Best wishes for the coming Holiday Season, I hope each of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. In December of 1775 our ancestors in the Culpeper Minute Battalion did not face prospects for a Christmas with family or a peaceful New Year. They had marched to Williamsburg where half of their number, mostly married men and the youngest, were sent back to their homes due to lack of arms. The remainder had already been skirmishing with the British who were launching raids from their ships, mostly in hopes of capturing stores of arms badly needed by the patriots. The patriot's skill with their rifles had already contributed to some success. In the early days of December they marched with Col Woodford and the 2nd Virginia to establish breastworks on the road from Norfolk to North Carolina just south of the Great Bridge. Lord Dunmore's British forces established a fort on the north side of the Great Bridge, augmented by newly arrived troops from the 14th Regiment of Foot. On December 9th the British will try to overcome our patriot's breastworks in a battle that we will celebrate on Saturday, December 6th.
During this same time period other patriots, led by General Richard Montgomery, had marched into Canada and were beginning to lay siege to Quebec. On December 31st, taking advantage of the cover of a snow storm, General Montgomery personally led the patriots in an attack on the city. Crying out "Come on, my good soldiers, your General calls upon you to come on", he led the charge on a blockhouse and was killed by grapeshot from a British cannon. Without his leadership the attack failed. In December we both honor his birth and mourn his death.
This Holiday Season let us give thanks for the success of our patriot ancestors in Virginia, and the heroic sacrifices of our patriot ancestors in the invasion of Canada, two hundred and thirty-nine years ago.
Bill Schwetke, President