23rd Department Encampment

East Tennessee and the Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39
The Department of Tennessee
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
to its
23rd Annual Encampment
Saturday, 7 April 2018

Before you know it, the time will be upon us for the Annual Encampment for our Department.  The McTeer Camp is already hard at work in planning the event and wants to share some news with the other Camps.  We want to make this event something every member in our Department “wants” to attend and can attend.  Pre-registration has started and includes many options for the attendee.  A bifold brochure and a simple pre-registration from have been produced. Those who pre-register by October 31st will receive a very special gift in addition to a gift that will be given to all who pre-register.  Because we are planning a special encampment, we will ask for everyone to send in their pre-registration as soon as possible so planning may proceed in a timely fashion.

The host hotel is the Courtyard by Marriott conveniently located just off Alcoa/Airport Highway at 141 Furrow Way, Aloca, TN 37701.  The rate is 99 per night but we encourage you to check www.marrriott.com as specials come up routinely.  The rate will be good both Friday and Saturday nights for those coming in from far distances.  As such, members may stay at the hotel either Friday or Saturday or both nights as they so choose.

The McTeer Camp will host a “Welcome Party” on Friday evening at the host hotel.  It will be a chance to start off the weekend with a good dose of Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty – getting to know one another and sharing clever ideas about the SUVCW, our Camps and our Department.

We plan to have the business meeting, election of officers and lunch at the nearby air force base with the hope that we can be finished early in the afternoon so that we may depart from our host hotel for an approximately three hour guided bus tour of local Union Civil War sites.  Included will be the recently redone Fort Dickerson park, the Knoxville National Cemetery, a drive-through of the Fort Sanders area and many other meaningful sites.  We want as many as possible to participate and we will be gathering a small fee ($15 for those who pre-register by November 30th).

We also have some really great Early Bird Special pricing on pre-registrations including the Meeting/Tour/Banquet at only $49 per person and the Meeting/Tour at only $20 person.  This pricing is only good for pre-registrations received by 31 October 2017!

During the business meeting and/or the banquet of the Encampment, we intend to present several awards.  The Department will give out awards first in accordance with the bylaws:

Section 1: Authorization for two Department membership awards is provided. The Department may confer an award upon the Camp within the Department of Tennessee that initiates the most new Brothers during the twelve (12) months preceding the Department Encampment. This award shall be designated as the Corporal William H. Bell Membership Award. The Department may also confer an award upon the Camp within the Department of Tennessee that demonstrated the largest percentage of growth during the twelve (12) months preceding the Department Encampment. This award shall be designated as the Private Henry Hoover Membership Award.
Section 2:  Authorization for a Department certificate of appreciation award is provided. The award shall be known as the Department of Tennessee Certificate of Appreciation. The award shall be conferred by the Department Commander upon any individual or entity who, in the judgment of a three-member panel appointed by the Department Commander, has through his/her actions, words, and/or deeds significantly contributed to the furtherance of the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic within the Boundaries of the Department of Tennessee.  Recommendations for possible recipients of said award shall be submitted, along with a one-page description of the contribution made, to the Department Secretary no later than two (2) months prior to the annual Department Encampment.  Recipients of the award shall be publicly announced and a certificate presented at the annual Department of Tennessee Encampment.  No more than three (3) recipients shall be selected for the award in any one year.

Per National Policy we also shall award the following:

The Doctor Mary Edwards Walker Award – This award may be presented by the Commander-in-Chief or a Department Commander to a female member of one of the Allied Orders in recognition of and appreciation for her outstanding service to the SUVCW.  At the National level, she must be recommended by a Past Department Commander, Past Commander-in-Chief, the Commander-in-Chief, or an elected National Officer.  At the Department level, she must be recommended by a Past Camp Commander, Past Department Commander, Past Commander-in-Chief or the Department Commander.

  1. The Commander-in-Chief may present up to three awards in any one year. A Department Commander may present up to two awards in any one year. It is not mandatory for either the Commander-in-Chief or a Department Commander to present this award.
  2. The medal shall be gold in color. The obverse bears a portrait of Doctor Mary Edwards Walker wearing a Medal of Honor within a raised bordure bearing the inscription “Doctor Mary Edwards Walker Medal” above and SUVCW below, separated by stars. The reverse of the medal will be inscribed as follows: “Awarded in grateful appreciation for service to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.” (Note: the reverse also bears the copyright © 2011 SUVCW)
  3. The medal shall be suspended from a neck ribbon, gold in color for national awards made by the Commander-in-Chief, and dark red for awards made by a Department Commander. The medal is accompanied by a certificate which should be presented with the medal. The medal may be presented in accordance with the ceremony in the   “Ritual & Ceremonials.”

The Department also intends to recognize at the Department Encampment, the Camp who voluntarily raises the most money per member toward the possible hosting of a future National Encampment.

Finally, the Department Commander, with the input of the Camp Commanders and other Department Officers, intends to make several other awards based on nominations submitted no later than November 30, 2017.  These awards are meant to recognize the Department’s most outstanding camp, most outstanding Brother, most outstanding newsletter and most outstanding web site.  Nominations may be made by letter to the Department Commander with a one-page citation stating the reasons why the person or entity should receive the award.

After the guided bus tour, we hope to get together Saturday evening for a Department Banquet which is dependent on getting enough pre-registrations for this event by 31 January 2018.  If not, we will host an informal get together for those interested at the host hotel.

We are also very fortunate to have Dr. Aaron Astor of Maryville College as our event speaker and tour commentator. Dr. Astor is Associate Professor of History at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. He is the author of the book, Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, 1860-1872, published in 2012 and The Civil War Along Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau released in May 2015.  He has also written eleven articles for the award-winning New York Times Disunion series, addressing such topics as guerrilla warfare, battles and campaigns in the Western Theater, popular politics, emancipation and race, and regional identity in the Appalachian South.  He is currently working on a book project that explores the 1860 Presidential election as a grassroots phenomenon from the perspective of four distinct American communities. At Maryville College, Dr. Astor teaches a variety of courses on United States history, from Colonial America to the present.   He also participates in numerous historic preservation groups across Tennessee, including serving on the Board of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association and the East Tennessee Civil War Alliance.  His books will be available for sale at the Encampment for those who are interested.  And also as Door Prizes!

I think you can see that the McTeer Camp intends to host a first-class Department Encampment.  We need Camp Commanders to start sharing this information with their Camps and promoting attendance now.  This will be a Department Encampment you will not want to miss.  We need to start getting preliminary attendance numbers ASAP.  Let us know how we might make it even better.

Max Renfro
Commander, Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39

David McReynolds
Commander, Department of Tennessee (with Alabama and Mississippi)

Registration Form
Registration BiFold