Januray 1, 2018 – Present

9 September 2018:  Senior Vice Commander Richard Holmes doing what he likes best, setting a stone for an unmarked soldier’s grave.  This one at Paint Rock Baptist Church.  Looks like he had plenty of help!  Stuff  like this is what our camp is all about.


22 September 2018:  At the grave marking for Private Messamore in Claxton.  A very nice small event with support from the community and many family members in attendance.


18 August 2018:  The East Tennessee History Fair in Krutch Park and Market Square in downtown Knoxville, TN.  Despite rain, another huge crowd.  Got some membership prospects.  And a little fun with all the kids wanting to play Union soldier dress-up.


14 August 2018:  Camp Mess at Aubrey’s Restaurant in Maryville, TN.


9 – 12 August 2018:  National Encampment in Boston, Massachusetts.  Former Department and Camp Commander David McReynolds received the 2017-2018 Cornelius Whitehouse Award as the Most Outstanding Brother in the Order.  If you look just over McReynolds’ right should in the photos, you will see a flag with “E. Tenn.”  Fitting for the moment.


21 July 2018:  Headstones Dedication for two brothers who died serving the Union during the Civil War.  William Riley Kidd died at Cahaba Prison in Alabama in September 1864 of disease and his brother James William Kidd died on the Sultana steamboat when it blew up 27 April 1865 after being released from the same prison.  Two other brothers survived the war.  While their bodies were never recovered, memorial headstones have been placed in the family cemetery near their mother’s grave.



12 June 2018:  Camp Mess at our new location, Aubrey’s Restaurant in Maryville, TN.  Patriotic Instruction was about Flag Day and Flag Week.  Also discussed upcoming headstone dedication on 21 July 2018 for two Union men who died on the Sultana.

Camp Mess 06122018 (2)

30 May 2018:  On May 5, 1868, as the Commander-in-Chief of Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), Civil War Major General John Logan issued General Order No. 11, an act that initiated the first national observance for honoring Civil War dead. Originally called Decoration Day, Logan’s order stipulated May 30 to be a day “designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land.”  This was the origin of Memorial Day, which was celebrated on May 30 each year until June 28, 1968, when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May.

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), the successor organization to the GAR, continue to honor Civil War dead on the traditional date as prescribed in General Order No. 11.  So, on May 30, 2018, five members of the Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39 of the SUVCW gathered at the grave of the camp’s namesake for a headstone re-dedication service in observance of Memorial Day on its original and traditional date.



28 May 2018:  Memorial Day Services at Knoxville National Cemetery.  Co-sponsored with 79th New York Infantry Cameron Highlanders, Lucinda Heatherly Detached Tent No. 3 of the Daughters of Union Veterans, and the Polly Toole Auxiliary No. 17.  It was a rainy day with a lot of wind and slop.  But we made it through with a fine program.  Photos by David Jones.





1 May 2018:  East Tennessee History Awards presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society at the Foundry in downtown Knoxville, TN.  The McTeer Camp is honored to receive an award for the third consecutive year.  Camp members David McReynolds and George Lane attended to receive the award on behalf of the camp.  The citation read:  “The Major William A. McTeer Camp continuously showcases excellence in leadership by preserving local and regional history and heritage through locating, marking, and holding dedications for unmarked graves or damaged headstones of Union veterans. The camp participates in a wide variety of events and memorials and works with Boy Scout and ROTC groups.”


28 April 2018:  Headstone dedication service for Civil War Surgeon Celso Pierucci at the Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville, TN.  A great event for the camp and our community, including the direct descendants of Surgeon Pierucci who came and also participated in our service.  The event received good coverage by the local media.






7 April 2018:  The McTeer Camp hosted the 23rd Annual Encampment of the Department of Tennessee:







3 March 2018:  Richard Holmes doing his work at Blue Spring Cemetery in Roane County.







17 January 2018:  Recognition for our participation in the 2017 Wreaths Across America event.  Thank you to everyone in the Camp who participated this year.







09 January 2018:  Camp Mess at Calhoun’s By the Creek Restaurant in Maryville, TN.  A great start to a New Year!