President Dave Whaley called the meeting to order. The Rev. Sam Melton gave the invocation, Reggie Law led the pledge to the U.S. flag, Owen Cook led the pledge to the Tennessee flag, and Shawn Pritchett led the SAR flag pledge.
Several guests were recognized, including Dan Howell, Johnny and Traci Clines, Ed and Vickie Lay, Glen Martin, Carol Spence, Jennifer White, Heather Carpenter and Wayne and Jane Robertson.
Troy A. Spence was inducted into the chapter as a regular member by Stan Evans. He’s the fourth Spence to become a member of the chapter. He thanked all who helped him to join.
Thomas Brock, father of member Joe Brock, was inducted into the chapter as a Memorial Member. He is the chapter’s second Memorial Member, along with Paul Huff. Memorial members will remain members of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter as long as there is a chapter. Evans read the Memorial Membership Certificate and presented it to both Joe Brock and his sister Jane.
Jack Hall told of the many times Tommy Brock had helped him while in the military and while back home. Joe gave an inspiring biography on his dad and all his accomplishments mostly here in Bradley county, but especially how he unselfishly helped veterans who were just coming home after the war for over a year without any kind of pay at all, acting as a Veterans Affairs Officer which he became, as the first Veterans Affairs Officer for Bradley County after this.
The Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter has started a new program, “Pin the Patriot,” where two designated members each month will mark their Patriot’s service on a large 1770s map of the Colonies and tell about their Patriot.
This month Harry Boyd and Jack Easterly pinned the area where their Patriots served in the Revolutionary War. Boyd spoke on his military Patriot, Nathan Offutt who was from Frederick County, Md. Easterly’s Patriot, John Banner, also served in the military in the North Carolina militia, from the Salisbury District. Two more members were selected for next month’s pinning.
President Whaley next recessed the meeting for a fine dinner and socializing.
The meeting was called back into session by President Van Deacon, and 2nd Vice President Bill McClure then introduced the program for the evening, which was presented by James Douthat. He is the editor of Mountain Press and president of the Historical and Genealogical Society in Chattanooga. He was also in the Methodist ministry for 20 years. He is a noted author and much sought after speaker whom the chapter was lucky to have visit. One of his maternal ancestors was kidnapped and held captive by the Indians and was the topic of the chapter’s first presentation of 2014.
Douthat started his wonderful talk off with his ancestor, Capt. James Moore who fought at Guilford and at Alamance just prior to the Revolutionary War. At this time Moore lived in Augusta Co, Va., but then moved on out to the wilderness of Western Virginia to Tazewell County, which later became Fincastle County for a short time. While there his son James, who had about 150 race horses, was taken by a band of Shawnees who were trying to take a horse. The horse that they selected killed three of the Indians; as they attempted to ride the horse it would buck them off and then trample them to death. The Indians took James to Ohio on the Sciota River where they sold him as a slave at Fort Detroit. The man that bought him ended up raising him as his own son.
Douthat said that the Shawnees were an anomaly among the Indians. He said the Shawnees can give an actual story of their origin, that their religion ran parallel to Christianity, that their approach to like was very European, and that they became cruel because the whites made them that way.
He continues with his story of the Shawnees when in 1776 they reappeared and this time captured Mary Moore, James’ sister, and her friend Martha Evans and others. He described how they brutally killed a mother and baby. It seemed that the Shawnees held red-headed people in high esteem, and both girls, who each had red hair, were spared.
Martha’s brother, Thomas heard of the general whereabouts of the two girls and tried to locate them but the Indians tried to kill them nine times. On a second trip, this time on horseback and with the others, Thomas finally found the girls and paid for their freedom in Canada. Mary Moore’s brother James, who living among the Indians and French had almost forgotten how to speak English, did finally come back to Virginia, married, and had 14 children.
His sister Mary ended up marrying a Presbyterian minister and raised 12 children of her own. Douthat said that she later wrote this family history in a small book in 1864, and it was printed by the Presbyterian Church. He says that he now has a copy of it.
Several issues were mentioned by Whaley and TNSSAR President-elect Claude Hardison including a new National Boy’s State committee that is being organized, and at the local level a Southeast District competition on Tennessee History Day as part of National History Day, at the Four Points Museum in February. They are looking for judges for this event.
Whaley also shared with all as to where the military hand salute came from. He said that during the Roman times when they wore a lot of armor, that when someone wanted to be recognized, they had to open their visor; then afterwards close it. This hand-action continued through time as a hand salute.
With no further business, President Whaley proceeded to close the meeting, with him leading the recessional and the Rev. Melton delivering the benediction.