The Major William A. McTeer Camp No. 39 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) held its quarterly meeting on March 18 in the Sharon Lawson Room at the Blount County Library in Maryville.
Dr. Nancy McEntee gave a presentation about her book “Haversacks, Hardtack, and Unserviceable Mules,” a Civil War journey of a Union quartermaster in Tennessee. The quartermaster was Maj. Webster Colburn, who was stationed in Knoxville in 1865 and throughout Tennessee with the Army of the Cumberland.
As a quartermaster, Colburn supplied Generals Wilson, Buell, Thomas and Rosecrans’ armies, handled thousands of dead and dying mules and horses, dug up the dead at Fort Pillow and took over the Confederate cannons on Missionary Ridge after the Battle of Chattanooga.
It was an extremely interesting slideshow presentation and the members of the camp expressed their appreciation with a certificate and through the purchase of a few books at an informal book signing at the end of her presentation.
During the business meeting, the most important item of business was the camp’s hosting of the 23rd Annual Encampment of the Department of Tennessee of the SUVCW. Department Commander David McReynolds went through several details and answered questions of camp members.
SUVCW members from the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi came to Alcoa and met at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel on Saturday, April 7. Camp members manned a registration table beginning on Friday to greet out of town members and to complete the bulk of meeting registrations.
The encampment officially began with the opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Members of the Lucinda Heatherly Detached Tent No. 3 of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (DUVCW) and the Polly Toole Auxiliary No. 17 of the SUVCW participated.
A medal was commissioned to commemorate the event and given to each member who pre-registered.
A tour of local Civil War sites was conducted at approximately 1:30 p.m. following lunch. A department banquet at the hotel was held at 7 p.m. The business of the department was conducted, awards given for outstanding service and general fraternity and camaraderie among the membership were part of the event.
Other events on the camp’s calendar include participation in the living history day at the Thompson-Brown House on April 21 and a major headstone dedication for Civil War surgeon and Italian-American Celso Petrucci at the Old Grey Cemetery in Knoxville at 10 a.m. April 28. The Petrucci dedication will include the William Blount High School Junior ROTC and Boy Scout Troop 800.
The camp was awarded the 2015 Abraham Lincoln Commander-in-Chief’s Award as the Most Outstanding Camp in the SUVCW. The camp meets at 12:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month for Camp Mess at the Calhoun’s by the Creek Restaurant.
Anyone interested in the camp is welcome to attend. Also, information about the camp and about joining the SUVCW may be found at the camp’s website at www.mcteer39.org.