A 4th of July Celebration of Revolutionary War Heroes

This past Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm the Cincinnati Chapter honored six Patriot Heroes of the American Revolution.  The patriots listed herein have rested in the Old Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Cemetery (renamed the Sycamore Township Memorial Cemetery) since the early 1800’s. 

The Story Behind the Event

Some years ago, the Veteran’s Administration provided headstones for the graves of four of the patriots but due to an error in historical records the patriots were thought to rest in a cemetery located in Mt. Carmel, OH.  The installers of the headstones confused the Mount Carmel, OH Cemetery with the Old Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Cemetery. As a result, the headstones stood erroneously in the wrong cemetery for about 20 years.  That error has been corrected and the headstones were properly located and in place for the Independence Day Grave Marking Ceremony at the gravesites of the patriots!

Ferris Sr., John   P-157724
Felter, Matthias   P-157300
Hubble, Gershom   P-187091
Neves, William   P-255508
Ferris, Isaac   P-157678
Lee, Adam   P-334287

Special Guests

We were honored to have Mr. David Kent Holwadel, a descendant of Patriot John Ferris, Sr. with us for the ceremony.

Special guests for the event included Sycamore Township Trustee Tom Jones who presented the Cincinnati Chapter with a Township Resolution proclaiming the Fourth of July as Sons of the American Revolution Day in Sycamore Township.

Ms. Gloria D’Andrea and Mr. Standish Fortin of the Sycamore Township Historical Society were in attendance and recognized.  Both had been instrumental in coordinating the activity between the Township and Cincinnati Chapter.

United States Senator Rob Portman and his Southwest Ohio District Director, Nan Cahall were also in attendance, paying their respect to the Heroes of the American Revolution.

The Hopewell, Clough Valley and The Nathaniel Sackett Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as the Fort Hamilton Chapter of the Children of the American Revolution attended and placed wreaths at the graves.

Hopewell Chapter DAR attendees were:  Ms. Donna Vanover – Recording Secretary and Ms. Beth Dietrich – Chapter Member

Clough Valley Chapter DAR attendee was Ms. Tiffany Niehaus – Treasurer

Nathaniel Sackett Chapter DAR Attendees were Ms. Nancy Hutton – Vice Regent, Ms. Phyllis Hutton  Nancy’s mother and Ms. Jan Gould believed to be a descendant of John and Isaac Ferris, two of the patriots being honored in the ceremony.

Fort Hamilton Chapter C.A.R. Attendee was Ms. Emmie Blum

The Formal Ceremony

The day’s program kicked off with a short lesson in Revolutionary War History by Color Guard Commander Brad Jarard.  This element of the ceremony had been taken from the chapter’s Living History Curriculum.

The day’s program was led by the Cincinnati Chapter Vice President, Greg Ballman.

The Reverend Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell, Ohio Society Chaplain convened the gathering with an opening prayer.

The Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard presented Military Honors for our Patriot Ancestors commencing with the Presentation of Colors and the singing of the National Anthem led by Ohio Society SAR vice President Jack Bredenfoerder.

The day’s keynote speaker was the Ohio Society President, Lee Wilkerson.  President Wilkerson graciously kept his remarks short in consideration of the heat index.

The markers were then unveiled and members of the attending guests were called forward to place their wreaths before the Grave Stones and Markers.

Many Wreaths were presented, and the Ceremony was concluded with a 21 Gun Musket Salute, the playing of Amazing Grace by Scottish Bag Piper Mr. Gerry Kelly Fritsch and the benediction by Chaplain Bonniwell.

The Cincinnati Chapter Attending

The Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard
Brad Jarard, Color Guard Commander
Michael Gunn, Color Guard Deputy Commander
Mike Blum, Ohio Society Treasurer
Clay Crandall, Cincinnati Chapter Secretary
Ed Bonniwell, Ohio Society Chaplain
George Stewart, Cincinnati Chapter Vice President
Jack Bredenfoerder, Ohio Society Vice President
Emmie Blum, Camp Follower Doug Blake
Chuck Rogers
Gary Duffield
Jeff Hartman
Josh Hartman
Jacob Hartman
Dan Schmitz

Non-Uniformed Chapter Members Attending
Gregg Ballman, Chapter Vice President
Lee Wilkerson, Ohio Society President
Jim Houston
Kenny Burck
Gordon Stokely
Jeff Sevier
Larry Collins
Robert Sturm
Gerry Hounchell


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Sometimes You Really Have to Search to Find a Parade!

And that was the case for the Ohio Society SAR President on this Fourth of July!

Most, if not all, of the local Community Parades in and around Cincinnati had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Many members of our Chapters and Ohio Society have been left with the task of trying to make this very special day for all Americans a memorable one.  In contrast to the larger cancelled events, an announcement in our neighborhood Facebook page mentioned that the Beechwood Farms Neighborhood Independence Day Parade would go on as tradition demanded.  This opportunity was too good to pass up!  The Parade kicked off at 9 AM with the boys of Union Township Fire Department Leading the way…

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They were followed by every youngster in the neighborhood on their highly decorated bicycles, tricycle, scooters, electric cars and of course, on foot!  The beauty of it all was the passion experienced not just because the kids were marching—but they were learning!  Their parents were encouraging their lesson in our National Heritage.

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With each new generation, the discovery of who we are begins anew in the minds of our youngest citizens—it is a lifelong experience.  Learning of our past and how it informs our future and the truth of our uniquely American Character takes place every day of our lives.

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But, the lessons learned are really a lot of fun when you are young—even when you are getting older it is truly joyful to see the learning experience in the smiles and brightness of young eyes!

Happy Birthday America….

We Are 244 Years Old Today!

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WW II Veteran is Honored on his 95th Birthday

On Sunday June 28th, 2020, the Cincinnati Chapter of the SAR, under the leadership of President Lee Wilkerson conducted a beautiful ceremony at Hillside Church honoring Associate Pastor Russ Coburn, 95 years young and going strong, presenting him with the Good Citizen Medal and Certificate with appreciation extended for his brave service in WWII.

The Rev. Russ Coburn was a C-47 Flyboy in WWII, flying the Hump in the Burma campaign under Gen. Stillwell.  The planes carried thousands of gallons of gasoline to desperately needed troops to maintain the American/ Chinese advance.  The entire congregation at Hillside thrilled at the moment and for Rev Coburn it came as a complete and delightful surprise!  At Hillside Church and throughout the city many have the highest regards for Pastor Coburn!

 Special thanks is extended to Dan Schmidt, Chuck Rogers, Jack Bredenfoerder, and Clay Crandall who participated in full uniform!  Dr Ed Bonniwell, host Pastor and SAR Chaplain for the Ohio Society SAR, observed the ceremony with great delight as Pastor Coburn has been Dr. Bonniwell’s associate since 1983!

The saints of the Hillside Church were all deeply moved by the recognition ceremony, conducted with great dignity by President Lee.  The well wishes and language employed made the whole event most ennobling ! This was truly a memorable and beautiful time.

Because Hillside is a “Church without walls, meeting at the Quality Inn in Blue Ash, our Color Guard really impressed the manger/owner and the guest that were present!  After the service the saints had a luncheon in the Hotel Restaurant and one kid came and asked if those “old time soldiers would be coming back?”  I told him “yes, and that in time they would be back.“  Continental Soldiers always captivate the public and cause all to remember our fight for freedom!

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Submitted by Dr. Ed Bonniwell SAR Ohio State Chaplain

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Our Nation’s Flag is 243 Years Young! Flag Day 14 June 2020

Colonial Stars & Stripes

A formal Flag Raising was held on 14 June 2020 at Cincinnati’s Wesleyan Memorial Cemetery by the Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard in Honor of the Grand Old Flag!

Flag Day

14 June 2020

The official flag of the United states was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.  The resolution that passed stated:  “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

By Proclamation, President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, officially established June 14 as Flag Day.

By an Act of the United States Congress on August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established.

There were many flags prior to 1777 that represented the hopes and ideals of  “We the People.”

There has been just one American Flag over this Nation since June 14, 1777.

Music and songs have been written in honor this symbol…

The Star-Spangled Banner—by Francis Scott Key in 1814

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again—by Patrick Gilmore in 1863

The Yankee Doodle Boy—by George M. Cohan in 1904

You’re a Grand Old Flag—by George Cohen in 1906

Ragged Old Flagby Johnny Cash in 1974

Courtesy of the Red, White & Blueby Toby Keith in 2002

It has been carried into battle against enemies of this Nation and the ideals it holds precious—Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness.

It has inspired millions of American Patriots that fought to defend their home and land against enemies, both foreign and domestic.

It is the flag that inspired perseverance during our darkest days of conflict.

It has never been a symbol of Conquest—but, only a symbol of Hope and the Promise of Liberty in foreign lands where oppression and domination of human dignity has attempted to flourish.

It flies over American Cemeteries in foreign lands—the only foreign land we asked to keep—so that American Patriots that have given their lives in defense of the many that could not defend themselves—might Rest in Peace.

It is the flag that you & I pledged our allegiance to as children and students once upon a time in our schools.

It is the flag that used to fly on the screens of TV’s and Movie Theaters at the end of the show or broadcast day.

It is the flag that is burned, stepped on and desecrated by today’s enemies of democracy, both foreign and domestic.

It is the flag that many of my ancestors fought under in foreign lands…

It is the flag that I fought under in foreign wars…

It is the flag that draped the coffins of American Patriots when their lives were ended!

It is the flag that draped the coffins of my father and grandfathers!

It is the flag that will drape my coffin when my days have ended!

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Members present:

  • President Ohio Society SAR Lee Wilkerson
  • 2nd Vice President Ohio Society SAR – Jack Bredenfoerder
  • Chaplain Ohio Society SAR – Ed Bonniwell
  • 1st Vice President Cincinnati Chapter – Greg Ballman
  • 2nd Vice President Cincinnati Chapter – George Stewart
  • Past President Cincinnati Chapter – Mike Gunn
  • President Highlanders Chapter – Gary Duffield
  • Compatriot – Gordon Stokley
  • Compatriot – Doug Blake
  • Compatriot – Dan Schmitz
  • Compatriot – Chuck Rogers

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The Middletown Pioneer Cemetery ~ Wednesday, 10 June 2020

On a  brilliantly bright Springtime Wednesday afternoon, members of the Cincinnati Chapter met to solemnly mark at the grave sites and remember three heroes of the American Revolution.

  • Reverend James Grimes  P-170930 (1760-1846) Reverend Grimes served with Virginia and was taken Prisoner at Battle of Charleston.
  • David Heaton  P-178990 (1742-1839) Patriot Heaton served as a private in New Jersey with the “Batteries of the Jersies”.
  • Joseph Lummis  P-239662 (1760-1836) Patriot Lummis served as drummer in New Jersey.

Ohio Society President Lee Wilkerson was the Master of Ceremonies and the keynote speaker.  With members of the Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard present to render military honors to our ancestral veterans of the War for Independence.

Wreaths were placed over the graves, in spite of the windy conditions prevailing during the ceremony, by Cincinnati Chapter past-President Mike Gunn on behalf of the Indiana Society SAR, Highlanders Chapter President Gary Duffield, Compatriot Ken Burck on behalf of the Cincinnati Chapter and President Lee Wilkerson on behalf of the Ohio Society SAR.

The Patriot’s role call was made by Compatriot Jim Houston, Taps was rendered by Compatriot Gordon Stokely on the bugle.

This event had been in the planning stages for almost two years and had originally been slated for this past Patriot’s Day.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced a cancellation of many of the City of Middletown dignitaries and family descendants.

Additional members of the Cincinnati Chapter present and participating included: Compatriot Bob Sturm, Dan Scmitz, Gerry Hounschell, Chaplain Ed Bonniwell, 1st Vice President Greg Ballman, Ohio Society 2nd Vice President Jack Bredenfoerder,

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A 6th of June 2020 Reboot for the Cincinnati Chapter as we Hopefully Begin to See a Light at the End of the Covid-19 Tunnel

A bunch of us got together in the Blue Ash Room of the quality Inn in Blue Ash to welcome four brand new Compatriots to our Chapter:

  • Compatriot Alton Jackson Wallin Jr.
  • Compatriot Timothy Jackson Wallin (Jack’s son)
  • Colin Andrew McGilvray
  • Jeffrey Del Sevier

Ohio Society & Chapter President, Lee Wilkerson formally inducted the new members and Vice President Greg Ballman Pinned their Rossettes in place.  This was really a great way to begin the recovery from the shutdown, but sadly we will now move into our summer recess.  Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Wednesday, 2 September 2020.

Even though our meeting schedule will be a little thin from now until September, George Stewart is laying out a series of Saturday morning breakfast meetings that will allow us to stay in contact.  We’ll also have the Presidents PicNic at the White House to look forward to in early August!  The Fourth of July is upon us and we’ll be honoring 6 Revolutionary War heroes at the Sycamore Twp Memorial Cemetery along the 131st Annual Awards Banquet that will be taking place at Ft. Laurens on 24/24 July.

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Wrapping Up 2020 & Kicking Off the 2021 Contest Year

The COVID-19 has sidelined the Youth Education Committee in terms of making pre-sentations.  But that doesn’t mean we have been sitting on out thumbs!ed

The photo on the right shows Ed presenting Jackson Torrans with his certificates and awards for winning the Brochure Contest at the Chapter and State levels.  Although we don’t have photos, Brandon Gardner won the CCSAR and OHSAR Poster contest and Graham Nicholson won the CCSAR and OHSSAR Essay Contest.  All of these entries have been for-warded for consideration at National.

Of course, we would have celebrated these contest winners at our Youth Awards Banquet had it not been cancelled.  Rest assured that they will be recognized at the 2020-2021 Youth Awards Banquet.

And finally,  Three Rivers School has requested the team to visit the school on 3 Dec-ember 2020 for another series of presentations on the American Revolution!

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JROTC/ROTC Recognition Awards

The JROTC/ROTC Recognition Awards Chairman, Compatriot Gary Duffield has diligently led the successful recognition of Cadet performance in 9 High School JROTC and 5 University ROTC Units for the past 3 years.  Gary recently received a letter of gratitude from an award recipient at Miami University….ROTC

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31 May 2020 – The Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard Marches Once Again!

This past Sunday afternoon marked the first gathering of members of the Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard since the COVID-19 Shutdown.  Drill practice began with instruction on marching in expanded formation – keeping the requisite 6 feet between each of the members during parade movements.

As we slowly begin the process of resuming a program and presentation schedule, we remain cognizant of the need to keep members of our ranks and the public safe and healthy.  Our first event is slated for June 14 in honor of Flag Day, to be quickly followed by the events celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day Celebrations.

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Cincinnati SAR Embraces American Legion Memorial Day 2020 Ceremony

We here in the Cincinnati SAR have a close relationship with Chambers Hautman Budde American Legion Post 534. The American Legion National is urging the public to honor the country’s fallen military heroes at dusk on Memorial Day by lighting candles of remembrance and placing them on front porches. 

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As we continue to follow stay-at-home guidance during the coronavirus pandemic, we must not fail to remember the men and women who fought for our freedoms. Memorial Day observances around the country and beyond are certain to be much different this year, but we can show our respects by lighting and displaying candles to remind everyone why we must never forget the meaning of this sacred holiday. 

As we continue to follow stay-at-home guidance during the coronavirus pandemic, we must not fail to remember the men and women who fought for our freedoms. Memorial Day observances around the country and beyond are certain to be much different this year, but we can show our respects by lighting and displaying candles to remind everyone why we must never forget the meaning of this sacred holiday. 

We will light a red candle to remember those who shed their blood in combat and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. A white candle can remind us all of the POWs and MIAs who are not yet home from wartime service. A blue candle can symbolize our eternal love of those who did come home but have since left us. Any way you choose, light a candle of remembrance, or three, for the fallen to let the world know that Memorial Day matters deeply to us here in these United States of America. Locally, we will add just a touch of Revolutionary War Patriotism with a Militia Uniform next to the candles on the bench pictured below.
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At the American Legion National Headquarters, participants are asked to use the hashtag #candlesofhonor so images and messages can be aggregated in social media.

Michael B. Gunn, Member NSSAR Veterans Committee.

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