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DAR meeting, American war history of 100 years ago

The William Taylor Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution welcomed the return of a favorite presenter, Alexander “Al” F. Barnes, to its March meeting. Barnes, who was born in Niagara Falls, New York, grew up in an Air Force family. His mother was a member of the DAR.

Barnes enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1974 and then joined the Army National Guard in 1977, retiring as a Virginia Army National Guard chief warrant officer in 2004. He retired as a U.S. Army Civilian at Fort Lee in July 2015. He currently serves as the Command Historian for the Virginia National Guard.

Barnes has a Master of Anthropology degree and has authored seven military history books. His World War I books have told the story of immigrants in the US Army and the close linkage of the Doughboys and baseball.

His most recent book is entitled In a Strange Land: The American Occupation of Germany: 1918-1923.

After Germany’s defeat, its territory was divided into four occupation zones. The troops who were left there were to enforce the armistice until such time as a formal treaty could be drawn up and signed. Barnes used interesting photographs to illustrate the points that he made about the American occupation and even shared a number of artifacts that he had collected from the U.S. occupation of its assigned territory.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a lineage-based membership service organization for women who are directly descended from a person involved in the United States’ efforts towards independence.

A non-profit group, it promotes historic preservation, education, and patriotism. More than 90 members strong, the William Taylor Chapter serves a wide swath of counties in Southern Virginia, including Brunswick, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Nottoway.