History of the
Culpeper Minute Men Chapter
Virginia Society
Sons of the American Revolution

By Myron (Mike) E. Lyman Sr., Chapter Historian September 1999

The Chapter was organized on September 16 1974 and was chartered on September 20 1974. There were 15 Charter members and $215 starting funds from the defunct Piedmont Chapter of Warrenton. The first President was John H. Board and the first Vice President was Claude I Guinn.

The Culpeper Minute Men, SAR Charter Members on September 20 1974 were Benjamin F. Black; John S. Board; Russell C Bowen; Alling Cole Jr.; George R. Cooper; Kieth N. Fletcher; Claude I. Guinn; John A. Hunt; Bernard C. Inskeep; Clyde R. Inskeep; James L. Inskeep; Russell T. Inskeep; John S. Kearns; Harry M. Pearson and Claude G. Smith

The Chapter derived its name from the original military battalion called the "Culpeper Minute Men." This unit was organized in May 1775, and served courageously in the first Revolutionary War battle in Virginia at Great Bridge, near Norfolk in December 1775. After the war, this unit designation was not disbanded and men were still assigned to it in 1806. One researcher indicates men were assigned to this Battalion in Culpeper and trained and fought as Culpeper Minute Men in the War of 1812. In 1860, this unit was again organized on the same field in Culpeper as was first used in 1775, and under their famous Rattlesnake Flag.

During the Civil War these men were mustered in Company B, 13th Infantry. The Culpeper Minute Men were again mustered into service for the Spanish American War in 1898, and later for the Mexican Border Campaign. It's last activation was for World War I, and after traveling by boxcar to Camp McClellan, Alabama, they were incorporated as part of the 29th Infantry Division and saw service in Europe.

Some activity highlights of the Chapter are:

  • The first constitution and by-laws were approved in November 1976
  • The first newsletter mailing occurred in January 1978
  • The annual wreath laying ceremony at the Culpeper Minute Men NSDAR monument commenced in 1980
  • The Chapter Color Guard was first used in May 1981
  • The first Orations Contest was held by the Chapter in January 1982 and the contestant won first place at VASSAR
  • The Chapter won the "Kenneth C. Patty Award" for being the Outstanding Virginia Chapter in March 1982
  • The Chapter starts the "Muster Call" as the Chapter newsletter in 1984.
  • The Chapter received national honors when it received the "USS Stark Memorial Award" in 1991
  • The Chapter was honored at VASSAR for excellence in War Graves Registration in 1995
  • The Chapter's oratory contestant won the orations contest at VASSAR in 1996
  • The Chapter established its webpage in 1998
  • The chapter received from NSSAR the "Carl F. Bessent Award" for the most outstanding single sheet chapter newsletter in all of NSSAR for the period 1999-2000

Some of the reasons the Chapter has been so successful may be attributed to the following:

The Chapter holds at least ten meetings each year at various locations in the served area. A newsletter is distributed monthly which describes the activities and accomplishments of the Chapter. Photographs are taken at all events and are published in this "Muster Call" The photos and newspaper clippings are posted in the Chapter's scrapbook for compatriots and guests to review. Members of NSDAR and NSCAR are invited to attend all chapter meetings and events.

At each meeting most members bring their wives. In addition to making the meetings a family outing, many of these ladies have taken an active supporting role in conducting the Chapter activities. Also, many are members of the NSDAR or Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, and as such they coordinate the chapter's activities with those societies.

The chapter has been blessed with some key active members that have assumed leadership and organizational roles. The Chapter has been successful in rotating these compatriots into many elected and appointed positions of the society. Many of the Chapter's past Presidents have assumed active roles and positions at the State and National levels of the SAR.

For many years the Chapter annually has:

  • placed a wreath on the Culpeper Minute Men NSDAR monument in Culpeper, VA
  • hosted a Tri-Chapter meeting at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA
  • conducted an informal picnic with family members
  • marked at least one Revolutionary War soldier or patriot's grave
  • arranged for quality guest speakers for meetings and events
  • recognized and awarded outstanding local policemen, firemen, rescue personnel and citizens
  • given recognition awards to outstanding Boy Scouts in the area
  • awarded outstanding ROTC students in the local high schools
  • conducted orations and essay contests for high school students
  • had members visit veterans in nursing homes and hospitals
  • attended an annual Christmas banquet with NSDAR chapters
  • had members serve as editor of VASSAR's Virginia Bulletin

The Culpeper Minute Men SAR Chapter Presidents since incorporation are:

  1. John S. Board
  2. 1976 Claude I. Guinn, Major (Ret)
  3. John T. S. Kearns, Capt., (Ret)
  4. 1978 Jennings H. Flathers
  5. 1979 Paul G. Andrews, Major (Ret)
  6. 1980-1 Chester E. May
  7. 1982-3 William H. Hume Sr.
  8. 1984 Samuel H. Thomas, Jr
  9. Fred A. Grohgan, Jr., LTC (Ret)
  10. 1986 John Dickerson
  11. 1987-8 Dewey B. Lillard
  12. 1989-90 William E. Sudduth, Jr.
  13. Henry C. Pusey
  14. Clifton B. Mashburn
  15. Loyd L. Epperly
  16. 1998-9 Henry C. Pusey
  17. 1999-2000 Richard C. Schnorf, LTC (Ret)
  18. 2001-2 Myron E. Lyman Sr. LTC (Ret)
  19. 2003-4 James M. Bayne
  20. 2005 Donnel J. Hubbard
  21. 2006 Larry Alexander
  22. 2007 Dominic Lay
  23. 2008 Jack Paul Bess, Jr.
  24. 2009 Francis Lay
  25. 2010 Gar Schulin

return to home page