Today let us honor the brave individuals who have given the supreme sacrificed for our nation. Through their actions we remain the a land of LIBERTY.
History on the Military use of TAPS:
Memorial Day is a time for us to remember all those that have given the most extreme sacrifice in defense of our nation.
This year in addition to flying your flag in memory, Patriots across the nation will be tying BLUE ribbons in memory of those who lost their lives in Benghazi. Tie the ribbons to your antenna of your car, to the tree in front of your home with a sign saying “Benghazi, we will not forget”and/or wear a blue ribbon. Anyone that asks what the ribbons are for, tell them that as Americans we deserve answers to what happened that fateful day.
Light Horse and Swamp Fox Raid Georgetown, South Carolina
On this day in 1781, Patriot commanders Lieutenant Colonel Light Horse Henry Lee and Brigadier General Francis Swamp Fox Marion of the South Carolina militia combine forces and conduct a raid on Georgetown, South Carolina, which is defended by 200 British soldiers.
Marion won fame and the Swamp Fox moniker for his ability to strike and then quickly retreat into the South Carolina swamps without a trace. His military strategy is considered an 18th-century example of guerrilla warfare and served as partial inspiration for the film The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson.
Marion took over the South Carolina militia force first assembled by Thomas Sumter in 1780. Sumter, the other inspiration for Mel Gibson’s character in the film, returned Carolina Loyalists’ terror tactics in kind after Loyalists burned his plantation. When Sumter withdrew from active fighting to care for a wound, Marion replaced him and strategized with Major General Nathaniel Greene, who had recently arrived in the Carolinas to lead the Continental forces. On January 24, the Patriots under Marion and Lee managed to arrive at Georgetown undetected and captured at least three officers, including the British commander.
The following month, Lee’s cavalry was able to defeat a band of Loyalist cavalry at Haw River, North Carolina, by taking advantage of the extreme similarity of Patriot uniforms to those of British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton’s troops. British Colonel John Pyle’s men at Haw River were surprised to discover that the horsemen approaching them were not friends, as they appeared from a distance, but foes. Losing three fingers and blinding one eye in the course of combat, Colonel Pyle, a doctor by profession, survived by hiding in what is now known as Pyle’s Pond.
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On December 19, 1777 General George Washington arrived with the Continental army to Valley Forge. Located 18 miles from Philadelphia, Valley Forge would serve as the winter encampment for American forces during the hard winter of 1777-78. The army would see its darkest days there, as well as the first glimmer of hope that victory was possible.
The Continental Army was battered and bruised after a summer full of defeat. British forces had come ashore at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay in August with the intention of taking Philadelphia, the rebellion’s capital. Washington set up a defense of the city, but the tactics of British General Sir William Howe won the day. In the end, the Continental Army lost battles at Brandywine and Germantown; the British gained Philadelphia.
With cold weather drawing near, Washington began to consider locations for winter encampment. Valley Forge was selected for its proximity to Philadelphia and for its topography—Mount Joy and Mount Misery offered high ground while the Schuylkill River to the north marked a clear line of defense. Upon arriving at Valley Forge the Continentals began to prepare for the weather ahead.
Conditions were terrible. Food of all types was scarce. Most meals consisted of what was called “firecake”, a mixture of flour and water that was then cooked over an open fire. It was essentially tasteless. The men had worn the same clothes for most of the year and had marched the soles off their boots. Blankets were worth their weight in gold. The shelters in which the soldiers slept were damp and crowded, which led to outbreaks of pneumonia, dysentery and typhus. At any one time, nearly twenty percent of the force was unfit for duty. It is estimated that nearly 2,000 men died before spring came. The Continental Army, far from a world-class force under the best of circumstances, was at its breaking point.