The Scottish American Military Society was founded and
chartered in North Carolina April 12, 1981, as a non-profit organization with the
To preserve and promote
Scottish and American Armed Forces customs, traditions and heritage by:
- Providing a forum for exchange of military history and
- Conducting public education programs,
- Presenting military student honor awards,
- Supporting Scottish activities at Highland Games,
- Making contributions to qualified scholarship funds or
- Making appropriate charitable contributions,
- Providing a fraternal atmosphere for members.
Beginning in 1984, an engraved dirk has been given annually
to a military history student selected from candidates in a college level ROTC program.
Membership is open to honorably discharged veterans or active
duty or reserve military persons who have served or are serving with any branch of the
U-S. Armed Forces. Member- ship is open to war veterans (persons who served honorably in
the Armed Forces of the U-S- during the following periods:
- 21 April 1898 - 4 July 1902
- 6 April 1917 - 11 November 1918
- 7 December 1941 - 31 December 1946
- 27 June 1950 - 31 January 1955
- 5 August 1964 - 7 May 1975
- 24 August 1982 - 31 July 1984
- 20 December 1989 - 31 January 1990
- 2 August 1990 - To Be Determined
- Present or former members of the U-S- Armed Forces,
- Armed Service Academy and college level ROTC Cadets,
- Spouses, widows, or widowers of any of the above
- Members of the British Commonwealth Armed Forces.
Honorary life memberships are awarded to members who have
been awarded the Medal of Honor or the Victoria Cross.
The SAMS Emblem
The Society was founded as a veterans' organization with the
membership composed primarily of veterans of Scottish ancestry who have served, or are
serving in the Armed Forces of the United States and the Commonwealth.
The Scottish belt is a symbol of allegiance to the Chief's
Crest which it surrounds. On the SAMS emblem, it signifies allegiance to the principle
that liberty was won and has been preserved by the armed force.
The centerpiece of the Society emblem is the back-country
rifleman, wearing the hunting shin, armed with his flintlock rifle and belt axe.
Kings Mountain is recognized as one of the decisive battles
and a major tuming point in the Revolutionary War. An unusually high percentage of the men
who fought on both sides at Kings Mountain were of Scottish and Scots-Irish bloodlines.
Scots-Irish Colonel William Campbell was commander of the Patriot forces and the Loyalists
were led by Lt. Col. Patrick Ferguson, a Highland Scot. As was so often the case in
Scottish history, the fight was between those who opposed the Crown and those who
is recognized by the Lord Lyon as a "Society Noble in the Noblesse of
Scotland" and has it's own Coat of Arms.
The Patriots wore a twist of white paper in their hat bands
for "friend or foe" recognition. The Loyalists wore a twig of evergreen for the
same purpose. The evergreen twig probably had Scottish origins.
For years, prior to Culloden, the bayonet was not effective
against the large, broadsword, and Claymore. The Loyalists tried the bayonet as the
decisive weapon at Kings Mountain but it was no match for the rifle, backed by the belt
axe and hunting knife.
As early as 1644, the MacDonalds, who were supporting Charles
I, were sent to "ravage the territory around Loch Etive with fire and sword."
The words were used as challenge and response by the Patriots before the battle of
Cowpens: challenge-"with fire", response-"and sword." The battle of
Kings Mountain resulted directly from Col. Ferguson's threat to destroy the over-mountain
settlements "with fire and sword."
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