The Varnum Armory played host earlier this month to the Rhode Island chapter of the Children of the American Revolution, who recreated a moment in history. In October 1777, a letter from then-Gen. George Washington was delivered to Col. James Varnum (THAT Varnum, of East Greenwich) at a crucial point in the Revolutionary War. 

The letter happens to be part of the Varnum Armory Museum’s vast collection of military artifacts from that war and beyond. 

Reed Trembly played the role of Gen. Varnum, with Olivia Head taking the role of Col. Christopher Greene. Young Henry Head played the messenger boy who delivers the letter. 

All three are members of RISSCAR, an organization open to anyone 21 years old and younger who can prove they are descended from “someone who rendered material aid to the cause of American Independence as a soldier, sailor, civil officer, or recognized patriot in one of the several Colonies or States, or of the United States.”


CAR members Caitlyn Holmstadt and Reagan Trembly in colonial garb.

In addition to the three actors in the letter dramatization, other RISSCAR members participating in the “friends and family” day included Reagan Trembly as Mrs. “Patty” Varnum, Madelyn Paquette as the narrator, and Caitlyn Holmstadt, Mary Fairbank, Mathilde Fairbank, and Rachel Fairbank.

Following the dramatization, Varnum Armory Museum curator Patrick Donovan led a tour of the museum, after which the group repaired to the historic Varnum House on Peirce Street (right behind Town Hall). There, Mrs. Varnum (aka Reagan Trembly) gave a brief history of the house and Gen. Varnum (Reed Trembly) talked about his library and some of the people he hosted there.

RISSCAR’s focus these days is expanding membership, preserving history and educating young people about American history. If you are interested in learning more, check out their website here.


A letter from Gen. George Washington to Gen. James Varnum that you can see at the Varnum Armory Museum.


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