An Alabama SAR member donated a check in memory of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter founder Stan Evans for local SAR youth programs. Receiving the donation were, from left, Jim McKinney, past chapter president; Maggie Evans, widow of Stan Evans; and Bill Hamilton, chapter treasurer.
Author and historian Geoff Baggett brought his “Revolutionary War In a Trunk” to the March monthly meeting of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter, Tennessee Sons of the American Revolution.
He shared stories with a large dinner audience about the items in his well-traveled trunk, including clothing, weapons, personal hygiene, hornbooks and much more.
Chapter meetings are held the second Thursday each month at the Cleveland Elks Lodge at 6:30 p.m.
Baggett is past president of his home state’s Kentucky Society, Sons of the American Revolution. He has been Chapter President of the Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter, Kentucky SAR. He is a member of Descendants Of Washington’s Army At Valley Forge. He is also a member of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter in recognition of his Tennessee roots.
In addition to being a Baptist preacher, Baggett is the author of four Rev War era novels with a fifth novel in the series to be published this spring. His fiction is written around actual Rev War events and includes some of his own ancestors. Baggett’s stories focus on the American Revolution in the South.
Baggett and his wife, Kim, travel across the Southeast attending many living history events each year. He also brings his program to many classrooms.
“Kids don’t know much history anymore, and that’s a problem,” he said. “But there’s still a hunger for it.”
The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution has begun its own traveling trunk program, but Baggett noted “I was doing it before it was cool.”
Along with his trunk of 18th century items, “I turn myself into an object lesson as well. I like to go into the classroom uniformed and wearing some things and talk through this stuff.”
Like many of his ancestors, Baggett wears the 18th Century clothing that would have been worn by a patriot militiaman instead of a Continental Army uniform. Many Southern patriot fighters would have dressed that way. In fact, Baggett said, some Continental Army soldiers would wear hunting frocks instead of the Continental uniform.
He is also the author of a series of Revolutionary War novels aimed at younger readers that can also be used with a school curriculum.
Baggett lives in Trigg County, Ky., with his wife, daughter and grandson.
Second Vice President Jerry Hjellum presided over the March meeting. It began with prayer by Chapter Chaplain Jim Kerr. He included a prayer written in 1783 by Gen. George Washington to all state governors as he disbanded the Continental Army following the Revolutionary War. The pledge to the United States flag and salute to the Tennessee flag and the SAR pledge were led respectively by Jim McKinney, Jim Pemberton and Randall Higgins.
Claude Hardison reminded chapter members that April 19 is Patriots Day in Tennessee. The SAR Color Guard will present the colors in the Tennessee Senate on April 15 in recognition of Patriots Day. Hardison noted Patriots Day was established in Tennessee due to the work of a local chapter member.
Jim McKinney, immediate past chapter president, presented a check from Alabama SAR member Jim Maples and wife, Linda, in memory of Stan Evans, founder of the local chapter and a national SAR leader. The donation was designated for the chapter’s SAR youth programs. The check was presented to Maggie Evans, Stan Evans’ widow, and Chapter Treasurer Bill Hamilton.
Anyone interested in joining the SAR can contact a Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter member; check out the website colbenjaminclevelandchapter.org or contact Chapter Registrar E. Lynn Freeman At Indru1@aol.com.
The chapter can also be reached by mail at Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter, Tennessee SAR, P.O. Box 2861 Cleveland, TN 37320.
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