20 August 2016 – 31 December 2016

17 December 2016:  Wreaths Across America at Knoxville National Cemetery.

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10 December 2016:  Maryville-Alcoa Jaycees Christmas Parade.

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19 November 2016:  Remembrance Day at Gettysburg, PA.  Past Camp Commander and National Treasurer David McReynolds with his wife, Polly Toole President Cindy McReynolds, attended Remembrance Day activities in Gettysburg this year.  Fun and history combined.  What more could you want??

15 November 2016:  Annual Encampment at Calhoun’s, Maryville, TN.  A great meeting with fun and fellowship followed by a business meeting and election of new officers.

30 October 2016:  Last Union Veteran Ceremony for Pvt. Benjamin Franklin.  On what was a very warm late October Sunday afternoon, we honored the last Union veteran to die in Blount County, Private Benjamin Franklin of Co. H, 1st United States Colored Troops Heavy Artillery.  We had special guests and a very nice ceremony in the tradition of the Grand Army of the Republic.


29 October 2016:  Fort Dickerson Living History Days.  Great day with wonderful people.  We answered questions and gave out literature on the SUVCW.  Tom Wright was there portraying Abraham Lincoln as he does as so many events.  Brother George Lane cooked red beans and rice for the reenactors – that has become a tradition!  And each veteran received a special card and a piece of a retired American flag in honor of their service.  Even got a pretty good picture of Department Commander Mike Downs.


1 October 2016:  Central Region of the Allied Orders Meeting by Sam Gant, PDC

On October 1, the Central Region Association of the Allied Orders (CRA) held their annual meeting in Middle Tennessee. The organization consists of the SUVCW, the Auxiliary to the SUVCW, the DUVCW, the Ladies of the GAR, and the Women’s Relief Corps from the states west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Rocky Mountains. Delegates representing SUVCW Departments of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Tennessee attended the meeting. For the Tennessee camps, Clyde Getman, PDC and Darwin Concon represented Sultana Camp, Mike Downs, DC, and David McReynolds, CC, represented McTeer Camp, and Sam Gant, PDC, represented Fort Donelson Camp. In attendance were National Past Commanders in Chief, Ken Freshley, Edward Krieser,  Jim Pahl, Don Palmer, and newly elected National SUVCW Treasurer, David McReynolds.

The day began in Franklin with a presentation by Sam Gant on the Reclamation of the Franklin Battlefield. Time was given for a brief, self-guided tour of the Franklin Battlefield. In the afternoon, the CRA re-assembled at Nashville’s Fort Negley Visitors’ Center for a business meeting and presentations.

The Business Meeting was chaired by CRA 2016 Commander, Don Palmer. A number of items were discussed. The 2017 CRA Meeting is to be held in Cleveland, OH, on October 7, 2017. The 2017 slate of CRA officers were elected: Commander, Ken Freshley, Senior Vice Commander, Jim Graham, Junior Vice Commander, John Eger, Secretary/Treasurer, Walt Busch.

Following the business session, PCinC Don Palmer and National Treasurer David McReynolds presented information on camp growth and stability:

Don Palmer discussed generational attitudes and growth strategies for fraternal organizations.

David McReynolds presented a case study in the building of a successful organization.

The CRA Annual Meeting concluded with a dinner at Franklin’s Cracker Barrel Restaurant.


Our local paper, The Daily Times in Maryville, has been a great supporter of our Camp. Here is an article about the initiation of REAL SON John Wilson Oliver, Jr.

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Below is a nice article about our Readmission Day 2016 that was held 24 July 2016 celebrating the 150th anniversary of Tennessee’s Readmission to the Union:

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18 September 2016:  We held our Quarterly Meeting at the East Tennessee Historical Center and Museum.  At our meeting, we had a once in a lifetime opportunity take place with the honor of initiating REAL SON John Wilson Oliver, Jr. into our Camp membership rolls.  It was especially touching to also have had the opportunity to initiate a junior member, Steven Kenneth Jolley, as well.  Born 81 years apart, both were there to honor with pride their ancestor who fought during the Civil War to preserve our precious Union.


20 August 2016:  We had a great time participating in the East Tennessee History Fair in downtown Knoxville sponsored by the East Tennessee Historical Society.  We were side by side with the tent manned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, so we had a good time sharing barbs back and forth during the day long event.  And, despite the weatherman calling for lots of rain, it held off but the clouds and breeze brought comfortable temperatures for the event.  As you can see from the photos, we had civil war baseball, confederates, union soldiers and even the President in attendance.  Lots and lots of history and great music too!