Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DAR Honors Revolutionary War Veteran

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DAR Honors Revolutionary War Veteran

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Even as American soldiers were engaged in combat overseas, Nassau County residents on April 16 remembered a patriot who fought in the war that created the nation.

The Amelia Island chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a wreath at the grave of Amos Latham, a veteran of the Continental Army and Navy and Amelia Island's first lighthouse keeper.

About 10 of Latham's descendents, many of whom still live in Nassau County, attended the event in Bosque Bello Cemetery in Fernandina Beach.

"What a great history lesson for our kids," Melissa Smith, Latham's great-great-great-great-granddaughter, said.

According to chapter Librarian Nancy Sturges, Latham was born in Groton, Conn., in July 1761.

He was 16 when he enlisted in the Army in 1777. He was wounded in the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, and wanted to return to the Army after he convalesced. But because of the extent of his injuries, he was refused, so Latham joined the Continental Navy aboard the frigate The Confederacy in October 1778. He completed his enlistment in 1781.

Not much is known about Latham's history after the revolution, Sturges said, but he was serving as the lighthouse keeper at the Cumberland Island Sound Lighthouse in Georgia when it was moved to Amelia Island in 1838. He came with his family to the island in 1839 to continue caring for the light. He died in 1842.

The DAR, a nationwide organization of women who are directly descended from ancestors who aided in achieving American independence, annually celebrates Patriots Day on April 19, the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington in 1775, which began the American Revolution.

Because this April 19 fell on the Saturday of Easter weekend, the Amelia Island DAR decided to honor Latham on April 16 instead.

This is only the second time the Amelia Island chapter, which was chartered in 1995, has marked Patriots Day with a ceremony at the grave of a Revolutionary War veteran, chapter Regent Gloria Toomey said. …

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