of Michigan

Allen Greenley of Georgia

Dave Jessel of Georgia

Lee Popham of Florida

Lou Raborg of Maryland


Committee Reports:


  1. America 250 SAR Committee reported that thirty-one states have established 250th committees.

  2. Color Guard Committee reported the Color Guardsman of the Year is Allen Greenley of Georgia.

  3. Congress Planning Committee – new credentials process approved for 2023 Congress – states will submit delegate list to National by May 1; all credentials will be issued at Congress. Registration for Congress should be available by mid-May.

  4. Genealogy Committee has approved an expansion of the use of DNA evidence, requires the use of a genealogist certified by the committee, seeking approval of the Executive Committee.

  5. History Committee has approved the History 250 program plan, a new Liberty Tree 250th marker program and a list of America 250 SAR Signature Events. The Historic Sites & Celebrations committee approved the Battle of Springfield, NJ, as a national event.

  6. IT Committee reports that a Digitization Specialist is being hired.

  7. Merchandise reported than Ranger Industries, a U.S. based and veteran owned company, has been selected to produce all SAR medals.

  8. National Dues Billing Task Force reports that two systems are being evaluated for potential national use: Member Clicks in Virginia and Club Express in Florida.


New Business:


An informational presentation was made on a proposed dues increase recommended by the National Dues Task Force. The Executive Committee has accepted the recommendation of the task force for an increase in dues of $15 from $35 to $50 to be proposed to the membership at the Annual Congress. The last dues increase was 2015. The purchasing power of the dollar has declined by 24% since the last dues increase. In addition, flat membership growth in the past 5 years has led to deficits in our annual operating budget, including a $292,000 deficit in 2022. A dues increase will help fund the resources needed to implement the SAR 5-year operational plan and prevent a reduction in our programs. Any dues increase approved at the 2023 Annual Congress would become effective for 2024.


The Annual Congress will be held in Orlando, FL, from July 13-20, 2023. The Fall Leadership and Trustees Meeting will be held at the Brown Hotel from September 20-24, 2023.

Williamsburg Recognition of Scouts

The February 18th meeting of the Williamsburg Chapter SAR held at Colonial Heritage Club House, Williamsburg, Virginia. The main focus of the meeting was Boy Scouts.

Pictured  Edwin Lampitt with Bruce Laubach


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VASSAR wins The Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award

The Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award is presented to the state-level society with over five hundred members judged having the best periodical or newsletter with more than ten pages.


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2023 Dan River Chapter Officer Installation 


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George Washington Chapter Conducts Grave Marking Ceremony for Phillip Richard Fendall

On February 18, the George Washington Chapter honored the memory of Patriot Phillip Richard Fendall by dedicating a memorial marker in the garden of his home, the Lee-Fendall House in Old Town Alexandria.  The actual location of Fendall’s grave is unknown but believed to be in either of two places in Alexandria.  The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Historic Resources graciously funded the marker as well. Patriot Fendall was born in Charles County, Maryland in 1734 and was related to the famed Lee family of Virginia.  During the Revolution he served in public service positions including Clerk of Charles County, election to the Convention from Charles County, and serving on the Committee of Observation for Charles County.  In 1784, he bought land from Revolutionary hero, and his cousin, Light Horse Harry Lee and constructed his home on Oronoco Street.  He was a business partner of George Washington in the creation of the Potomac Canal Company and Washington was a visitor to the house.  Due to this close connection, it was decided to dedicate the monument on Washington’s birthday weekend.


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Instructions for Chapters Attending Parade


The George Washington Chapter is sponsoring two events on Monday, February 20th that may be of interest to you and your fanily.  Information on both is provided because there are transportation implications should a member choose to participate in both.  Following are important HOW-TO instructions for participants.

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George Washington Birthday Celebration-


Photo Caption L-R: James Monroe Chapter of the SAR

member Charles Belfield discusses colonial life during

the American Revolution with the sixth grade students

at Richmond County Middle School.

The James Monroe Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution members Charles Belfield, Jim Russell and Andrew Packett presented an educational program about daily life of the colonists and their sacrifices during the American Revolution. These educational programs are available upon request throughout the local area.

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250th Anniversary of the Virginia Committee of Correspondence

The Colonel William Grayson Chapter, Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will be hosting the 250th Anniversary of the Virginia Committee of Correspondence at the Tomb of Colonel William Grayson


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04 Feb 2023                                 Culpeper, VA



Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Tom Hamill was

the master of ceremonies for today's program.


     Today, over 65 people gathered in the Museum of Culpeper History to honor "forgotten patriots" of the American Revolution.  Charles James of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter organized the celebration which was hosted by the Museum of Culpeper History.  Notable attendees included Culpeper Mayor Frank Reaves, Culpeper County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Deal, Virginia SAR 1st and 3rd Vice Presidents, Ernie Coggins and Mike Weyler, representatives of six SAR Chapters:  Colonel James Wood II, Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, George Washington, and Sergeant Major John Champe; two DAR Chapters, Culpeper Minute Men and Fauquier Court House.  Very Special guests were descendants of Philip Slaughter, officer of the Culpeper Minutemen and the Continental Line, and his enslaved valet, Spencer Slaughter, both patriots of the American Revolution and remarkable men.

     There were two main addresses, the first by Culpeper Minutemen Chapter Honorary President Charles Jameson, descendant of Lt. David Jameson of the 1775 Culpeper Minutemen, on "Forgotten Patriots", and the second by Katherine Slaughter, descendant of Philip Slaughter on the service of both Philip and Spencer Slaughter and their descendants.





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Willamsburg and Thomas Nelson Chapter installs New Officers



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First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his fellow countrymen

We will soon observe the 291st birthday one of the founders of this great nation - George Washington born on February 22, 1732.  The intent of “Presidents Day” is to honor the legacy of all Presidents,  but  I believe this marginalizes his unparalleled  accomplishments.  Washington single handedly  lead the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War,  presided over the Constitutional Convention,  and was our very first president.

On 4th  December 1783 – Nine days after the last British soldiers left America George Washington invited the officers of the Continental Army to join him in the Long Room of Fraunces Tavern so he could say farewell. The best-known account of this emotional leave-taking comes from the Memoirs of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge written in 1830.

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On 21 January 2023, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a commemoration for Peter Muhlenberg's final sermon in Woodstock, as he was recruiting the 8th Virginia Regiment for the Revolutionary War.  Serving a congregation in Woodstock, Virginia, Peter became a follower of Patrick Henry.  This led him to election to the House of Burgess and he became Chair of the Committees of Safety and Correspondence for Dunmore County.  In 1776 he served as a delegate to the Virginia Convention where he was asked by George Washington to return to the Shenandoah Valley to raise and command the 8th Virginia Regiment.  In his final sermon, he read from the bible, “There is a time to preach and a time to pray, but there is also a time to fight, and that time has now come.” Muhlenberg removed his robes to reveal the uniform of a militia colonel.  During the war, he saw combat at Sullivan's Island, Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and Yorktown.  An unsung hero of the Revolutionary War, he was one of a legion of firm, steady commanders who were indispensable in winning the fight for American independence.  After the war, he went into politics in his home state of Pennsylvania, serving on the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council and in the U.S. Congress.    He was appointed supervisor of revenue for Pennsylvania and customs collector for Philadelphia.  He died 1 October 1807, his 61st birthday in Gray's Ferry, Pennsylvania.  A true patriot and great American.   A Virginia State Color Guard with members from the Colonel James Wood II, Sgt Maj John Champe, Fairfax Resolves, Culpeper Minutemen, George Mason, General Daniel Morgan, Colonel William Grayson and Fort Harrison Chapters of the SAR presented and posted the colors.  The DAR had members from the Narrow Passage, Lane's Mill and Montpelier Chapters.  Members of both organizations presented wreaths to honor Muhlenberg as well as one from the Order of Founders and Patriots of America and the Black Robed Regiment.  Participants included Brian Bayliss, Bryan Buck, Ken Bonner, Dale Carpenter, Paul Christensen, Dave Cook, Dale Corey, Forrest Crain, Doug Hall, Tom Hamill, Larry Johnson, Pat Kelly, Erick Moore, Patrick Moore, Ken Morris, Brett Osborn, Paul Parish, Dennis Parmerter, Allan Phillips, Will Reynolds, Marc Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Barry Schwoerer, Jim Simmons, Mike St Jacques, Richard Tyler, Steve Van Deusen and Mike Weyler from the SAR. 


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During the month of January 2023, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution presented Certificates of Appreciation to three Senior Living Facilities.  These facilities had the chapter provide presentations to the residents throughout 2022.  The presentations provided were the Battle of Cowpens (January), George Washington (February), National Vietnam Veterans Day (March),  Patriots Day (April), Armed Forces Day (May), Memorial Day (May), Flag Day (June), reading the Declaration of Independence (July), the Constitution (September), Siege of Yorktown (October), Veterans Day (November) and Crossing the Delaware (December).  Compatriots from three chapters had participated during the year to provide educational and historic information about the colonial era.  From the Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Dale Corey, Bill Schwetke of Culpeper Minutemen and Barry Schwoerer of Sgt Maj John Champe joined Thomas “Chip” Daniel, Allan Phillips, Marc Robinson, and Richard Tyler.  The ceremonies consisted of an opening prayer, the pledge of allegiance and the historical presentation.  Compatriots took turns relating information and answering questions.  At the end of the ceremony, all would join in singing "God Bless America".  This was followed by a question and answer session.  The senior residents appreciated the efforts and often kept the members beyond the allotted time frame.  In recognition of their support to the Sons of the American Revolution and our educational goals, Certificates of Appreciation were provided to Commonwealth, Greenfield and Hidden Springs Senior Living Facilities.  Hidden Springs was represented by Mary Poe and given the certificate on 12 Jan.  For Commonwealth, Andrea Williams, Executive Director received the certificate on 20 Jan and on 21 Jan a certificate was presented to Meda Patton, Executive Director of the Greenfield facility.  The members of the SAR are greatly appreciative of the participation of the organizations. 

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Col James Wood II Commemorates the Battle of Cowpens

On 14 January 2023, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Cowpens.  The event was held at Mt Hebron Cemetery, near the grave site of Daniel Morgan.  Morgan was the commander of the American forces and won this decisive action against one of the elite units in the British Army.  This battle was the turning point in the southern campaign of the War for Independence.  It was fought on 17 January 1781 near the town of Cowpens, South Carolina.  General Nathanael Green was the commander of the American Army in the south.  He split his army, sending Morgan to southwest to cut supply lines and hamper British operations in the back country.  General Lord Cornwallis, British commander sent Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton to find and defeat Morgan. Tarleton was highly regarded by Cornwallis, but feared and hated by the Americans.  It was his army at the Battle of Waxhaws where American soldiers attempting to surrender were given no quarter.  This became known as Bufords Massacre and infuriated the colonists.  Morgan's Army was joined by militia units, increasing his force to about 2,000 men.  Tarleton led an army of 1,150 men, chasing Morgan through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain.  Morgan chose the spot for the battle and deployed his troop in three lines in an open pasture known as cowpens.  The land was between two low hills with the Broad River at his back.  Tarleton was an aggressive leader who pushed his men hard on an exhausting march to catch the Americans.  Morgan developed a plan of double envelopment which led to a devastating defeat for the British.  With superior tactics, he crushed an elite British army which eventually led to the Siege of Yorktown and the American victory in the War of Independence.  Morgan's army had 72 casualties and the British suffered over 300 casualties with over 500 men captured. 


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Col. James Wood II Chapter Mark the Grave of Maj. Peter Helpenstein

On 12 November 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a grave marking ceremony to honor Revolutionary War Patriot Major Peter Philip Helphenstine.  The ceremony was held at Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia.   Helphenstine was in the American Revolution with the 8th Virginia Regiment, known as the German Regiment, commanded by Colonel Peter Muhlenberg.  He was injured in battle in South Carolina in April 1778 and returned home to Frederick County, Virginia.  The Virginia SAR combined color Guard presented colors and fired a musket volley to honor the patriot.  Compatriots from the Colonel James Wood II, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, Fort Harrison, George Mason and Sgt Maj John Champe Chapters along with the Lanes Mill DAR Chapter and the Order of Founders and Patriots of America paid homage to Helphenstine.  Descendants of the patriot participated with Ed Helphinstine, Jr and his daughter Sarah unveiling the marker.  Ed Helphinstine, Sr and his daughter Leah presented a wreath. 


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