The Mecklenburg Chapter was chartered on April 27, 1928 as a chapter in the State of North Carolina Society of the sons of the American Revolution.
Charlotte is a Hornet's nest of rebellion.
- British General Cornwallis after he was driven out of the city by hostile residents.
The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed on May 20, 1775, making Mecklenburg County the first part of the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence from Great Britain.
April 12-13, 2014 - Chapter Holds Genealogy with Scottish
The Mecklenburg chapter participated in the 21st Scottish Festival at Rural Hill, NC, with a genealogy "tent" open to any visitor who wanted to document their ancestry for application into the SAR. (In the photo below, our chapter genealogy tent is prepared to greet the thousands of festival visitors.)
"Over the two days we spoke with hundreds of people who stopped by our tent inquiring about documenting their ancestry and how to pull all of the research together to possibly join the SAR," said Jay Joyce, Mecklenburg chapter president. "Out of all of those conversations, we have approximately 25 solid applicants who know their connections to Revolutionary War Patriots and are interested in pursuing the SAR application." (In the photo below, chapter members Ken Luckey, on left, and Jay Joyce, on right, talk with a prospective new SAR member who is interested in documenting his links to his Patriot ancestor."
"This was our first year participating with the Scottish Festival," added Ken Luckey, Mecklenburg chapter secretary. "Outside of Scotland, North Carolina is the largest geographic area of Scottish settlers with enormous ties to fighting for American independence in the Revolutionary War. This was a very successful genealogy workshop and we have already committed to participate again next year."
March 16, 2014 - Forgotten Patriots of Color are Honored
The NCSSAR hosted a ceremony honoring fourteen Forgotten Revolutionary War Patriots of the North Harlowe community by dedicating a memorial marker at the Harlowe-Havelock Senior Center in Havelock, NC. Families of Free Persons of Color before the American Revolution populated the Harlowe communities of Craven and Carteret Counties. Read a newspaper article with full details here. (In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter member Paul Callanan, on right, commands the Color Guard during the ceremony for the 14 Forgotten Patriots of Color in Havelock, NC.)
“These families furnished at least fourteen of their men to fight for the cause of Liberty throughout the Revolution,” said NCSSAR President Jim Wood. “They fought from the battles around New York and New Jersey in the early part of the War, through Valley Forge, where the American Army was truly born, the battles in Pennsylvania, both sieges of Charleston, and the battles of the Southern Campaigns that ended the War.” (In the photo below, NCSSAR President and Mecklenburg chapter member Jim Wood, on right, poses with SAR President General Joseph Dooley, on left, and a descendant of one of the Forgotten Patriots in front of the granite monument listing the 14 Patriot's names.)
The Patriots that were honored represented these small groups of families. Various members of this group of Patriots fought in some of the key battles of the Revolution and some manned the garrison at Fort Hancock at Cape Lookout, the only fort constructed in North Carolina during the Revolution. Descendants and family members were present. And SAR President General Joseph Dooley addressed the gathering. A granite monument was unveiled containing the names of the 14 Forgotten Patriots.
March 15, 2014 - 233rd Anniversary of Guilford Courthouse
The 233rd anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was held today in Greensboro, NC, at the Guilford Courthouse National Battlefield Park. (In the photo below, NCSSAR President and Mecklenburg chapter member Jim Wood walks alone to his post to address the event.)
"We had several hundred SAR, DAR, SR and Revolutionary War reenactors participate in the main ceremony and program," said chapter president Jay Joyce. "Our SAR President General, Joseph Dooley, delivered an exciting talk about Generals Cornwallis and Greene and their personal accounts of the battle, which turned out to be quite different from each other!"
(In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter secretary Ken Luckey, on left, talks with NCSSAR Color Guard Commander Dick Bishop about the fine details of managing a Color Guard.)
February 20, 2014 - President's Day Community Dinner a Success
Our chapter's second annual President's Day Community Dinner was held tonight with an excited audience of 170 people. "The large majority of the 170 audience members were non-SAR members of all ages," said Tom Phlegar, chapter programming chairman. "We had 8-year-old Cub Scouts, college-aged youth and adults of all ages in attendance to enjoy a wonderful evening of early American history, dinner and community spirit." (In the photo below, two young Wolf rank scouts chat with Mr. Washington before dinner.)
The Hilton Executive Hotel main ballroom was beautifully decorated and adorned with patriotic bunting and candles. During dinner service, a strolling violinist entertained each table with violin music from the Revolutionary War era. "The past two years we have had the violinist as an added feature and people really enjoy her music as it sets the mood for our guest speaker," added Phlegar.
Following dinner, George Washington took the stage for the evening's main feature. Mr. Washington spoke of his youth, his service in the guard at any early age, his service as commanding general during the Revolutionary War, and his eventual service as our nation's first president of the United States. (In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter member Ray Killian talks with George Washington following dinner."
"Professional historic actor Kevin Grantz portrayed Mr. Washington and he was absolutely brilliant," said Phlegar. "His portrayal of Washington remained in character from the very moment we introduced him until the last guest had left after the event."
The purpose of the annual President's Day Community Dinner is for our chapter to sponsor a public event to help maintain presence for the people, events and history of the Revolutionary War. "This is a large undertaking each year, but we touch members of our community that we otherwise would not reach, and we hope that attendees will spread the word about this vitally-important Era of history to our nation," added Phlegar.
Next year's guest is tentatively planned as either Patrick Henry or Benjamin Franklin. (In the photo below, from left to right, Jim Wood, NCSSAR president, Mr. George Washington, Allen Bosbyshell, Tim Berly, NCSSAR Eagle Scout Scholarship program chairman, and William Bosbyshell pose for a photo following Allen's acceptance of the $1,000 in SAR scholarship awards.)
"We also presented our chapter and North Carolina state SAR Eagle Scout scholarship award to Allen Bosbyshell of Troop 1 in Mecklenburg County," said Phlegar. "Allen won our chapter scholarship award of $250 and our North Carolina state society award of $750. We award the SAR Eagle Scout scholarship each year during the President's Day Community Dinner program."
February 10, 2014 - George Washington in Charlotte February 20
Our nation's first President of the United States, George Washington, will be our guest this year at our chapter's annual President's Day Community Dinner beginning at 6:00pm on February 20, 2014, at the Hilton Executive Park Hotel in Charlotte! Tickets are $26 per person. All ages and audiences are invited. Buy your tickets here!
"The honor of having President Washington host a dinner for 260 guests and hear his stories and accounts of serving as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, serving as the founding father of our nation, and serving as our country’s first president of the united states is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity"” says Tom Phlegar, program chairman, Mecklenburg chapter. "President Washington’s interaction with the audience and his amazing ability to recount his role in numerous historical events from a first-person point of view will delight, inform and entertain everybody in attendance." Read more here.
February 1, 2014 - Cowan's Ford Marks 233rd Anniversary
The Mecklenburg chapter sponsored the 233rd Anniversary of the Battle of Cowan's Ford at Hopewell Presbyterian in Huntersville, NC. Representatives from the SAR, DAR, SR, Children of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames of XVIII Century and descendants of General William Lee Davidson participated in the day's ceremonies. (in the photo below, NCSSAR state president Jim Wood, at podium, addresses the 100+ in attendance.)
Central Piedmont Community College president and Mecklenburg chapter member Dr. Tony Zeiss delivered the day's presentation on the life of General William Lee Davidson and his ultimate death at the Battle of Cowan's Ford. (In the photo below, Mecklenburg Color Guard Commander Dave Alls renders honors at the grave site of General William Lee Davidson during the Cowan's Ford ceremonies.)
January 18, 2014 - Chapter Members Attend Cowpens Anniversary
Compatriots from across the country and from our Mecklenburg chapter attended the 233rd Anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens during frigid 25-degree temperatures and brisk winds. SAR President General Joseph Dooley was in attendance and delivered the keynote address before a crowd of several hundred spectators.
Mecklenburg chapter members Jim Wood, Dave Alls, Ray Maxson, Ken Luckey, Neil Hohmann, Tom Phlegar and Jay Joyce participated in the Color Guard. In the photo below, chapter member Neil Hohmann carries the Hornets Nest flag in the ceremonial Color Guard.
In the photos below, Mecklenburg chapter Color Guard Commander David Alls (in left photo) sports an authentic version of a Militia-style uniform as he moves forward with the Color Guard. In the photo on the right, chapter member and NCSSAR President Jim Wood, on left, poses with SAR President General Joseph Dooley during the ceremony.
December 30, 2013 - New SAR Members & Medals Presented
During the November 21st chapter membership meeting, we had two new members receive their membership oath from NCSSAR state president Jim Wood. In addition, we honored two chapter member's wives with one of the most prestigious SAR awards that can be presented to a chapter officer's wife.
In the photo above, new Mecklenburg chapter members Carl Burchette, on left, and Lesley Bush, in middle, are inducted as new SAR members by NCSSAR state president Jim Wood, on right.
Jim Wood and past chapter president Paul Callanan presented the SAR's Lydia Darragh Medal to Shelia Wood, at left in above photo, and Keitha Callanan, at right in above photo. The Lydia Darragh Medal is given to recognize the Lady that the chapter or State president determines to have been the most helpful to him during his tenure in the progressive line. The particular lady must have been involved for a minimum of three years. Lydia Darragh (1729 – December 28, 1789) was an American woman said to have crossed British lines during the British occupation of Philadelphia during the American Revolutionary War, delivering information to George Washington and the Continental Army that warned them of a pending British attack.
December 16, 2013 - SAR Medal Awarded to CMPD Officer
Mecklenburg chapter president Jay Joyce presented the SAR Law Enforcement Commendation Medal this morning to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer Reginald Gilmore (on left in below photo). Officer Gilmore is a 17-year veteran with CMPD and currently is serving as a community policing officer with the North Tryon Division.
"His nickname in the communities that he serves is 'Officer Friendly,' due to the types of interactions he has with citizens, especially the youth," said Joyce. "Officer Gilmore is currently a volunteer coach for the PAL soccer league and he has been a coach for PAL basketball teams where he has mentored many youth. In addition, Officer Gilmore volunteers for reading programs at division schools where he spends time reading to elementary students."
December 10, 2013 - Member Receives SAR WWII Certificate
NCSSAR president and Mecklenburg chapter past president Jim Wood surprised a member of the Mecklenburg chapter today by appearing at the Charlotte Rotary Club meeting to present an award.
President Wood presented Ray Killian, Sr. with his SAR War Service Medal for Killian's service in World War II. In the photo below, Jim Wood, on left, presents the certificate to Ray Killian, Sr., on right.
December 10, 2013 - Mecklenburg Law Enforcement Award
The Mecklenburg chapter presented the SAR Law Enforcement Commendation Award to a member of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's office today. Field Training Officer Adam Goodman, a member of the Sheriff's office since 2008, received the award from Mecklenburg chapter president Jay Joyce at the North Jail Facility.
"Adam is a highly motived and dedicated officer and one who takes pride in his work, his actions, and his service to the citizens of this community," said Joyce. "He is tasked with training new employees and preparing them for the responsibilities of their job within the jail facilities and teaching new officers how to perform their duties efficiently and effectively."
November 15, 2013 - Member Tony Zeiss Awarded Gold Medal
We are excited to announce that our own chapter member and author, Tony Zeiss, has earned a most-prestigious honor for his book, Backcountry Fury. Tony was awarded the Gold Medal by the Military Writer's Society of America. Tony's historical fiction novel won the top national award in the "Young Adult" category.
His book features a sixteen-year-old South Carolina patriot who fought at Kings Mountain, Musgrove's Mill, the Cowpens, and in several other battles in the Carolinas in 1780-81. Vowing revenge after his brother is killed by Bloody Bill Cunningham and his marauding Tories, 16-year-old Thomas Young joins the Little River Regiment of Mounted Militia in 1780. This book chronicles 18 months in Thomas' life as he fights in the South Carolina back country during the Revolutionary War.
"We are so proud of the work that Tony has done, not only with his book, Backcountry Fury, but with his work around Charlotte on honoring and preserving the history from the Revolutionary War," said Mecklenburg chapter and NCSSAR president Jim Wood. "So many of us have had the honor of seeing Tony portray the title character in his book at local, state and national SAR meetings. He does a fantastic job and we are honored that Tony is a member of our chapter."
November 11, 2013 - Honorable U.S. Flag Retirement Ceremony
The Mecklenburg chapter and the Mint Hill VFW co-sponsored an Old Flag Retirement Program today. More than 100 people attended and we had over 1,000 old flags to retire. The Marine Corp VFW gave us a Rifle Salute and a bugle call, then all the flags were brought forward honorably by the scouts. Mecklenburg chapter member Ray Maxson served as the burn master. In the photo below, a scout renders honors to the Flags about to be retired.
November 9, 2013 - The Charlotte Veteran's Day Parade
Members of our Mecklenburg chapter, along with members from the SCSSAR, joined us to lead the annual Veteran's Day Parade down Tryon Street in Charlotte today.
Several thousand people lined the streets on a cool, beautiful morning to watch the ROTC units, the Charlotte Fire Department, USAir floats and several bands to honor our veterans.
(In the photo above, Mecklenburg chapter members David Alls, on left, and Ken Luckey, on right, prepare to lead the Charlotte Veteran's Day Parade.)
Members of our chapter participating in the parade include Jim Wood, Neil Hohmann, Tim Berly, Tom Phlegar, Ken Luckey, David Alls and Jay Joyce.
October 7, 2013 - Welcome, the Battle of Kings Mountain Chapter!
Our Mecklenburg chapter, led by president Jim Wood, assisted in the official formation and chartering ceremony of our State's 26th chapter, the Battle of Kings Mountain chapter. "The charter officers and members of the Battle of Kings Mountain chapter have worked so hard this year and launched their new chapter with 51 confirmed charter members," said Jim Wood during the ceremony. "We want to present the Battle of Kings Mountain chapter's story to SAR National as a textbook process of how the charter members came together, researched applicants, and pulled together a fantastic launch for their new chapter."
The new chapter president of the Battle of Kings Mountain chapter is Mecklenburg chapter member Doyle Campbell and their new chapter vice president is David Allen. Doyle and David worked closely with Jim Wood to organize genealogy meetings, SAR application research and strong follow-through to help the new chapter launch with 51 members. (In the photo below, Doyle Campbell, at left, receives the chapter's official charter from Jim Wood, president, NCSSAR, on right.)
NSSAR President General Joseph Dooley, NSSAR Registrar General Michael Tomme, Vice President General, South Atlantic District, Rev. Dr. Randy D. Moody attended the chartering following the annual commemoration at Kings Mountain Battlefield.
The first chapter meeting for the Battle of Kings Mountain chapter will be held on November 12, 2013 at 6:30pm at the Resurrection Lutheran Church, 600 Crescent Circle in Kings Mountain, NC. This will be a dinner meeting and Tom Phlegar, past president of the Mecklenburg chapter and a popular American Revolution history docent, will present the program on the Revolutionary battles within 100 miles of Charlotte. Cost for the dinner will be published soon. For more information, or to RSVP, please email Doyle Campbell at email@example.com.
September 19, 2013 - Three Generations Join Mecklenburg
Three generations of Killians joined our Mecklenburg chapter during our September membership meeting and dinner! In the photo below (from left to right), Ray Killian, Jr., Ray Killian, Sr., and Ray Killian, III, take their SAR membership oath from chapter president Jim Wood (in photo at right) as past president Tim Berly assists. "We have several sets of family members who have joined the SAR over the past year," said chapter president Jim Wood. "It is always exciting and heart warming to see multiple generations of the same family joining together to honor their family ancestry and legacy."
Our special guest speaker for the evening was Joe Epley, renown television journalist and historical novelist. Mr. Epley's presentation was a fact-driven and exciting discussion on the Kings Mountain Campaign and its impact on the occupation of Charlotte Town.
Several awards were presented, including the SAR Bronze Good Citizenship Medal to incoming chapter genealogist and registrar Pete Hubicki (in photo above). Pete has chaired our chapter SAR Flag Certificate program for the past two years. Also, chapter president Jim Wood awarded the SAR Medal of Appreciation to DAR member Coco Killian for her effort in recruiting three new members.
September 15, 2013 - SAR Honors Five Patriots in SC
Members of the Mecklenburg chapter, NCSSAR, participated with the Daniel Morgan chapter, SCSSAR, and the SCSSAR to mark five (5) Patriot graves at Padgett's Creek Baptist Church in Cross Keys, SC. The five Patriots honored were Captain John Alexander, Solomon Bobo Sr., Mark Murphy, Ambrose Ray, and John Sparks. All five Patriot graves had granite SAR markers installed. The Minister, Rev. Carrol Cadwell, stated that most of the congregation of the Baptist Church attended and there were 174 in the church for the service. Mecklenburg chapter members Jim Wood, Ken Luckey and Ray Maxson participated.
In the photo above, NCSSAR state president Jim Wood and Mecklenburg chapter member Ken Luckey, at right, participate in the program with many members of the Church and visitors.
August 17, 2013 - DAR and SAR Combined Patriot Grave Marking
The Mecklenburg Chapter, DAR, and our Mecklenburg chapter presented a grave marking ceremony to honor Patriot Daniel McAulay, an orderly sergeant who served in the Continental Army in Col. Moses Hazen's Pennsylvania Regiment on missions in Northeast America. The ceremony was held at the Gilead Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church in Huntersville, NC. (In the photo below, Sarah McAulay of the Mecklenburg Chapter DAR, unveils the DAR marker on Patriot Daniel McAulay's grave marker.)
"Working with the Mecklenburg Chapter of the DAR is a privilege for our SAR chapter," said Mecklenburg chapter and NCSSAR state president Jim Wood. "The ceremony was beautifully planned by the DAR leadership and all of the presentations were executed flawlessly. All of this made for a fantastic grave marking ceremony." (In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter member Ken Luckey renders honors as he unveils the SAR grave marker on Patriot Daniel McAulay's grave site."
Our Mecklenburg chapter provided the Color Guard and unveiled the SAR marker on Patriot McAulay's grave. Chapter members David Alls, Ken Luckey, Ray Maxson, Neil Hohmann, Jim Wood, Tim Berly and Jay Joyce attended the ceremony. (In the photo below, NCSSAR president Jim Wood, on left, takes a photo with Rev. COL William A. McAulay, Jr., (USA, retired) on right, before the ceremony.)
August 10, 2013 - Patriot Honored in Salisbury, NC Cemetery
The Mecklenburg and Salisbury chapters co-sponsored a grave marking ceremony today for Patriot Capt. Thomas C. Cowan in the historic Thyatira Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Salisbury, NC. Capt. Cowan, who fought at Cowan's Ford, is the Patriot ancestor of new Mecklenburg chapter member Jim Thompson. (In the photo below, Jim Thompson renders honors to his Patriot ancestor during the grave marking ceremony, as Chuck Yard, on left, and Guy Higgins, on right, render honors as members of the NCSSAR Color Guard.)
"Chapter member Jim Thompson did all of the research on Capt. Cowan's burial here at Thyatira Cemetery and even purchased and installed the SAR grave marker," said Jay Joyce, Mecklenburg chapter vice president. "Jim is a new member with our chapter and we are all very proud of the fantastic job that he did with honoring his Patriot ancestor." (In the photo below, members of the NCSSAR and the NCSSAR Color Guard pose for a photo during the grave marking ceremony.)
August 3, 2013 - Six Patriot Grave Markings in One Day!
The Mecklenburg chapter sponsored six Patriot grave markings in Waxhaw and Wesley Chapel, NC, at two separate cemeteries. The first five Patriot grave markings were held at historic Tirzah Presbyterian Church in Waxhaw, NC. Five Patriot’s graves were marked while each Patriot’s contributions to the Revolutionary War were delivered by 5th and 6th great grandson Jim Mobley (in the photo below), member of the George Washington Chapter in Arlington, Virginia.
“We were honored to assist Compatriot Mobley from Virginia to honor and mark his five Patriots here in North Carolina,” said NCSSAR state president and Mecklenburg chapter president Jim Wood. “It is amazing how many thousands of Patriots are buried across the Carolinas.” In the photo below, NCSSAR President and Mecklenburg chapter president Jim Wood, at right, stands with event coordinator Ray Maxson, at left, as the ceremony begins.
The five Patriots honored included Hugh McCain, who served with George Washington at Braddock’s defeat during the French and Indian War; William McCain, who served as a private in the Salisbury District, NC, Militia; John McCain, who served as a private from North Carolina under Captains Huggins and Rogers; Hugh McCain, Jr., who served as a private in Captain Samuel Martin’s North Carolina Light Dragoons; and, John Nisbet (Nesbitt), who served as a private from South Carolina under Lt. Col. Tumble.
The sixth Patriot grave marking was held later in the day at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Wesley Chapel, NC. His 4th great grandson, and member of the Mecklenburg SAR chapter, E. Phifer Helms (in yellow shirt in photo below), honored Patriot Captain William Houston of the Mecklenburg Militia. “William Houston was a captain in the American Revolutionary War and a pioneer in establishing Union County, NC,” said Compatriot E. Phifer Helms as he addressed the gathering.
“Captain Houston placed his life and property in considerable danger as his home was very close to the path taken by General Cornwallis and the British army as it traveled from the Battle of Camden (16 August 1780) to the Battle of the Waxhaws (20 September 1780) to the Battle of Charlotte (26 September 1780.” After the Revolutionary War, William Houston spent his time with is family, farming and contributing to the expanding Union County, NC. He died in 1825 at 75 years of age and was buried in Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Wesley Chapel, NC.
Mecklenburg chapter members Jim Wood, Paul Callanan, Tim Berly, Ray Maxson, Ken Luckey, Jay Joyce, David Alls, Phifer Helms and Tom Phlegar.
July 20, 2013 - Colson's Mill Annual Commemoration
Five members of our Mecklenburg chapter participated in the annual commemoration of the Battle of Colson's Mill in Norwood, NC today. Jim Wood, Tim Berly, Gus Succop, Ken Luckey and Jay Joyce represented our chapter and participated in the combined Color Guard. (In the photo below, chapter president and NCSSAR State president Jim Wood delivers an address to the audience.)
Following a "home cooked" meal, Chris Stonestreet, teacher and historic author, spoke about the "rest of the story" about the Battle of Cowan's Ford.