Video of the event: https://youtu.be/VsLXz8jUe48
Michael B. Gunn, Ph.D.
Past President, Patriot Graves Chair CCSAR
The Cincinnati Chapter of the Ohio Society continued their grave marking program on Patriots Day again this year with a celebration for 12 Revolutionary War Patriots at the Old (Presbyterian) Cemetery in Springdale.
Our process began with research towards this event in 2013 when discovery of 31 patriot graves missing from three cemeteries in downtown Cincinnati, OH that were turned into Washington Park by city officials in the 1880s.
The first Grave Marking Ceremony to honor some of these missing patriots was held in 2014 at Spring Grove Cemetery where a Monument now proudly reveals the names of 59 Revolutionary War Patriots on 3 Bronze plaques attached to a bolder next to the Woodland Section. They were dedicated with much pomp and circumstance (photos and videos may be viewed under the Patriot Graves section at cincinnatisar.org under the “Color Guard” dropdown.
We have sponsored a memorial ceremony each year on Patriots Day with a similar display and memorial dedication held in each of the four counties covered by the Cincinnati Chapter (Hamilton, Clermont, Warren and Butler counties of Ohio). This year again in Hamilton County in the City of Springdale whose officials were graciously helpful and intertwined the April 22 service with the marked improvements made at the Cemetery grounds since they were given control by the Presbyterian Church more than a decade ago.
The focus of this year’s Ceremony was a 20-inch-by-30-inch salmon colored granite stone where the names of: John Brasher, Benjamin Engart, Cornelius Little, Michael Long, James Lowes, Robert Preston, William Preston, Abraham Roll, John Schooly, Solomon Slayback, William Van Dyke, and John Wilkinson were displayed and introduced with appropriate description. The 15 descendants we were fortunate to locate all expressed pride and gratitude to this very appropriate amount of recognition.
Of course the ceremony began with the command to the Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard to post the colors, followed by our Chapter President and Emcee leading attendees in singing our National Anthem, with the pledge to our flag led by CG Commander Turner Lee Wilkerson and Chaplains Invocation. After the Pledge to the SAR, attending Dignitaries, Guests and the 15 Descendants were introduced. Mayor Webster briefly described the cemetery history from its first burials in late 1700s and recovery of order with the tombstones after years of neglect and his gratitude to the SAR for this event. Each descendant was presented a long stemmed red rose in recognition to their travels, some as far as 900 miles from Oklahoma, by our colonially dressed Camp follower Emma Hartman.
The roll call of Patriots to be honored and a short history of their service, each followed by the chime of a brass bell was followed by the revealing of the Monument (Precovered by a red, white and blue shroud) by our compatriots Larry Collins and Ken Burck two of the 23 members of our Cincinnati SAR Chapter attending. Then the monument was dedicated by emcee John H. Bredenfoerder: “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 these 12 Patriots of the American Revolution.”
Wreaths ere then presented by the Ohio Society Secretary, Lee Wilkerson; The Cincinnati Chapter, Jack Bredenfoerder; Highlanders Chapter, Ken Carpenter; and the Germany Society, Michael Gunn each accompanied by attendant with a Spontoon. A three round Musket Salute then added the correct amount of drama to the services, followed by a bugler playing Taps, our Recessional led by Tom Hess and the disappearing bagpiper playing Amazing Grace.
Finally, a benediction was prayed and the Colors were retired. This event marks the number of new Patriot graves marked by Cincinnati SAR from 2014 to 91.