23rd Department Encampment – CyberMonday Update!

East Tennessee and the Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39
The Department of Tennessee (with Alabama and Mississippi)
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
to its
23rd Annual Encampment
Saturday, 7 April 2018
Updated 26 November 2017

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. Preregistration has started and it has generated great interest. Nearly 20 brothers took advantage of the October Early Bird pricing. A simple pre-registration form has been produced. 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. Their phone number is 865-977-8333.  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 hotel. We plan to 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, the Sultana Memorial at Mount Olive Baptist Church, a drive-through of the Fort Sanders
area and other meaningful sites as time allows. 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).

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 Appreciation Award is provided. The award shall be known as the Charles Engle Award. The award shall be conferred by the Department Commander upon any individual or entity who, in the judgment of a threemember 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.

a. 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.

b. 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)

c. 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 or, if we fail, to just help out our very meager treasury. 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 January 31, 2018. These awards are meant to recognize the Department’s most outstanding camp, most outstanding Brother, most outstanding
newsletter and most outstanding web site or Facebook page. 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. Camps may nominate their own members or communication devices for these awards – the sole requirement is a one page letter/citation.

After the guided bus tour, we will get together Saturday evening for a Department Banquet. Afterward, for those interested, 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! On the tour, we will also have on board Norman Shaw, President of the Sultana Descendents Association who will offer additional commentary. And our own McTeer member George Lane will have something to add, I am certain. He has done tours for many years for various Knoxville and surrounding area historical societies.

We will also have a number of other “door prizes” for the attendees at all three events.

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. The numbers of pre-registrations received is growing so get yours in as soon as possible. We would have for you to miss the tour or the banquet. Both have seating maximums and tickets will be assigned first come first served.

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)

Updated Pre-Registration Form