24th Encampment Minutes

Minutes were adopted at the 26th Department Encampment, 17 April 2021
  1. Original file as received from the late Br. David McReynold’s
  2. Accepted with changes (motion to accept: M. Downs second: D. DuBrucq)
    1. Fix Br. Dan Girton’s name
      Fix Br. Ben Block Jones to II not III

DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE (with Mississippi and Alabama)




  • The Department of Tennessee (with Mississippi and Alabama) held its annual meeting at the Tennessee Genealogical Society in Germantown, Tennessee on Saturday, February 16, 2019. Ben Block Jones Ill, Department Commander for 2018-2019, called the meeting to order at approximately 9:35 a.m. with one rap of the gavel. The Commander then received the National Officers in attendance — Donald W. Shaw, Commander-in-Chief, and David McReynolds, National Treasurer and also a member of the Department of Tennessee. Commander-in-Chief Shaw then proceeded to deliver a brief message that spoke to a few current National issues and praised the Department for its energy and vitality. The Commander-in-Chief had driven all night to be present at the Encampment and was only able to have a couple of hours sleep. The Department Commander expressed his deep appreciation and spoke to the commitment of the Commander-in- Chief in meeting his promised obligations. The National Treasurer followed with even briefer remarks from his seat. The Department Commander then proceeded to formally open the meeting per the ritual of the order. The first item of business was the roll call of officers. The Department Commander proceeded to appoint acting officers for those who were absent. He appointed David McReynolds as Acting Secretary for the Department to take minutes of the meeting. He asked Cinc Shaw to act as Parliamentarian. He had also appointed Brother McReynolds as the Chair of the Credentials Committee. Brother McReynolds reported that 17 brothers were present, all with proper credentials for voting, with one registering at the door this morning. Brother McReynolds then proceeded to call the roll of members as reported.

Attendance: Ben Block Jones Il, Clyde Getman, Skip Rexroade, Daniel Girton, George Huttick, Chip Huffman, David McReynolds, Darwin Concon, Roger Tenney, Gary Burke, Eric Alford, Howard Poarch, James Putman, Brent Goodwin, William Dwyer, James Price, and Seth Coll.

The Department Commander then moved to recognize guests. He recognized Cynthia McReynolds, President of the Polly Toole Auxiliary No. 17, the only Auxiliary in the Department. He also recognized Department member Joe Burns, retired President of the Tennessee Genealogical Society and a person who was very helpful in our acquiring the fabulous meeting space of the Society for the second time. Brother McReynolds asked the Department to recognize Real Son James Oliver, a member of Camp No. 39. He believes that Brother Oliver is one of two real sons left in the SUVCW.

Department Commander Jones then asked Department Council Chair David McReynolds if he had a report. Brother McReynolds reported that two members of the Council (he and Brother Gary Burke) were present this morning and attempted to meet but could not due to the absence of the Department Secretary Craig Brown. There were no financial reports or bank statements presented. Brother McReynolds was in possession of the Department checkbook but had no entries since his term as Department Commander in 2017-2018. From input from the Camps of the Department, it appears likely that Brother Brown has not filed many reports from the Department to Headquarters. Brother McReynolds offered to attempt to have a meeting with Brother Brown and obtain any Department materials in his possession. From there, he suggested that the new Commander and Secretary could work with him to develop a plan to correct any problems found prior to the end of the reporting year on May 31st.

Department Commander Jones then proceeded to deliver his report on activities of the past year. His written report is attached to and made a part of these minutes. Senior Vice Commander Roger Tenney delivered an oral report. Chaplain Gary Burke had no report. Department Historian Clyde Getman reported that while there is some activity at the camp level, there needs to be more. Signals Officer George Andrew Huttick then delivered an interesting report about the potential for communication improvements through the internet.

Next, the various camps gave their reports. The Sultana Camp No. 1 reported that they had added 9 new members during calendar year 2018 and had participated in numerous events including the Mid-South Military History and Civil War Show which has become a major event in recruiting new members and educating the public about the SUVCW. This year’s show is March 30-31 at the Agricenter Showplace Arena in Memphis. Special recognition was given to Clyde Getman, Darwin Concon, Skip Rexroade and Joe Burns. Skip Rexroade has been elected Commander for the coming year.

Next, Roger Tenney presented the report for the Fort Donelson Camp No. 62. After 7 years as Commander, Roger is finally passing the torch. He remarked about the successful efforts in saving Fort Negley — we now watch to see what the city ends up doing. The camp was also heavily involved in saving and preserving an important historical civil war guidon. Brother Gary Burke was also featured in an article in Civil War Times Illustrated, a tremendous PR achievement for Gary, the Camp and for the Order.

There was no report from the Missionary Ridge Camp in Chattanooga.

The Wilson Camp No. 1 in Fairhope, Alabama reported the addition of 7 new members. They had a number of successful meetings during the year including one involving relics and sites involving the Battle of Wilson. There was no report from the Taylor Camp No. 53 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Brother McReynolds then gave a lengthy report on the activities of the McTeer Camp

No. 39 during the calendar year 2018. The report is attached and made a part of these minutes.

At this point in the meeting, Brother Jones asked that we take a moment to recognize those Department members who passed away during the past year. It is always a sorrowful moment in the meeting agenda. Commander Jones then asked the Department to pray for Sam Gant as he and his wife battle his wife’s very serious illness. Commander Jones also asked the Department to keep all members who are battling serious illnesses or who have family members in the same situation on each Brother’s prayer list.

Brother Huttick moved and Brother Concon seconded that the minutes of this Encampment be prepared and distributed within 30 days of the date of the meeting. Motion passed unanimously.

Brother Huttick then moved with a proper second from a credentialed Brother to make all members of the Department, who are not Past Department Commanders and are not Official Delegates as voted on and appointed by this Encampment, Alternate Delegates, able to take credentials to fill any open seat of the Department at the 2019 National Encampment in Cleveland, Ohio. Motion passed unanimously.

Cinc Shaw asked the Encampment to consider the proposed Constitutional Amendment to the Constitution and Regulations of the Sons of Union Veterans. This amendment affects Article V, Section 2 b (C&R page 20). This section was read to the Encampment as it presently exists and how it would read with the amendment in place. Brother McReynolds made a motion for the Encampment to approve this amendment and to recommend adoption at the next National Encampment. Brother Huttick seconded. Approval of the amendment by the Department passed unanimously, exceeding the 2/3 voting requirement.

The Encampment then moved to the election of Delegates to the 2019 National Encampment in Cleveland, Ohio. Nominated were George Andrew Huttick, Chip Huffman, Darwin Concon, Howard Poarch, George Michael Huttick, Brent Goodwin, Gary Burke, Joe Burns, and Skip Rexroade. Motion was made and seconded by Department members credentialed to vote at the Encampment to make the nominated Brothers our Official Delegates. The motion passed unanimously and those nominated are therefore made Official Delegates.

The time being 11:20 a.m. and our food being available, Commander Jones proceeded to close the Encampment in order to break for lunch. Chaplain Gary Burke then came forward, closed the bible on the altar, and saluted the Department Commander.

Lunch was catered by The Commissary and included BBQ ribs and chicken, Memphis style. It was delicious.

At 12:35 p.m., Commander Jones called the Encampment back to order with one rap of the gavel. Brother Chaplain Burke proceeded to open our bible at the altar. At this point in the meeting, Commander Jones proceeded to identifying the recipients of awards for the year 2018-2019. Department member Joe Burns and the Tennessee Genealogical Society each received Department Commendations for their support of the Department and for Joe’s continued work to make not only the Encampment but the activities of his Camp a success. Department Chaplain Gary Burke received a Department Commendation for producing positive public relations at the local, regional and national level.

Department Commander Jones then moved to recognize individual Camps for excellence. Awards were presented as follows:

Most outstanding online media: Fort Donelson Camp No. 62

Most outstanding newsletter: Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39

Most outstanding camp: President Andrew Johnson Camp No. 70

Private Henry Hoover Award: Major General James H. Wilson Camp No. 1

Corporal William H. Bell Award: Sultana Camp No. 1

The Department Commander then moved to the recognition of individuals:

Most outstanding brother: Howard Poarch

Charles Engle Award: David McReynolds

It was moved and properly seconded by credentialed members of the Department that contact information for the Department be made more readily available. During discussion, it was pointed out that the Camps needed to keep their submittal of Form 22 and their camp rosters current. If that information is out of date, then contact information is out of date. Signals Officer Huttick agreed to work on the issue with the cooperation of all Camp Commanders.

Commander Jones then moved business to the election of officers for 2019-2020. First was the office of Treasurer. Through the roll call of Camps, Camp No. 39 nominated David McReynolds for Treasurer. After three requests for any further nominations, it was moved and properly seconded that nominations be closed. It was then moved and properly seconded that the election be unanimous. Motion passed unanimously.

Next was the office of Secretary. The Fort Donelson Camp No. 62 nominated George Andrew Huttick. Being no further nominations, a motion was made and properly seconded to close nominations for Secretary. Motion passed unanimously. Motion was made and properly seconded to make the election unanimous. Motion passed unanimously.

Next was the office of Junior Vice Commander. The Sultana Camp No. 1 nominated Skip Rexroade. Being no further nominations, a motion was made and properly seconded to close nominations for Junior Vice Commander. Motion passed unanimously. Motion was made and properly seconded to make the election unanimous. Motion passed unanimously.

Next was the office of Senior Vice Commander. The Army of the Tennessee Camp No. 64 nominated David Du Brucq. Being no further nominations, a motion was made and properly seconded to close nominations for Senior Vice Commander. Motion passed unanimously. Motion was then made and properly seconded to make the election unanimous. Motion passed unanimously.

Next was the office of Department Commander. The Fort Donelson Camp No. 62 proudly nominated Roger Tenney. Being no further nominations, a motion was made and properly seconded to close nominations for Department Commander. Motion passed unanimously. Motion was then made and properly seconded to make the election unanimous. Motion passed unanimously.

After the election, Commander-in-Chief Donald Shaw proceeded with the Installation Ceremony in accordance with the Ritual of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. All the elected officers and those appointed officers who were present participated in the ceremony. At the conclusion, Commander-in-Chief Shaw stepped in for Brother Tenney’s spouse and pinned the Department Commander’s badge on Brother Tenney’s chest. Cinc Shaw then presented outgoing Department Commander Jones with the Past Department Commander badge, one of the most beautiful badges of the Order.

Brother Tenney then proceeded to close the Encampment using the Ritual of the SUVCW.

The Encampment was duly closed at 1:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

David H- McReynolds, PDC