With rain clouds suspended above the Old Colony Burying Ground on Saturday, May 4, men, women, and children gathered under a large tree in the center of the cemetery, pressed beneath its branches.

The crowd faced a collection of men wearing traditional colonial dress, who trod the dew-doused grass, some with muskets slung over their shoulders, some without. 

Credit: Brin Glass

Members of the Sons, Daughters, and Children of the American Revolution organizations congregated in the cemetery off Main Street in Granville, along with family members, friends and descendents of Revolutionary War soldiers. 

In recent years, the Hocking Valley Chapter for Sons of the American Revolution has spearheaded these grave marking ceremonies — events where SAR chapters honor veterans with a new grave marker — and have previously honored 17 of the 22 Revolutionary War veterans buried beneath their feet.  

On Saturday, they honored the last five veterans’ graves — including the graves of Jesse Munsen, Lamelle Roads, Tom Spellman, Samuel Thill Jr., and Louis Sturges —  commemorating all 22 Revolutionary War veterans buried in the Granville cemetery.

Credit: Brin Glass

Visitors traveled from West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana to attend the ceremony in Granville. 

Around 20 men stood, shoulders taut and chins raised, and a man with a booming voice yelled commands as the ceremony began. Cherry red, navy blue, forest green, and cream-colored coats shrouded the men, their uniforms complete with waistcoats, ruffled shirts and breeches with stockings. 

The men held flags upright, and marched toward the headstones. 

“March, right,” Bob Hill yelled. 

Hill, the president of the Hocking Valley Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution, also serves as the color guard commander for the Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution. He directed the group of men during Saturday’s ceremony. 

Bob Hill, saluting, serves as the president of the Hocking Valley Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution and as the color guard commander for OSSAR. Credit: Brin Glass

Speakers took turns providing thanks and appreciation for the ceremony and the cause, keeping it brief due to the humid, rainy day. 

Don Miller is the president of the Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution for 2023-2024. Miller thanked Lyn and Jeff Boone, residents of Granville and keepers of the burial grounds, for maintaining the cemetery and “keeping these remains.” 

Other speakers included 73-year-old Tom Hankins, a Granville resident and member of the Hocking Valley Chapter of SAR, members and leaders of various SAR and DAR chapters, and John Dodd, the general president of the National Society of SAR, who traveled to the village from California for the event.

Dodd thanked “the dedicated patriots for their work” during the grave marking ceremony.  

A man in a kilt and buttoned coat held bagpipes, standing among the headstones far behind the crowd, and played “Amazing Grace,” to end the ceremony. 

Credit: Brin Glass

The bagpiper walked straight lines through the rows of headstones in an intricate pattern, pivoting tightly at corners. Then, hefty taps began from the cylindrical drum, and the men loaded the firearms. In awe, attendees abandoned their space under the tree, gathering perpendicular to the men. Phones and cameras in hands, the crowd waited. 

Then, a count-down. The drums heightened, and the men pointed their muskets to the trees. 

One shot. 



After three shots, a trumpet sounded from the far east of the cemetery. Then, a horn from the southeast. The men marched toward the western side, and the crowd shifted with them. 

Kevin Driesbach and Christine Lallier, residents of Kingston and Circleville, Ohio, stood under the tree as the men trod in front of them. 

They laughed with one another, looking at their fellow SAR and DAR members. 

Driesbach, 64, member of the Pickaway Ohio Chapter of SAR, admires these events, and “the old men who get to act like idiots,” he jokes, looking down at his colonial dress wear. 

Lallier, 63, laughed in agreement. These events are fun, he said, while honoring those who fought for the United States.

The music faded while everyone followed the muskets and three more shots toward Main Street. Uncounted eyes watched the smoke swirl and dance through the air, dissipating in the humidity, and tickling the underbellies of leaves. 

Brin Glass writes for TheReportingProject.org, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University’s Journalism program, which is sponsored in part by the Mellon Foundation and donationsfrom readers. Sign up for The Reporting Project newsletter here.