Gentlemen of the Guard
The annual Cumberland Guard Leadership Meeting was held November 18th at Conner Prairie. It was, again, a success with a great turnout and participation.
To summarize the discussions:
1. The schedule for 2007, while not solidified, appears to be;
A. Conner Prairie, May 18-20
B. Jackson, MI, August 25-26
C. Hartford City, IN, Oct. 12-13
The gap in the events are attributed to the cloudy issue of Billie Creek, Antietam and Gettysburg.
As to Billie Creek, it was agreed that individual units will decide what they intend to do about the event. If enough decide to go, it will become a Guard event.
As to Antietam, there is mixed feelings about which one to attend, if any. More as developments occur.
Gettysburg-there was much excitement regarding the Guard conducting a living history weekend on the battlefield. More details will be posted as they are acquired.
Other significant topics;
Scott Cummings of the 5th Michigan, a longtime loyal member of the guard, proposed an email chain so information can be sent out to the masses. Will Ott is in charge of creating this so we can get data out to the individual soldiers as well as to the unit leaders. Everyone is urged to check the Guard websites on a regular basis but this technique will speed up the information highway. First, though, Will, or Wont as he is called, needs your email address. It will not be sold or revealed to anyone else. Send it to Will now at email@example.com.
Dave Downing announced the annual Michigan Reenactors Roundtable is January 20, 2007, at 1:00 PM in Lansing, Michigan. This is where nearly every unit in Michigan sits down and discusses the upcoming year. I plan to attend and urge you to consider it as well.
Historic Fort Wayne in Detroit, Michigan will be the site for a drill weekend on April 21 and 22 and the annual reenactment is July 7 and 8. The Michigan contingent of the Guard is an important element to our success and I urge you to support their efforts to save the beautiful, 5 sided, Vauban fort in Detroit.
Other topics included the creation of a Military Artillery camp near the non-military artillery camp. This would facilitate those artillery folks that want a camp that has a military atmosphere. It is recognized that a great many artillery folks camp and eat with their civilians. But, the current situation prevents a purely military enviroment. So, at events wherein the Guard has direct input, there will be a military artillery camp and a civilian artillery camp.
Hartford City was discussed and it was announced that I am the overall Union commander for the 2007 event. While it has somewhat fallen off the "radar screen" for some units, I urge you to support the 2007 event. There is a likely chance of moving the date in 2008. But, that would be more likely if they hosts see support from Guard units. Please give this event your sincere consideration. Things that occurred in the past that may have led to the event being dropped from your schedule will not occur again. This will be a great event and even greater with your support.
The meeting incuded my heartfelt personal thanks for the overwhelming contributions to my new uniform and to the personal sacrifice and exertions of each and every member of the Guard. An update on the improving health of Jim Dedman raised everyone's spirits.
The meeting concluded with my closing remarks that seem to always include my amazement about how this wonderful organization seems to operate a smoothly as any in the hobby. The greatness of the Guard is directly attributed to the greatness of the men and their leaders. I just happen to have the honor of saying, "Forward, march". It is the rank and file, the company commanders, the battalion and brigade staff officers, that make it work.
And, boy, does it work.
To the Guard
Cumberland Guard Staff
February 11, 2006-Conner Prairie, Indianapolis, Indiana.
With the loyal support of the 1st Illinois Battalion under Rick Keating and the Black Hats, commanded by Craig DeCrane, the Cumberland Guard fields a brigade at all of the events it attends in force. As anyone can imagine, the administration of a brigade requires dedication, hard work and a commitment to "doing it right". Thus, it was decided that the Guard should hold a staff meeting in order to provide a smooth, effortless experience for the hundreds of men that will serve in the Guard Brigade in 2006. Lest anyone forget, the Guard Brigade refers to the eliteness of the brigade, not the Cumberland Guard. Without the loyal support of the Illinois men and the famed Black Hats, the brigade would not be the well-respected and oft feared (blue and gray) organization that it has become.
The meeting covered the administrative posts that would be needed for the upcoming season. Assignments were given based on experience and seniority. The men that filled the positions are dedicated, loyal and eager to serve the enlisted men's needs.
Various protocol issues were addressed in order to more effectively deal with most situations that arise during an event.
Emphasis was placed on the Conner Prairie event (June 9-11) and Perryville in October. It was acknowledged that the 1st Illinois Battalion and the Black Hats will be asked to provide competent officers to augment the existing Brigade staff.
The meeting included an authentic meal provided by a catering service engaged by Captain Hurt. It was excellent and certainly added to the historic environment.
In closing, allow me to express my gratitude to those attendees that traveled a significant distance to attend this meeting. It reassures my belief that somehow, perhaps with a little divine assistance, we have managed to create one of the most effective and unique organizations in the reenacting world.
Colonel David Shackelford
Captain Stan Hurt, Colonel David Shackelford, Lt. Colonel James Dedman