Special Order #2 – 2023 – 2024

George Andrew Huttick
57 Hwy 22S
Shiloh, TN 38376

SPECIAL ORDER # 2, 2023-2024

Brothers of the Department,

Over the past several months, we have had multiple requests to start new Camps within the Department.  As this topic keeps coming up, I wanted to clarify my position on this matter.

  • I am not opposed to new Camps within the Department. Clearly, we have added one during my tenure.
  • I do want to see new Camps succeed.
  • I want existing Camps to be healthy.

It is the onerous duty of the Department Commander to balance these factors.

Regarding Camp Health

This has been a primary focus of my tenure.  Of the five Camps in the Department, I perceive one Camp as very healthy, one Camp as being reasonably healthy, and three Camps potentially unhealthy.  When I look at the Camps in recent years that have failed, they have failed due to lack of depth of leadership.  The strongest Camp we have has significant depth of leadership.  Camps without knowledgeable leadership, and depth of leadership struggle.

Camp locations:

Figure 1 (Below) shows where we have the most members.  It also shows other individuals, particularly the Brothers we lost with McTeer Camp folding, and Brothers who live within our boundaries that belong to other Departments.  Realistically, there are always “paper” or “ghost” Brothers in a Camp.  YET, when we consider Camp health, these members do not typically add to the health and leadership of the Camp.

East Tennessee remains a concern for me.  Yet, it is clear that there are few Brothers living in that area right now, and many are scattered.

What does it take to start a Camp?

A solid core group of Brothers.  In my opinion, at least one Brother who has been in the Order for enough time to know how we function (this is the person who is generally appointed as Camp Organizer, and usually becomes a member of the Camp).

The core group needs to be committed to getting the Camp off the ground.  One of our failed Camps of the past few years was Brothers who never learned the basics of the Order.  When their Camp Organizer passed away, no one was versed enough nor desired to step up to lead.  At a minimum, the core group needs to really take time to learn what the Commander Sr Vice Commander, Jr. Vice Commander, Patriotic Instructor, Secretary, Treasurer, and Chaplain roles do and be committed to performing these duties.  Some thought should go to succession planning of the roles from the beginning. 

The group needs a plan.  Beyond leadership, Camps that thrive do more than just have a regular business meeting.  The Camp needs to pick its “thing”.  Examples are:  hosting speakers, cemetery and grave restoration work, etc.  Preferably, it will include being visible in the community.  Visibility leads to additional membership.

The plan should include by-laws, a plan to fund the Camp (and build reserves).

There are other considerations, and they are included in an email I sent to some Brothers in early June (below).

Please feel free to ask clarifying questions.

So ordered this 16th day of July, 2023

George Andrew Huttick
Department of Tennessee
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


Richard “Skip” Rexroade, CC
Department Secretary-Treasurer
Department of Tennessee
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

figure 1. Locations of Camps and various members within the boundaries of the Department of Tennessee

DTN (Blue) = Department of Tennessee Member
McTeer (Red) = Brothers from McTeer Camp 39 lost last year
NDTN (Orange) = Brothers who are part of another Department, yet reside within our Department
Stars = locations of current Camps