Sons of the American Revolution, Ohio Society Activities

Ohio Society Named Two Winners in the Dr. Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award

Committee Chairman Scott Moody recently announced the naming of two Ohio History Teachers as the State Society’s choices to compete at the National Society Award Level.

At the High School Level, Ms. Amy Elsass of the Miamisburg City School District in Miamisburg, Ohio


At he Middle School Level, Ms. Julie Flack of the Northwest Local School District in Cincinnati, Ohio

On Saturday, 8 May, the Ohio Society will honor Ms. Elsass and M. Flack at its 132nd Annual Society Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Northwest Local School Board of Education held their first in person school board meeting in nine months on March 22, 2021. At that meeting special recognition was given to Ms. Julie Flack, the Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution Middle School American History Teacher Award Winner for 2021. Pleasant Run Middle School principal Mr. Brad Watkins introduced Ms. Flack and Compatriot George Stewart to the school board members.

Compatriot Stewart presented a short presentation on the chapter’s youth programs and the Tom and Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Contest. Ms. Flack was then presented with the SAR Bronze Good Citizenship Medal and certificate. She was also given the chapter’s cash award. School board members congratulated Ms. Flack and commended the Cincinnati Chapter for our efforts in promoting American History in school classrooms.

Hocking Valley & Cincinnati Chapters at Princeton, NJ Battle Remembrance

On Sunday, 3 January 2021, the New Jersey Society SAR paused to remember the 244th anniversary of the Battle of Princeton.

The battle occurred during a crucial ten-day period that commenced with General Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware River and the Continental Army’s victorious attack on the Hessians in Trenton, NJ. This victory was quickly followed by the Battle of Assunpink Creek, the subsequent march northward to Princeton while flanking Lord Cornwallis’ forces, and ultimately defeating the British at Battle of Princeton.

Members of Hocking Valley and Cincinnati Chapter at the Battle of Princeton Memorial during a 2018 Remembrance Ceremony

This was a turning point for the Continental Forces, victory at last after the season of discouragement following the campaigns in New York during the prior year.

Compatriot Al Gummere of the Hocking Valley Chapter and Bob Bowers of the Cincinnati Chapter represented their respective chapters and the Ohio Society during the virtual event conducted by the New Jersey Society.

Al Gumerre of the Hocking Valley Chapter
Top row, far left — Compatriot Al Gummere of the Hocking Valley Chapter
Bottom row, 2nd from left — Compatriot Bob Bowers of the Cincinnati Chapter

Wreaths Across America and the Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution

This past Saturday, 19 December 2020, Compatriots from many chapters of the Society turned out to remember the Veterans of our past with reverence, patriotism and the Spirit of Christmas.

The Cincinnati Chapter Places a Christmas Wreath at the Revolutionary War Soldiers Memorial in Spring Grove Cemetery
Call to Colors at the Civil War Soldiers Memorial in Spring Grove Cemetery

Speeches of Remembrance were made the Names of the Veterans were spoken, and Prayers of Thanksgiving were offered on their behalf for the service they rendered our Grand Republic.

In Cincinnati, seven members of the Chapter turned out in uniform to Present the Colors and Render a 18 Gun Musket Salute.

The Cincinnati Chapter’s Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard

Color Guard Commander, Bob Bowers—WAA Committee Chairman, Lee Wilkerson—Ohio Society President, Ed Bonniwell—Ohio Society Chaplain, Clay Crandall—Cincinnati Chapter Vice President, Mike Gunn—Former Cincinnati Chapter President, Jack Bredenfoerder—Ohio Society Vice President and Greg Ballman—Cincinnati Chapter President

In Georgetown, three members of the Highlanders Chapter presented a single wreath of remembrance at the Flag Pole and Canon adorning the entrance to the Ohio Veteran’s Home in Georgetown.

Placing a Christmas Wreath at the Ohio Veteran’s Home in Georgetown, Ohio

Gary Duffield—President Highlanders Chapter, Gerold Buzzard Wilkin—Vice President Highlanders Chapter and Jack Bredenfoerder—Secretary/Treasurer Highlanders Chapter.

In Circleville, Members of the Camp Charlotte Chapter honored the resting places of veterans at the Forest Cemetery in Circleville.

left to right—Rick Hartinger—Camp Charlotte Chapter President, Kevin Driesbach—Camp Charlotte Chapter Secretary and Sheriff Robert Radcliff . (photo by Tony Robinson)

The Ohio Society Color Guard Supports the SAR Education Center and Museum

SAR Historian General Bill Stone has been searching for and finding items for the SAR Education Center and Museum with great success for several years. To facilitate this the SAR has implemented an Artifact Donor Program wherein compatriots and families can purchase Revolutionary War artifacts and donate them to the SAR for the Museum Collection. You can see many of the items purchased and who donated them on display at National Headquarters and in a series of articles in the SAR Magazine

Recently the National Color Guard, working in concert with the Artifacts Donor Program was seeking assistance in acquiring a rare French and Indian/American Revolutionary War period Pierced Halberd with its original shaft, circa 1760 that had been located by Bill.

Our Ohio Color Guard Commander, Bob Hill, sought to support the fundraising effort required for the acquisition by gathering donations from the Ohio Society’s Chapter Color Guardsmen.  Upon completion of the fundraising, Bob had gathered funds from three of Ohio’s Color Guard units from the Hocking Valley, Northeast Ohio and Cincinnati Chapters totaling $765.00!

The Society’s Executive Committee then met to review a proposed resolution seeking funds from the Ohio Society to match the funds collected by the Chapter Color Guard Units.  This resolution was passed unanimously by the Committee and the Society’s Treasurer was authorized to issue a matching $765.00 check to the National Color Guard’s Fundraising Campaign, bringing Ohio’s total contribution to the effort to $1530.00.

To our fellow compatriots, many thanks for your generosity and support in the preservation of Our Heritage and Our National Story.

Battle of Great Bridge Virginia, fought on 9 December 1775

The Battle of Great Bridge was fought in the present-day City of Chesapeake, just south of Norfolk, Virginia and at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay.

This was the first Virginia Battle of the Revolutionary War occurring just 6 months after the Battle of Bunker Hill and 8 months after the Battles of Concord and Lexington.

On that day, the 2nd regiment of the Virginia Militia stood up to the British Forces supporting the Crown’s Governor, Lord Dunmore.  The battle was short and decisive.  Great Britain lost many and retreated to Norfolk where further skirmishes occurred in the following weeks.  The Virginia Militia took only a few light casualties during the battle.

The Remembrance ceremony today was a joint effort by many from the State of Virginia, most notably, Virginia Societies of the NSDAR, NSSAR and NSCAR.

Many Chapters, Districts and State Societies joined in the Remembrance Ceremonies including three members of the Ohio Society placing wreaths in honor of our patriots serving on that historic day:

left to right – President Lee Wilkerson, Ohio Society; Compatriot Bob Bowers, Cincinnati Chapter; President Gary Duffield, Highlanders Chapter.

1st Lt. Joseph Catterline’s Grave Site in Fairfield, Ohio… Honored on 1 November 2020

On Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2 PM the Cincinnati Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (CCSAR) Honored Joseph Catterline (1741-1822) a Revolutionary War Patriot by marking his grave located at Miami Chapel Cemetery, 6210 River Road in Fairfield, Liberty Twp., Butler County, OH. Rain was predicted for the morning and disappeared with a gift of bright sun, but with a brisk wind by noon with gusts of 30 mph, as we set up the 8 flags and the podium behind Joseph’s Gravesite.

Cincinnati, Highlanders & Hocking Valley Chapter Members Participating in the Day’s Ceremonies

This was a Social Distancing Event, due to the existing 2020 Pandemic and protective masks re-quired as additional assurance of a safe event during the ceremony expected to be an hour in length. Our agreement with the City of Fairfield Parks and Recreation Officials and common sense both dictated such. Fairfield also required we reach out to Joseph’s descendants, which we’d already done as one of our CCSAR Compatriots, Charles Rogers had informed us of the interest to mark this grave by Descendant Thomas Foster Stander, CCSAR Member # 963392. We initially planned to honor this ancestor in late 2018. Unfortunately, Compatriot Stander died in 2019 and didn’t get an opportunity to be here and participate personally.

Presentation of Our National Colors

Before we began the ceremony, a few minutes was spent to acquaint our only guests, the Officials of the City of Fairfield, with who the CCSAR is and what we do. Some of them took advantage of our Web Site cincinnatisar.org and viewed videos of earlier Ceremonies for Grave Marking Patriots. The flags, uniforms, weapons and process preparing for the event being better understood, as the EMCEE gave direction to the Commander of the Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard (NCMCG) to post the Colors, then Compatriot Robert Sturm led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, followed by voicing the pledge to the SAR led by John Bredenfoerder, then the rousing Invocation expertly administered by OHSSAR Chaplain Dr. Ralph E. Bonniwell.

Ohio Society Chaplain Bonniwell & Past Cincinnati Chapter President Gunn

An introduction and welcome of Guests and Presenters began with City of Fairfield Officials: Mayor Steve Miller, City Manager Mark Wendling, Council Member & Park Board member, Leslie Besl, Park Board member, Gwen Richie, Director of Parks & Recreation, Tiphanie How-ard and Robert Schappacher with the Parks Department. We then identified those in the SAR and roles we have during our tribute to Joseph Catterline, concluding with Turner Lee Wilkerson, President of the Ohio Society SAR and the Cincinnati Chapter.

President Wilkerson began with Greetings from the 2000 + SAR members in Ohio and himself, then said:

Ohio Society & Cincinnati Chapter President Wilkerson

“Today we are celebrating a man’s patriotism and a remembrance of his willingness to defend a land in which he believed. As you enjoy fellowship and conversation with one another this day—I would encourage you to reflect on our rich heritage as Americans. Speak together, of the history of our great land and its people—and the fact that we are “one people” richly blessed by a Divine Providence.

Recognize that the rights and privileges we enjoy as American citizens are blessings that were earned by a WILLINGNESS to make the great personal sacrifices necessary to secure the liberties that we frequently take for granted today. Appreciate that our diverse origins and ethnicity produces an alloy that strengthens our culture and society.

On behalf of our Society, I want to thank the City of Fairfield for the care they are giving to the graves of our first military veterans. Mayor Miller, we are especially proud of the manner in which you and your team have expressed their passion and reverence for our Patriot Heritage and the preservation of our National Story for future generations.
All of us gathered here are the living legacy of the many Patriots like this brave soul we celebrate and remember today!”

At this point in the Ceremony Compatriot Larry W. Collins unveiled the grey granite SAR Marker and the Dedication: “We, the members of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution reveal and dedicate this marked Memorial to the glory of God and in the recognition of the memory of this honorable Patriot of the American Revolution.” Was made by our Emcee.

Compatriot Gregg Ballman presented a short biography of Patriot Catterlin, accompanied by a reverent chime: Joseph Catterlin (1741 – 1822) is an ancestor of Thomas Foster Standish, Cincinnati SAR Member. Joseph served as a 1st Lieutenant in the in the 1st Regiment Somerset County, New Jersey Militia in the Revolutionary War, they were known as the Jersey Blues due to their blue coats and Pants. The records of the Adjutant General indicate his unit was active before November 1777. He was also a recruiting officer in New Jersey for the Continental Army. He was buried here in 1822 and his name is also on Panel #9 of the Butler County, Soldiers & Sailors and Pioneers Monument in Hamilton, OH.

2021 1st & 2nd Vice President Nominees George Stewart (left) and Greg Ballman (right)

Nine Wreaths were presented:
Ohio Society SAR by President, Turner Lee Wilkerson
Indiana Society SAR, by Michael Gunn.
Germany Society SAR by John H. Bredenfoerder
Cincinnati Chapter SAR by Robert E.R. Bowers
Hocking Valley Chapter SAR by OHSSAR Color Guard Commander Bob Hill & Al Gummere
Highlanders Chapter SAR, by Pres. Gary Duffield
Ohio Society Ladies Aux. by Shari Wilkerson & Carol Gunn
City of Fairfield by Mayor Steve Miller

l to r – OHSSAR President Wilkerson, Compatriot Bowers, OHSSAR VP Bredenfoerder, City of Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller, OHSSAR Color Guard Commander Hill, Compatriot Gummere and EMCEE Gunn

To conclude the ceremony, three rounds of musket fire was ordered by NCMCG Commander Jarard for each of 12 SAR members (Ballman, Bowers, Crandall, Stewart, Hill, Gummere, Bredenfoerder, Schmitz, Rogers, Bonniwell, Duffield, Crandall, and Adjutant Blum with Colors.


Taps were played by Robert Sturm. Then a SAR Recessional by George Stewart “Until we meet again, let us remember our obligations to our forefathers, who gave us our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, an independent Supreme Court, and a Nation of Free Men.”

Cincinnati Chapter Bugler Robert Sturm

And a Benediction by Chaplain Dr. Ralph E. Bonniwell ended the program.

Again, Mayor Miller, we are especially proud of the manner in which you and your team have expressed their passion and reverence for our Patriot Heritage and the preservation of our National Story for future generations. All of us gathered here today are the living legacy of the many Patriots like the brave soul we celebrate and remember today!

The Von Steuben Medal

Paul Alan Irwin was approved for the SAR Von Steuben Color Guard Medal by the National Color Guard Commander, Lou Raborg, on October 22nd.

Paul received his Bronze CG Medal in November, 2012, and his Silver GG Medal in April, 2013. Paul’s participation in the Color Guard has been exceptional since 2013, and he only started slowing down, but never stopping, in 2019 due to his wife’s and his own health concerns.

Paul has been present at 43 National and District events since 2013, far exceeding the minimum 25 National / District events needed over a 5 year period after earning the Silver CG Medal. Paul is the first to earn this award from the Hocking Valley Chapter. Congratulations to compatriot Paul Irwin for earning this distinction. Thank you for your many years of dedicated service to the Color Guard.

Congratulations and Well Done Compatriot Irwin

Battle of Point Pleasant Remembered

At the 10th hour of the 10th day of of the 10th month in the year of our Lord Two thousand and twenty, we remembered the Battle at Point Pleasant, Virginia (now West Virginia). Many SAR State Societies stood up to honor and remember the Patriots that fought and sacrificed to achieve vistory on this day in history–Monday, 10 October 1774.

Unlike past days of remembrance we were driven this year to honor our National History in a hybrid ceremony of remembrance in virtual reality and actual circumstance. The ceremonials were led by President of the Point Pleasant Chapter, Ed Cromley. the SAR State Societies of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee were present along with numerous SAR, DAR & CAR Chapters from the aforementioned state societies.

The writer of this article, having participated virtually, cannot provide photos of the event. However at least three officers of the Ohio Society Chapters were represented:

  1. Ohio Society – Ohio Society President, Lee Wilkerson
  2. Cincinnati Chapter – Committee Chairman, Bob Bowers
  3. Lt. George Ewing Chapter – Chapter President, Scott Moody

Chaplain and Reverend Patrick Norman Kelly

Today, Monday, 5 October 2020 we buried our compatriot, Patrick Kelly, of Mount Gilead, Ohio of whom I wrote about a few weeks ago.

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Chaplain Patrick Norman Kelly 1933-2020

The day started out foggy and a little chilly, but by noon the fog lifted and the temperature began to rise to a nice 65° and the sun came out revealing a lovely landscape of changing colors.

I car pooled with three compatriots from the Hocking Valley Chapter. At the funeral home in Cardington, my friends Matt and Sharon Hardman met us, as well as Ohio Society President Lee Wilkerson and his wife Shari, and 5 more compatriots from the Cincinnati Chapter, including our Ohio Society Chaplain, Pastor Ed Bonniwell.

Ohio Society Color Guard… l to r Al Gummere, Jack Bredenfoerder, Dan Schmitz, Mike Gunn, Bob Bowers, CG Commander Bob Hill, Charles Bundy, and Bob Davis

We stood vigil over Patrick’s casket, two at a time, during the hour of visitation. We posted the Colors, and rotated the guards every 10 minutes.
At the cemetery in Lexington (near Mansfield) we came to Present Arms, and after prayers and Eulogies, we fired a seven (7) musket, three volley salute. I think compatriot Pastor Kelly would have been pleased.

Compatriots Mike Gunn & Dan Schmitz standing watch

As the Color Guard Commander, I can never say enough good things about the guys from the Cincinnati Chapter, and my own Hocking Valley boys. I am proud of their dedication to our country, the SAR, and our Revolutionary ancestors. The guys from Cincinnati drove a good three hours to give an honorable ceremony of farewell to our Compatriot Kelly.

The Kelly Family and Friends gather Graveside

Our State Chaplain Ed Bonniwell’s never failing eloquence and booming voice echoed across the grounds as if the Lord himself was speaking to us from the heavens. And I guess he was, using Ed as his instrument.

The SAR Funeral Service begins…
Ohio Society President Lee Wilkerson flanked on left by Hocking Valley Chaplain Matt Hardman and Ohio Society Chaplain Dr. Ed Bonniwell to the right
Day is done … Gone the sun … From the lakes … From the hills … From the sky …
All is well … Safely rest … God is nigh

After we fired our muskets, we went to “Mourn Muskets” as Taps was played, and then a bagpiper played Amazing Grace. Afterwards, we had lunch with the family and friends of Patrick at the church where he last pastored, St. John’s Lutheran Church outside of Mount Gilead. It’s a beautiful little country church built around 1870.

There were pictures of happy times in Patrick’s 86 years of life. He pastored for 50 years and was an SAR member for 30. I’m so happy I was able to meet Patrick a few weeks ago, and that we were able to award him the Good Citizenship Medal a short time later before he passed away. And I think all of us were honored to have fulfilled his wishes for an SAR vigil and ceremony. Such a decent man deserved that honor. I have no doubt he is with Jesus now.

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