May 29, 2017

Program Cover


David:  Good morning!  I am David McReynolds, Commander of the Department of Tennessee of the Sons of Union Veterans and its National Treasurer. Let me send greetings to the 79th Highlanders for their traditional ceremony.  I enjoy it so much each year I am able to attend.

Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their life in service our military.  This is what makes this day so special and differentiates it from the other days that honor our military.

Welcome to our Memorial Day services.  We are here to honor not only our Union ancestors who fell on the battlefield of the Civil War but all those who have fallen on all the battlefields of all wars.

Brother George Lane will now give the Invocation.


Source:  Lane Memorial Library, Hampton, NH

George Lane:  Today we are here to honor those that have served our country and given their lives so that we may stand here and still live in freedom. We need to be constantly reminded of our gift of freedom and of those who gave all to make sure future generations continue to know life in a free, democratic society.

Remembering those who have passed is only half of the task that is before us today. We must also carry their love, honor and duty forward to the future generations that will pass. Our children must know who they were, what they did and why they did it. To do anything less, will be a disservice to their sacrifice and their memories.

Those that are gone created a clear pathway for us to continue on — we must never waiver from that path of freedom and democracy. Take their memories, take their dreams and walk forward shouldering the cause of freedom — carry it high and proud, they did and now you must walk forward for them and for our children.


David:  In our program, we have provided the words to the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance and the American’s Creed.

Prepare to present colors.

Present Colors.

Please join us as William Beard leads us in together singing the National Anthem:

National Anthem

Oh, say can you see,
By the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed,
At the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.
And the rocket’s red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
Oh say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave,
For the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

David:  Now please face the flag, put your hand over your heart and join with me as we together recite the Pledge of Allegience:

Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,

and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Next, join with me as re recite together the American’s Creed:

American’s Creed

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

Prepare to post colors.

Post colors.

David:  May I present Max Renfro, Commander of the Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39 of the SUVCW:


It is with pride that I serve as Commander of the Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. We are a fraternal organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of heroes who fought so bravely to preserve the Union of the greatest country on earth. Organized in 1881 and chartered by Congress in 1954, we are the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic.
Full membership in the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War is open to any man, 14 years of age and older who:  Is directly descended from a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or is directly descended from a brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister of a Union soldier who was regularly mustered and served honorably in, was honorably discharged from, or died in the service of, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps of the United States of America or in such state regiments called to active service and was subject to the orders of United States general officers, between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865.
A junior membership is available to those 6-14 years of age.
Associate membership is available to men who do not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership, but who demonstrate a genuine interest in the Civil War and
agree to support the purpose and objectives of the SUVCW.
Camp #39 has a membership of 44 and the Department of Tennessee has a membership of 183.


David:  Next, is Holly Matthews, President of the Lucinda Healtherly Detached Tent #3 of the DUVCW:




David:  Next, I present Cindy McReynolds, President of the Polly Toole Auxiliary #17:



Greetings from Polly Toole Auxiliary

I am Cindy McReynolds, President of the Polly Toole Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.  I bring Greetings on this Memorial Day 2017.

The purpose of our organization is to:

  1. To assist the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in all their principles and objects.
  2. To perpetuate the memory of the services and sacrifices of the Union Veterans of the Civil War for the maintenance of the Union, particularly through patriotic and historical observances, especially the proper observance of Memorial Day, Lincoln’s Birthday and Appomattox Day.
  3. To inculcate true patriotism and love of country, not only among our membership, but to all people of our land, and to spread and sustain the doctrine of equal rights, universal liberty and justice to all.
  4. To oppose, to the limit of our power and influence, all movements, tendencies and efforts that make for the destruction or impairment of our constitutional Union, and to demand of all citizens undivided loyalty and the highest type of Americanism.
  5. To oppose, to the limit of our power and influence, all movements, tendencies and efforts that make for the destruction or impairment of our constitutional Union, and to demand of all citizens undivided loyalty and the highest type of Americanism.


The History of Knoxville National Cemetery

David:  Knoxville National Cemetery was established by Major General Ambrose Burnside whose Union forces had liberated Knoxville in September 1863 at the height of the Civil War. Burnside assigned the task of the layout out the cemetery to his Quartermaster, Captain E. G. Chamberlain.  The cemetery’s first burials were Union dead exhumed and moved from Cumberland Gap and other parts of the region. Chamberlain’s plan was so effective, that the cemetery was one of the few in the nation that required no alterations upon being designated a national cemetery at the end of the war.

The graves at Knoxville National Cemetery are arranged in a circular pattern, with each burial section separated by walkways. The burial sections each form one quarter of the circle, with the headstones converging toward the middle, where there is a flagpole and cloth canopy. A stone wall surrounds the perimeter, the southeast section of which divides the cemetery from the adjacent Old Gray Cemetery. The northeast section of the wall, which contains the main entrance, is topped by an iron fence, with the entrance secured by an iron double-gate.

The Union Soldier monument, in the cemetery’s eastern corner, was erected in the early 1900s. In 1892, Knoxville’s Confederate veterans installed a 48-foot monument topped by a statue of a Confederate soldier at the Confederate Cemetery near the Mabry-Hazen House in East Knoxville. Not to be outdone, the local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic, the predecessor organization of the Sons of Union Veterans, formed a commission, headed by former Union Army officer and Knoxville Journal publisher William Rule, to raise money to build a monument of greater size at Knoxville National Cemetery.

Completed in 1901, the monument initially stood 50 feet – the height having been calculated to surpass that of the Confederates’ monument – and was topped by a bronze eagle with wings spread. On August 22, 1904, however, the eagle was shattered by a bolt of lightning, the sound of which rattled Knoxville and could be heard for miles all around. Undaunted, the GAR commissioners planned immediate reconstruction, using federal funds secured by Congressman Henry R. Gibson. The new monument, designed by the local architects of the Baumann family, largely followed the original design, the exception being a marble statue of a Union soldier placed atop the monument rather than an eagle. The new monument was completed on October 15, 1906.

The monument, built of Tennessee marble, represents a medieval fortress, with stained glass windows and an inner room and staircase. The 8-foot soldier statue stands at post atop the main tower. The monument is sometimes called the “Wilder Monument,” as local legend suggests the soldier bears the likeness of Union general and East Tennessee businessman John T. Wilder.

Standing 60 feet tall, this Union Monument is the tallest Union monument in any of the States who seceded during the Civil War demonstrating the significant support of the preservation of the Union before and during the war.

David:  I now turn the ceremonies over to the DUVCW:


DUVCW Ritual



David — Brothers of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Sisters of the Allied Orders here today and Friends:

We assemble once more to pay to our ancestors our tribute of love and respect and within these sacred bonds to pledge anew our dedication to their memory and the principles for which they fought.  With bowed heads, solemn tread, and voices hushed, we meet to remind our people of their duty to the soldiers and sailors who wore the blue; to the Flag for which they fought; to the country for which they died; and that it is for us to keep green the memories of their heroic service and unselfish sacrifice.

May we fully realize the sanctity of the place and hour; may our conduct give assurance of the sincerity of our purpose and our earnest appreciation of the duties and responsibilities resting upon us as Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Gentlemen uncover and everyone please honor our words of prayer on this most special day.

Prayer — Supreme Ruler of the Universe! God of battles and of peace! We thank Thee for this day and hour; for this blessed privilege of meeting here as sons of soldiers and sailors to do homage to a Nation’s dead.  We thank Thee that in the day of trouble and the hour of danger Thou in Thy infinite wisdom raised up men who were ready to do battle, and if need be, to die that this country might be preserved.

Grant us, we beseech Thee, a continuance of Thy watchful care.  Grant Thy blessing upon these sacred ceremonies, consecrated as they are to the memory of brave and loyal hearts who dared stand for the right and did not fear to bare their breasts to a storm of steel in defense of human liberty, a united country and the brotherhood of man.

Bless our country. Preserve its integrity. Prosper our Order. Make it, we pray Thee, an instrument in Thy hands of great good to our country and to Thee, and at last gather us with Thee in the Great Camp of Eternity. Hear and answer, we beseech Thee. Amen.

All – Amen

Please continue to pay your respects to our fallen brothers as William Beard plays Taps.

George Lane will now give the Benediction.


George:  We remember today all those who have come before us and given the greatest gift to our democratic nation — their lives. Their duty, their honor and their lives are precious gifts that must be given to the future of our country and our families.

The duty of our veterans past and present is the fiber of the word freedom and is stronger by our recognition of service and sacrifice. We honor that service and sacrifice today and should carry it forward for our children to honor. Freedom and democracy are the result of all of the most honorable this country as produced. Today we stand to remember the most honorable amongst us and we must continue to carry the burden of their sacrifice, lest we lose sight of what true freedom is.

Today is for remembering – – stand in honor of them, walk in their path of duty, remember the cost, and hold in your heart the cause of freedom.

We remember today, Memorial Day, our Veterans.










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s