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McGee named SAR state president

Charles McGee of Hudson, center, was recently elected State President of the Wisconsin Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). Also at the ceremony were, left, Aaron Krebs of Madison (Color Guard Commander and Society Secretary. He is wearing the uniform of George Washington's personal guard) and, right, Lyle McGee (Charles' dad, of River Falls, who serves as Historian for the Stephen Tainter Chapter). Charles Mcgee is known locally as the long-time manager/owner of Dibbos. (Submitted photo)

Charles McGee of Hudson was recently elected state president of the Wisconsin Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).

The Sons of the American Revolution is the leading male lineage society that perpetuates the ideals of the war for independence. SAR objectives include having a fraternal and civic society to salute those men and women who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the battle for independence from Great Britain. They desired to keep alive their ancestors' story of patriotism and courage.

Wisconsin has five SAR chapters, each having its own chapter president, and McGee is the president for the state overseeing all five of these chapters. Today the SAR consists of over 32,000 members in over 500 chapters in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Almost 165,000 descendants of the men and women Patriots of the American Revolution have been admitted since the organization’s founding.

McGee is from the lineage of his patriot ancestor, James Magee. He is also a professional genealogist, member of Association of Professional Genealogists, secretary for the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and specializes in family and forensic genealogy.

“I gave a presentation about James Magee earlier this year,” Charles McGee said. “It contains some pretty interesting info about him and how he mentions George Washington.”

James Magee, is McGee’s fourth great grandfather. He was reportedly born in Ireland about 1733 or 1734. He died in Deerfield Township, Warren County, Penn., in November 1822, and is buried in Tidioute Cemetery, also in Warren County. Part of the inscription on the marker reads “Grandparents,” and “James Magee, Revolutionary Soldier.”

A large portion of Magee’s service in the Revolutionary War is documented in his pension file. According to his own account in several affidavits, Magee enlisted in Delaware early in 1776 and served under Capts. Jonathan Rumford and Latimer in the troops called the Wilmington Greens. Always on the move, Magee said he “marched to Perth Amboy and there joined Genl. Washington.” Upon arrival he was sent to Staten Island where, he noted, “we took nine Hessians.” By the end of that year Magee’s enlistment was nearing its end, but before his term was over he stated that “by the desire of General Washington I went with the troops up to Trenton and on Christmas Eve took a regiment of Hessian soldiers.” He was certainly speaking of the now fabled Battle of Trenton -- one of Washington’s most important victories.

After the battle, Magee was dismissed and went to Wilmington, Del. Then in April 1777 he enlisted again. He served in Capts. Nathaniel Mitchell’s and Young’s Companies, in Cols. Grayson’s and Gist’s Continental Regiments, respectively, and part of the time held the rank of Acting Sergeant Major. Magee spoke of Washington a final time, saying he “went to the crossroads above Philadelphia and by the orders of Genl. Washington raised a Library Pole there on account of the good news received from France that the French Court had acknowledged our independence.” History informs us this occurred on Dec. 17, 1777, after the defeat of British General John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga.

Magee was in the battles of Brandywine, Paoli, Germantown, Monmouth, Stony Point, Paulus Hook, Monk’s Corner, and in a number of small skirmishes. In April 1780, Magee was discharged after four years of service.

Magee and his wife Margaret had 10 children. Most remained in Pennsylvania while Henry, McGee’s third great-grandfather, and Thomas -- with their families -- migrated to Wisconsin and settled there.

Anyone interested in seeing if they are eligible for membership to the SAR can contact McGee or at the website SAR's web site is