Saturday, May 31, 2014

PRISON SHIPS AND BARGES "Bits And Pieces of History"

The exact number of  American troops who died aboard prison ships and barges during the war is not known but more than 11,000 were held between 1776 and 1783.  Nearly half of those were captured in the South and hundreds transported to one of sixteen ships in New York harbor. “Hell” was the name the prisoners gave the British ship Jersey because of the high number of deaths due to sickness, starvation and beatings.  “Turn  out your dead” was the cry each morning and the dead were collected to be buried onshore.

Following the defeat at Charles Town the British agreed to retain those prisoners on ships anchored in the harbor.  Fed a diet of mostly salt pork  and usually confined in close quarters below deck it was not long before scores of them fell ill and died.  Petitions for better treatment were met with indifference and when supplies of clothing, medicine and food arrived sent by the Continental Congress and citizens, it was withheld.  Prisoners were promised parole or freedom if they pledged loyalty to King George and  whipped, threatened with transport to England or the West Indies or simply impressed into the Royal Navy if they refused.
The prisoners held in Charles Town Harbor were eventually exchanged May 3, 1781.  For many of those held in New York the end of the war would come too late.   

A monument overlooks Wallabout Bay in Fort Green Park in Brooklyn  NY in tribute to the hundreds of Americans buried in shallow graves or tossed into the waters from the prison ships and barges.  All thirteen colonies and more than a dozen foreign countries were represented on the ships and among the dead, including some women.

Posted by Diane Price
From internet sources and Fort Greene site.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dedication to Veterans Program

Many attendees were present at the  Dedication to Veterans Program at Brunswick Universal Health Care in Bolivia on Friday, May 23rd at 2:00 pm.

The above photo is Mr. Charlie Fullwood and his son and daughter-in-law.  Charlie served in the CC Camps which stands for Civilian Conservation Corps which was formed in March 1933.  The CC Camps was one of the first New Deal programs.  It was a public works project intended to promote environmental conservation and to build good citizens through vigorous, disciplined outdoor labor.  In less than 10 years the Civilian Conservation Corps built more than 800 parks and planted nearly 3 billion trees nationwide.

Lisa English from the Battle of Rockkfish DAR chapter presented her program on POW/MIA Empty Table.  There are still 42 North Carolinians that are MIA.

Jackie Craft, Regent gave certificates to the Veterans for their dedicated service to our country. And Vice-Regent Betsy Pessetto gave each Veteran with a pocket flag and a Constitution book mark.

Other DAR members present were:  Pat Gooding, Vicki Kay, Connie Hendrix, Gwen Causey, Fran Carlsen and special member who is a resident at Brunswick Universal Health Care, Mary Lou White.  Mary Lou was chosen Prom Queen last week at the center.  We all congratulate Mary Lou.

Posted by Jackie Craft, regent of the Brunswick Town Chapter

Brunswick Universal Health Care Center Selects Prom Queen

L to R: Brunswick Town DAR member Mary Lou White  and Jackie Craft, regent  Pat Gooding, treasurer and Betsy Pessetto, first vice-regent of the Brunswick Town Chapter visited  Mary Lou White who was named Prom Queen last week at the Brunswick Universal Health Care Center where she is a resident in Bolivia, NC.

posted by Jackie Craft 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Flag Day, June 14th

The Betsy Ross House
                                                      FLAG DAY, June 14

The Second Continental Congress determined the design of the American flag on Saturday, June 14, 1777.
Within the Papers of the Continental Congress the following is written:

               Resolved that the flag of the Thirteen United States
               be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the union
               be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new

Thus was born the famous Stars and Stripes, a flag design that evolved over time as more states joined the Union. There are now 50 stars where there were once 13, and the nation has witnessed 237 years of  unique history.  Much of that history is documented in the military records. Flag Day is now recognized on June 14, the “birthday” of the Stars and Stripes, as a result of the efforts of a Wisconsin teacher, Bernard John Cigrand.  The National Flag Day Foundation explains this on its webs In Waubeka, Wisconsin, in 1885, Bernard John Cigrand nineteen-year-old teacher in a one-room school placed a 10" 38-star flag in an inkwell and had his students write on what the flag meant to them. He called June 14th the flag’s
birthday.  Stony Hill School is now a historical site.  From that day on, Bernard J. Cigrand dedicated himself to inspire not only his students but also all Americans in the real meaning and majesty of our flag. As a result of Cigrand’s efforts., a Flag Day was officially proclaimed by President Wilson in 1916 to be celebrated on the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777.  It was President Truman, however, who signed an Act of Congress on August 3, 1949, establishing June 14 as Flag Day in the United States.Copied from website
Joan Summerfield ,Chairperson
NCDAR Flag of the United States of America

The Battleship North Carolina Activities

Battleship Crew Reunion and June Programming
 Aboard the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

WILMINGTON, NC – The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA announces the annual Battleship Association Crew Reunion and programming schedule for June, 2014. 

USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Association Crew Reunion
May 28 - 31, 2014

The USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Association is an organization of the Battleship's former crew members and their families. The Association hosts an annual reunion in Wilmington with the next one scheduled for May 28 - 31, 2014. The crew and families very much look forward to their annual return to the Battleship to share stories, visit old friends and make new ones. The love they have for their ship makes a powerful bond.

The formation of the Association was greatly helped by former Ship's officer LCDR John Karrer who worked at the Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. He forwarded crew members names and addresses to Jack Clements and Chuck Paty, two Association officers living in Charlotte, North Carolina. By July 1968, Karrer had located 7,243 names! Today, shipmates are still discovering their Ship.

The crew has been a tremendous asset to the Battleship through the years. They have given thousands of artifacts, recorded oral histories, donated funds, helped found the Friends of the Battleship, volunteered countless hours, and served on the USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Commission. The Battleship staff is proud to preserve their ship and share their story.

Battleship Alive
Saturday, May 31, 2014
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Included with Paid Admission

Since 1997, the Living History Crew weekends have been a tradition at the battleship in the program called "Battleship Alive."  The Living History Crew  provides insight into the daily life and routine of the crew aboard the USS NORTH CAROLINA by explaining the duties specific to the sailor's ratings (jobs) and demonstrates activities that occurred aboard the ship. The WAVES/Home Front unit portrays the lives of women in the Navy and of the men and women on the home front during the war. A great event for all ages. Bring your questions and cameras! Included with Battleship admission. 

Flag Day Program
Saturday, June 14, 2014, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Battleship announces its first Flag Day Program on Saturday, June 14, 2014.  From 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, visitors will have the opportunity to raise their own American flags up the halyards on the ship’s foremast. Members of American Legion Post 10 Honor Guard will assist visitors in hoisting and folding the flags.  It sounds very nautical and it is – and it promises to be fun too!  Provide your name and email and a certificate of authenticity will be emailed to you.  Visitors can bring a flag or purchase a 3 x 5 foot nylon flag with embroidered stars from the Ship’s Store for $39.95 plus tax.  Sales from the store benefit the Battleship. General Admission rates apply.

The Continental Congress authorized the “stars and stripes” as the official National symbol of the United States of America on Saturday, June 14, 1777.  Although various schools and states honored the flag’s birthday, it wasn’t until 1949 that June 14 became National Flag Day when President Harry Truman signed the legislation.

Battleship 101
June 14, 2014 (also July 12 & August 9)
Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free with Battleship admission

Ship volunteers stationed throughout the ship engage visitors in specific subjects and areas including: gunnery, radar, sickbay, galley, engineering, and daily shipboard life.  A unique opportunity to talk one on one of what life was like aboard a WWII Battleship in the time of combat. A great event for all ages.  Bring your questions and cameras! Included with Battleship Admission.

Legacy Series: Armored Cruiser North Carolina and the Great War
June 14, 2014
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Free with Battleship admission

June kicks off the annual Battleship’s Legacy Series as part of the 2nd Saturday programs. Come enjoy a premier display of WWI firearms, clothing, and equipment from enthusiastic costumed collectors.  During WWI the Armored Cruiser North Carolina (ACR-12) was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force and began escorting troop ships across the Atlantic in July 1917. She made nine round trips covering 60,000 miles and escorting 61 troop ships safely to the French coast. When the war ended in November 1918, the ACR-12 brought the troops home. The ship made six transport voyages and brought nearly 9,000 soldiers home.  Included with Battleship Admission.

About Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is self-supporting, not tax supported and relies primarily upon admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship's Store, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River.   Visit or follow us on and for more information. Relive with the crew on the Battleship Blog The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is an historic site within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Family Memorial Day Tribute at the National Mall in Washington, DC

On May 15, 2014, my daughter-in-law Blair, ten-month old granddaughter, Charlotte Rose, and I conducted our own Memorial Day tribute at the National Mall in Washington, DC.
First stop was at the White House gates, where we talked about how beautifully kept the building is—a far cry from when Abigail Adams hung her laundry in the East Room.  We explained to Charlotte that the President is the Commander in Chief of all our military.
The Washington Monument was our next stop; it is truly a landmark of our Country.  Construction on this Memorial marker was halted i1854 and not resumed for another 25 years, but it is a constant reminder of the freedom won by our Revolutionary War soldiers and sailors.  Scaffolding used over the last two years to repair damages from the 2011 earthquake had just been removed.  The flags were at half mast, because May 15 was a Day of Remembrance for all national, state, and local Peace Officers who have died in the line of duty.  
The World War II Memorial is so massive it is difficult to take it all in.  Did you know that the states and territories written on the Memorial represent the 48 States and those territories whichcomprised our Country in 1945?  Blair was born and raised in Raleigh, so her eye was drawn immediately to the pillar with North Carolina inscribed on it.  Charlotte was a little more taken with the Reflecting Pool.   Blair, our son Joe, and Charlotte visited the Mall during one of the many D.C. snowstorms this winter.  Blair said the pillars of the World War II Monument look especially beautifully blanketed with snow.
Our next stop was the Vietnam Monument.  Hundreds of school children were lined up to walk past the Wall.  Their chaperones were explaining that this is the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.  They were taking great care to explain how different it was for the returning Nam veterans—how the climate of the Country made them feel guilty for fighting.  Blair and I decided that a reflection of us on the wall would be the best photo, considering how important it is for us to reflect on those who fought and the chastisement they received afterward.
The Lincoln Memorial, which had its own damage just one year ago when someone sprayed green paint on the statue and center of the rotunda, beamed in a ray of sunlight throughout the morning.  Charlotte’s picture—seated at the base of the Statue--was posted on Facebook.  Two of the comments it generated,that I enjoy most, are “so serious—out of respect” and “a wonderful photo to always remember”.    What tremendous responsibility and anxiety to be the seated President during a civil war.  
Our final stop was at the Korean Memorial, where a group of Honor Flight Veterans from Kansas wore big smiles as they viewed this very life-like tribute.  Blair didn't know of the Honor Flight program.   Let’s hope it will continue for all of our Veterans—where they can visit the memorials to their efforts toward maintaining our freedom and continuing our independence.
The ultimate gift of that day was to pay respect to our Veterans with the next two generations of the Pessetto family.   My hope is that Charlotte will enjoy freedom and independence, as I have,throughout her lifetime.  

Posted by Betsy Pessetto