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Members Only Veteran Exempts T-Shirt

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The Veteran Exempts, commanded by a Captain Melvin L. Woolsey, was a
local New York militia company, formed in July of 1812, which was made
up of veterans of the American Revolution who were otherwise exempt
from military service because of their age or injuries. By forming the
Veteran Exempts the veterans enabled the younger militia men to go off to
war while the older men stayed to protect the local settlements. The
Veteran Exempts flag may have been used at the Battle of Plattsburgh in
upper New York. The Battle, also known as the Battle of Lake Champlain,
ended the final British invasion attempt of the northern United States during
the War of 1812. Fought shortly before the signing of the Treaty of Ghent,
the American victory denied the British leverage to demand exclusive
control over the Great Lakes and any territorial gains against the New
England states. 


The Veterans Exempt flag was described in the Plattsburgh Republican,
July 31, 1812, as having "...a black ground with 13 stars for the Union of
White, wrought in silver. That in the center of the Flag there be a Death's
Head, with cross bones under, intimating what must soon, according to the
course of nature, be their promiscuous fate, and the immediate one of any
enemy who shall venture to contend with them. Under these an open
wreath, with this motto, ´Thy will be done.´ Over the Death's Head,
surmounted as a crest, a Rattle-Snake with Thirteen rattles, coiled, ready to
strike, with this motto in a similar wreath inverted over it, ´Don’t tread on
me.´"