Tag Archive | American Heritage

♫ America, America, ♪ God shed His Grace on thee!


If I were the enemy, I would want you to feel alone.   I would want you to be overwhelmed. I would want you to become hop…eless.  It’s the natural law of predator vs. prey. Isolate them, weaken them and make them sink gradually.  It is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.  Make them think they are alone in their passion and beliefs and the rest of the country really wants my way, the way of the enemy.  But that would be a lie. There is nothing further from the truth.  How do I know this?  Because, I travel this country, see this beautiful land we call America and meet the Patriots; I meet you everywhere I go.There is a brotherhood among Americans.  It is a heartbeat that cannot be denied.  It says we were born free and cannot be slaves.  It is this sense of Liberty, inherent in the hearts of Americans that makes us the land of the free.  So, be the land of the brave, have no fear, Patriot, you are not alone.

555182_10151860691845291_2027984599_n  heavens declare God's glory♫O beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain, ..For purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain!   ♫America! America!♪   God shed his grace on thee,   And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.♪♪

There are ministers throughout this nation, still willing to take a stand for this wonderful gift of Liberty.  They understand as Thomas Jefferson said,

“God who gave us life gave us liberty.  And can the Liberties of a nation be thought secure, if we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of men that these Liberties are the gift of God?”

Jefferson’s quote doesn’t end there, although that is the most repeated line.  And many pastors of our nation, I believe understand the rest of this quote more so than the first. A Patriotic Minister’s true driving force is the love of their flock and the understanding that we serve a just God.

“That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” ~Jefferson

Not every minister is more in love with their 501(c)(3), more in love with the tithed dollar than they are with the gifts of God.  Many still fear God more than the deacons’ wives and are willing to stand and preach to their congregations the truth of the glorious founding of this nation. They remind their flock that God gave us liberty and as children of God we have an obligation to fight for the gifts of God.  Not only do they know this just God will not suffer the mistreatment of His gifts, they also know what Patrick Henry said,

usaspin“We are three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as that we possess, are invincible by any force which are enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friend to fight our battles for us.”

How do I know this?  I am invited to teach the truth of our nation in the churches and from their pulpits.  I just left New York, invited by your Bishops to teach your Catholic churches, students, and Patriots, the truth about Liberty.

Our Patriotic Ministers know that they fight not on their own; they fight with the spirit of Liberty that comes from God himself. They understand they have a duty to that Fearful Master and fear not when men can do.  They stand as David and cry “Who dare defy the army of the Lord!”

O beautiful for pilgrim feet whose stem impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Til paths be wrought through wilds of thought by pilgrim foot and knee!

It’s not just the pastors, it’s the truck drivers who honk and wave at the various patriotic messages painted on my back window.  It’s the citizens that I encounter on a daily basis, and when asked what they think is happening in America, resolution flashes in their eyes.  In a land where men are born free, slavery is not seen with love, it is glared at with a firm resolution that men will remain free. It’s the Patriot leaders who give up their jobs, their lives, their fortunes, devoting all remnants of sanity so their children can live somewhat normal lives, while fighting the noble battle for liberty. We are America, and we represent those who know that it is Liberty that makes us different from every other nation.

It is Liberty that brings the immigrant – not healthcare, not welfare, not government grants.

And there are citizens in every city, in every backwoods town across this great nation, resolved to see Liberty prosper, whatever the cost.

“Yet, notwithstanding the complicated difficulties that rise before us, there is no receding;…May nothing ever check that glorious spirit of freedom which inspires the patriot in the cabinet, and the hero in the field, with courage to maintain their righteous cause, and to endeavor to transmit the claim to posterity, even if they must seal the rich conveyance to their children with their own blood.” ~Mercy Otis Warren letter to John Adams August 2, 1775

lib-bellWe are three million Patrick Henry spoke of, but in modern numbers – many more.  You may not meet them every day, but I do.  And I see the patriot spirit that burns in their hearts, the same spirit that gave our founders the courage and resolution to stand against the most powerful nation on the planet, the very nation they called their parent. Today, I hear phrases like, “cold dead hand” and “not on my watch”.  Make no mistake, America, no matter what you may hear on FOX or CNN, the watchers have become warriors, and we will not serve as slaves.

424051_10151327945688459_438108700_n  praying soldier♪O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife….. When more than self their country loved and mercy more than life  ………. America, America! May God thy God refine ….  Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine♫

Put aside the “wrong stream media”.  I am on the street, meeting your brothers and sisters who are dedicated to this battle. I am conducting my own poll and my numbers and testimonies do not lie.  Know Patriot, that you are not alone.  You stand shoulder to shoulder with your brothers and sisters, the tireless warriors in this battle for Liberty.  You may not see each other’s faces, but you share the same heartbeat. You may not see any glory now. You may think you are engaged in a thankless task.  But you know as well as I do, that glory comes in the victory, not in the battle. That thanks comes in the hearts of generations to follow as they live as freemen in STILL the greatest nation on the planet.

We do not look with temporal eyes.  Our vision extends, as our founders did, to “ages and millions yet unborn.”  We know that Liberty is a gift from God that has been purchased with the blood of our fathers, and if God be for us, who can be against us?

“Courage, then, my countrymen, our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.” –Samuel Adams, Philadelphia, August 1, 1776

So yes, if I were the enemy, I would want to you to feel alone.  I would give my last breath to make you feel divided.  I would do everything I could possibly do to make you believe a lie; because for me -the enemy- truth is fatal to my mission.  The truth is – we are united in the passion for Liberty, within our hearts and our heritage. We cannot be divided on this ground and that makes us a fearful foe to tyranny.  Because a thousand years of history proves, when men stand for liberty, they WILL NOT be defeated.  We have much to do, but we will see victory.  Our children will live free.

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years …..Thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears!   ♪America! America! God shed his grace on thee♫      And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea♪♪

Written by KrisAnn Hall

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Who will be a Gideon?


In the early history of our Nation it was the prevailing accepted practice that only blood-bought born-again Believers were allowed to run for public office.  This thought evolved out of the truth that God established government and set the guidelines for this institution, even including our Judicial system.  Over the years, possibly due to the evolving corruptness in government, many Christians decided it was not a God honoring ministry to run for public office.  Now that there is a prevailing wickedness in high places, many men of faith are re-considering their God-given responsibility to avail themselves as public servants.

There is less than three weeks left to secure signatures and file to run for public office.  Many offices are available throughout the State of Ohio for a man to consider.  Township trustees, city councilmen, central and state committee members, Mayor, County Commissioner, State Representative, Ohio State and local school Boards, as well as Governor and Federal Offices are a listing of the offices which Godly men need to assume responsibility.
Gideon-Watches-His-Army-Drink_smLet 2104 be the year that men of God take back their scriptural responsibility to serve God in public office.  Remember, it is God that worketh in  you both to will and to do His good pleasure.  As you prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you do, keep in mind our friend Gideon.  Be willing to stand alone with God for the cause of Liberty!

History of our Beloved Constitution


US Flag and Constitution of the United States of America42 of 55 delegates held a meeting (convention) on September 17, 1787 to sign the Constitution. Up to that point, they held their meetings almost daily at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. George Washington was the president of the Constitutional Convention. After the signing, they sent copies to all the states for ratification. Nine states approved the Constitution on June 21, 1788. The Constitution is only four pages long and is hand-written.

A few facts: Benjamin Franklin was 81 years old at the signing. The youngest was Jonathan Dayton at 26. The Constitution is the world’s oldest written constitution (If you don’t count the Iroquois document). It took some delegates months to arrive at the convention. There was no public transportation or automobiles then. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution while Rhode Island was last. North Carolina initially voted against it.

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The Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States , painted by Howard Chandler Christy in 1940.

One of the issues to be resolved before the signing was representation from states versus population. We saw this become a controversy with the 2000 elections. Although the popular vote in some cases went to Al Gore, the delegates went to George Bush. Even then, the slave issue was a problem for both the northern and southern states. The compromise was that slave trade could continue until 1808. Slaves could be counted as 3/5ths of a person for representation.

480929_453215201383388_744093045_nBill of Rights:

The Bill of Rights became law on December 15, 1791, three years after nine states approved the Constitution. The Bill of Rights included 10 amendments and was created because of the high level of interest regarding individual freedoms during the Constitutional Convention. 17 additional amendments have been passed since the original document became law. The most recent amendment was ratified on May 2, 1992.

It is more important than ever for teachers to cover the constitution. At no other time in history have we seen the constitution threatened as it is now. If our students are ignorant about our history, how can we save it?

What’s in the Document?

The Constitution includes seven articles and 27 amendments.  Here is a short summary of each article and amendment:

Article 1: This article established the first of the three branches of the government, the legislature. They called it Congress and divided it into two parts, the House of Representations and Senate. The founders wanted to divide power so that one person or entity would not control government. The article goes on to explain how legislators are elected, how bills are created, the number of senators, veto procedures, and the vice president as leader of the senate.

A very important part of this article says that Congress has, “the power to establish and maintain an army and navy, to establish post offices, to create courts, to regulate commerce between the states, to declare war, and to raise money. It also includes a clause known as the Elastic Clause which allows it to pass any law necessary for the carrying out of the previously listed powers.”

Article 2: This article establishes the second of three branches of government, the executive branch. They called the executive branch the president and vice president. Interestingly enough, originally the person with the most votes was president and the person with the second highest votes was vice president. If this was true in 2010, our vice president would have been John McCain.

The article goes on to explain the requirements for the office as well as powers. An important part of the article says the president is “commander-in-chief of the armed forces and of the militia (National Guard) of all the states; he has a Cabinet to aid him, and can pardon criminals. He makes treaties with other nations, and picks many of the judges and other members of the government (all with the approval of the Senate).

Article 3: This article establishes the third of three branches of government, the judiciary. It mentions that the highest court in the country is the supreme court and that supreme court justices may serve as long a they are on “good behavior.” It goes on to explain the appeals process as well as the fact everyone is guaranteed a jury trial if they desire.

Article 4: This article states that all states must honor the laws of other states. If a couple is married in Florida, they are also married in all other states. The article states that all citizens must be treated equally and fairly. It deals with fugitives from justice being returned to the state they fled from. This article ensures a republican form of government. An important section of this article states that “the state derives its power from the people, (not from a king or gentry) and guarantees that the federal government will protect the states against invasion and insurrection.”

Article V

Article 5: This article explains how to add to or change the constitution.

Article 6: This article states that the constitution is the supreme law of the country. It requires all officers of the government to swear an allegiance to the United States and the constitution.

Article 7: This article explains how the constitution would be ratified. Nine states had to ratify the constitution before it could go into effect.

Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment 3: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment 5: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment 6: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Amendment 7: In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment 8: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. This was the last amendment in the Bill of Rights. The following amendments were added later.

Amendment 11: The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Amendment 12: Discusses how we vote for president and vice president.

Amendment 13: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Amendment 14: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Amendment 15: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Amendment 16: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Amendment 17: This amendment explains the composition of senators and term limits.

Amendment 18: (Prohibition) After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Amendment 19: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Amendment 20: This amendment explains the presidential and congressional terms.

Amendment 21: (Prohibition repealed) The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Amendment 22: No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

Amendment 23: Grants the District of Columbia the right to three electors in Presidential elections.

Amendment 24: The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Amendment 25: This amendment lists the procedures in the event the president is disabled or dies..

Amendment 26: The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Amendment 27: No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

John Muhlenberg



John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746-1807)

Biographical Summary:
  • Lutheran and Anglican clergyman220px-Peter_Muhlenberg2
  • General in the Continental Army
  • Member of Virginia House of Burgesses
  • Member of the Pennsylvania Assembly
  • Lieutenant-Governor of Pennsylvania
  • Member of both the U.S. House and Senate

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the son of Rev. Henry M. Muhlenberg and Mary Weiser, and a brother ofFrederick Augustus Muhlenberg. A member of Penn’s Class of 1763, he left the College before graduation and traveled to Europe with his brothers to study at the University of Halle. As a boy and a young man, however, John Peter enjoyed fishing and hunting more than studying and aspired to join the military. His mentors in Halle recommended that he be trained not in the ministry as his father had hoped, but in commerce. Thus John Peter came to be apprenticed to a merchant in Lubeck. After enduring three years with this man, a grocer who exploited John Peter’s labor, young Muhlenberg ran away to enlist in the Royal American Regiment of Foot in the British army. He returned to Philadelphia while a secretary to one of the officers, and received an honorable discharge in 1767.

Finally turning his attention to the study of theology, John Peter Muhlenberg soon won praise as a preacher in Swedish and German Lutheran congregations near Philadelphia. After he was licensed as a Lutheran minister in 1769, he at first assisted his father with congregations in New Jersey. The following year he married Anna Barbara “Hannah” Meyer, daughter of a potter. Next he was called to a church in Woodstock, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, settled mostly by Pennsylvania Lutherans. Since Anglicanism was the established state church in Virginia, Muhlenberg traveled to London to receive ordination as an Anglican clergyman. He remained in Woodstock from 1772 to 1775.

During the early years of the Revolution, while Muhlenberg was still in Virginia, he became a follower of patriot Patrick Henry. His contributions to the revolutionary cause included service as the chair of the Committee of Safety in Virginia’s House of Burgesses (1775) and as a member of Virginia’s provincial convention in 1776. From 1776 to 1783, he also served in the Continental Army, as Colonel., Brigadier-General and finally as a Major-General. As he gathered his recruits and said farewell to his Woodstock congregation, Reverend Muhlenberg is said to have thrown off his clerical garb to reveal his military uniform, proclaiming “There is a time to pray and a time to fight, and that time has now come!” Muhlenberg took part in the fighting at Charleston, Brandywine, Stony Point and Yorktown as well as in the winter at Valley Forge.

After the war, Muhlenberg did not feel he could return to being a parson after having been a soldier. In 1784 he surveyed military bounty lands assigned to Virginia veterans, traveling as far as Louisville; but then he returned to his native Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Later in 1784 his German neighbors elected him as Montgomery County’s representative to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council, the state’s governing body under its first constitution. At the end of his three-year term, Muhlenberg served as Vice-President of this body (the equivalent of Lieutenant-Governor). It was in this capacity that he became an ex-officiomember of the board of trustees of the University of the State of Pennsylvania(now the University of Pennsylvania).

Shortly thereafter, Muhlenberg, as an anti-Federalist, was elected a Pennsylvania representative to the U.S. Congress, serving from 1789 to 1795 and again from 1799 to 1801. He was considered a key figure in the Democrat-Republican party of Pennsylvania, managing Thomas McKean‘s successful campaign for governor and helping to elect Thomas Jefferson as U.S. president. In 1801 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, but before taking his seat, he resigned to accept the lucrative position of supervisor of US customs in the Pennsylvania District. In 1803 he became collector of customs of the Port of Philadelphia. He remained active as a Lutheran layman until his death in 1807 at his suburban home at Gray’s Ferry on the Schuylkill River

Independence Day


kinder303This uniquely American holiday is a time to reflect on the greatness of our Nation and its people and the God who led our forefathers in the founding of our “land of the Free”

However, it is not really a time to celebrate as “Americans”. It is a time to celebrate as sovereign people of the States. The Fourth of July was the day (it was actually a few days earlier) the people of the thirteen colonies through their representatives in the Congress, declared to the world that they were now independent and free States. Free from the King and Parliament and a centralized government. However, it would take a long and bloody war to actually permit these newly independent Sates to remain free.

The Declaration of Independence was signed by men who knew they were risking their “Lives, fortunes and sacred honor”. According to the King, they were all traitors who warranted death.

When the war finally came to a successful end the King and Parliament had no choice but to declare that the thirteen States were now free. The first Article of the Treaty of Paris that ended the war stated:

His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States; that he treats with them as such, and for himself his Heirs & Successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, Propriety, and Territorial Rights of the same and every Part thereof.

It appears that we have forgotten who we are. We are a union of States that remain free and independent. The Articles of Confederation, our first Constitution, and the current Constitution never gave up the Sovereignty of the States. In fact the States delegated only limited authority to the Federal government. The Tenth Amendment made it very clear.

How does the Declaration of Independence sum up? Read it carefully:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

usaspinSo this Fourth of July why not fly your State flag? It will show to the world that you are still a Sovereign and free people who choose to remain part of a union of States. How did John Adams say to celebrate: “…It ought to be commemorated as a day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bell, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…”

Let’s not forget who we are.4thofjuly

 

American History Tidbits


Battle of Alligator Bridge

The Battle of Alligator Bridge, also known as the Skirmish of Alligator Creek, took place on June 30, 1778, near present day Callahan, Florida, and was the only major engagement in an unsuccessful campaign to conquer British East Florida during the American Revolution. A detachment of Georgia militiamen under the command of General James Screven chased Thomas Brown’s Loyalist company into a large position of British regulars established by British Major Mark Prevost and were turned back.

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Artist’s depiction of the Battle of Alligator Bridge

In the spring of 1778 an invasion of East Florida was organized by Georgia Governor John Houstoun and Continental Army General Robert Howe. However, the two men could not agree on overall command of the expedition, and Houstoun refused to share his plans with Howe, leading to organizational and logistical difficulties.

Howe, in command of 1,100 regulars was waiting for Georgia and South Carolina militia companies to arrive when he learned on June 18 that Loyalist Thomas Brown and 300 men were at Fort Tonyn on the Florida side of the St. Mary’s River. On June 28 his men crossed the St. Mary’s in a move that was observed by Brown’s scouts. Brown decided to retreat from the fort, which he burned after removing everything he could take with him.

Brown ordered a company of men to circle around behind the Continentals while the rest of his men hid along the road heading south from the fort. British Major Mark Prevost had established a defensive position at Alligator Bridge, about 17 miles south of the fort. Howe sent General James Screven and about 100 cavalry south on this road. The men Brown sent to flank the Continentals were betrayed by deserters and ambushed, with most of them captured or killed.

Howe then sent General James Screven and about 100 militia cavalry to find Brown, who retreated before Screven’s advance. The leading edge of Brown’s men entered Prevost’s camp relatively casually, but his rear was chased in by Screven. Prevost’s regulars quickly took up positions and began firing on Screven’s men, while some of Brown’s men went around to come at their flank. In pitched battle, men on both sides went down, Screven was wounded, and some of the Patriot militia narrowly escaped being trapped before Screven ordered the retreat.

Howe’s army eventually withdrew from East Florida, effectively ending the idea of gaining control of the province. James Screven was killed in a surprise attack led by Brown in November 1778.

The site of the bridge has long been supposed to be in central Callahan, where a marker has been placed, but some historians believe that the actual site of the bridge was somewhat farther east.

American History Tidbits


250px-John_Barry_by_Gilbert_StuartBattle of Turtle Gut Inlet

The Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet, fought on June 29, 1776, was an important, early naval victory for the Continental Navy and the future “Father of the American Navy”, Captain John Barry.[3] It was the first privateer battle of the American Revolution.[1] The battle resulted in the first American casualty of the war in New Jersey, Lieutenant Richard Wickes, brother of Captain Lambert Wickes.[4][5] It was the only revolutionary war battle fought in Cape May County.[6]

To prevent the Americans from receiving war supplies through the port of Philadelphia, the British Navy established a blockade of the Delaware Bay. This fleet included over 240 cannons.[7] The Americans then fortified the river with cheveaux-de-frise in the shipping channel.[8]

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Plaque commemorating the Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey.

To transport gunpowder and arms, Robert Morris and the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety chartered the newly built brig, also called brigantine, Nancy and her captain, Hugh Montgomery on March 1, 1776.[9][10]

On March 14, 1776, John Barry was commissioned Captain of the 14-gun Lexington in the Continental Navy.[11]

In early June, the privateer Nancy loaded supplies in the Caribbean islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix.[9] She then sailed for Philadelphia with a cargo of 386 kegs of gunpowder, 101 hogsheads of rum, 62 hogsheads of sugar, and additional armaments.[12] In mid-June, Barry was alerted by Morris that the Nancy was headed his way, and would need protection since she had only an eleven-man crew and six cannons.[9][13]

Barry was soon joined by the 18-gun Reprisal, captained by Lambert Wickes, and the 8-gun Wasp, captained by William Hallock, and headed for Cape May.[9]

The British blockade forces were led by the 28-gun HMS Liverpool, captained by Henry Bellew,[14] [15] and included the 32-gun HMS Orpheus, captained by Charles Hudson,[16] and the 16-gun HMS Kingfisher, captained by Alexander Graeme.[17][12][18]

Also at this time, the vanguard of the British fleet of over one hundred ships was set to enter New York Harbor on the morning of June 29.[19]

Late on the afternoon of June 28, a lookout on the Kingfisher spotted the Nancy sailing toward Cape May and began chase, followed by the Orpheus.[20] The Nancy, and the pursuing British, were spotted by the American lookout at Cape May.[9] Captain Barry, on the Lexington, received a message by flag code from the Nancy that she needed help.[18] Barry in turn signaled the Reprisal and Wasp and then met with their captains to plan a response. Longboats from the Lexington, Wasp, and Reprisal, led by Lieutenant Richard Wickes, set out to assist the Nancy.[9][21][22]

In the early hours of June 29, pursued by the British Orpheus and Kingfisher and blocked from entering the Delaware Bay, the Nancy headed for the nearby Turtle Gut Inlet in a heavy fog.[21] Soon the Nancy ran aground at Turtle Gut Inlet, while the larger British ships were kept to deeper waters.[23]

Although still out of range but sailing closer, the British shelled the Nancy, while the Americans attempted to salvage the cargo, especially the gunpowder kegs. Barry organized the crews into two operations. One group returned cannon fire to keep the British from boarding. The other transferred the cargo onto longboats and rowed to shore where local residents helped unload and secure it behind the dunes.[23][21]

By late in the morning of June 29, 265 to 286 kegs of gunpowder had been removed,[24][21] and the British bombardment had heavily damaged the Nancy. Barry ordered the main sail wrapped around 50 pounds of gunpowder to create a long fuse running from the nearly 100 gunpowder kegs remaining in the hold to the deck and over the side. The fuse was lit as the crew abandoned ship, while one last sailor climbed the mast to remove the American flag. The British thought the lowering of the flag was a sign of surrender and quickly boarded the Nancy. By then the fuse had reached the hold. The gunpowder exploded with a huge blast felt for miles which killed many British.[1][8][21] Captain Graeme reported the loss of his master’s mate and six men on longboats from the Kingfisher.[25]

Lieutenant Richard Wickes, brother of Captain Lambert Wickes of the Reprisal, was killed by British cannon fire near the end of the battle.[21]

The battle demonstrated the resourcefulness of the American forces to the British. As a result, the British Navy moved their blockade of Philadelphia further away from the Cape May area.[1][8]

The heroics of Captain John Barry in salvaging most of the gunpowder cargo and driving off two Royal Navy ships was quickly noted, an important step in his career.[26]

Following the battle, Captain Wickes on the Reprisal, continued with his mission to the West Indies.[27]

Lieutenant Richard Wickes is buried at the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church cemetery. A section of the cemetery, Veterans Field of Honor, is dedicated to his memory.[28]

The Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet (June 29, 1776) was an important, early naval victory for the Continental Navy and the future “Father of the American Navy”, Captain John Barry. It was the first privateer battle of the American Revolutionary War. The battle resulted in the first American casualty of the war in New Jersey, Lieutenant Richard Wickes, brother of Captain Lambert Wickes. It was the only revolutionary war battle fought in Cape May County.