At the site where they gathered more than 200 years ago, the Culpeper Minutemen were honored June 10.
Members of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution called out names of 12 of the nearly 500 men who joined the Culpeper militia in 1775.
“It’s critical,” Virginia Sons of the American Revolution 3rd Vice President Bill Schwetke said of remembering the Minute Men. “It’s part of our heritage of Culpeper, Orange, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Madison and Greene counties.”
In the fall of 1775, residents of Culpeper, Fauquier and Orange counties formed a “Minute Battalion” mustered in Clayton’s Old Field, now nestled in the back of Yowell Meadow Park. They formed 10 companies which took the name “Culpeper Minutemen.”
They drilled there and adopted a uniform of green hunting shirts, emblazoned with “Liberty or Death.” On Oct. 26, 1775, several of the Culpeper Minutemen, armed with rifles, responded to an alarm of a British attack by ships in Hampton. According to Schwetke, their accurate fire drove off the British and caused one small vessel to run aground. They later fought in the battle at Great Bridge, where the patriots – consisting mainly of the Culpeper Minutemen – repulsed an attack by British regulars, loyalist militia and freed slaves. This forced the British to evacuate their fort and flee to ships.
“A large part of Virginian men went to join George Washington, and all of this happened because of the defeat of the British at the Battle of Great Bridge.”
The minutemen were given preferential treatment for transfer to the Continental Line and many did. In Dec. 1776, the battalions were disbanded and those who had not joined the Continental Line returned to their homes.
Members of the SAR and DAR laid wreaths and called out the names of 12 men from the battalion along with what was known about them. Honored this year were: Littleton Adams, James Allan, Moses Allan, Vincent Allen, William Allen, Spencer Anderson, Benjamin Arnold, William Asberry, Ambrose Adkins, Edward Adkins, Jacob Aylor and Isaac Baar/Barr.