As the sesquicentennial of the Civil War winds down to an end in the large theaters of the war the Department of East Tennessee prepares to go to work in the post 150’s East Tennessee theater. The East Tennessee Civil War theater is smaller than it’s counter parts in other areas, but it still has much storied history to be found within it. With the DET thriving it now has the unified soldiers that it has long needed to go forward and represent that storied history properly. Properly and accurately representing the history, people, and places on both sides of the war in East Tennessee has been one of the main goals of the DET from it’s origins. To accomplish this goal the DET chooses to train together using period correct manuals of the Civil War era. By training together and using the same manuals the DET is a more uniformed organization and can better see the road ahead. That long but reachable road is one of creating and representing the story of East Tennessee Civil War history to the best of the department’s collective ability.
The department has been and is implementing throughout it’s ranks a plan of training that is will create a better and stronger battalion. The DET belief is that to better represent the history of East Tennessee Civil War the DET and it’s soldiers should learn to and conduct itself in a 19th century military organizational manner. This includes common soldier posturing, company and battalion formations, uniformed camps, and battlefield fighting and maneuvering. Since the DET is a loose affiliation group and not a traditional battalion these concepts have to be approached a little differently than other typical battalions may have to. The DET has no high command on the field passing down singular rule to the companies below. The DET is a confederation of companies made up of company officers and non commissioned officers that work as a committee to make the field level decisions. Thus in order to create the foundational concepts and push the ideas forward a group of department founders work behind the scenes of the department to make the “wheels go around”.
It is the concepts, ideas, passion, and drive by the members of the DET in accomplishing set goals that has spurred the important unifying of East Tennessee reenacting units. The Department of East Tennessee has grown and expanded in one year to include seven companies and enough branches to be the equivalent of an Army. The Infantry branch consists of the 19th Tennessee Infantry Company C “Blountville Guards,” the 26th Tennessee Company K “the Hardshell,” the 59th Tennessee Company F “Half Hoss, Half Gator,” the 60th Tennessee Infantry Company D, and the 63rd Tennessee Infantry. As the DET artillery section the command is the 61st Tennessee Light Artillery. And then there is the DET Cavalry section headed up by the 12th Tennessee Cavalry. The Department of East Tennessee could not be possible without the continued support of these companies and the other people out there contributing photos, videos, opportunities, and words of support to the cause.
With the end of the Civil War 150th events and the start of the spring 2015 campaign season in East Tennessee the DET will have elements in the field all across East Tennessee for the remainder of the 2015 season. The DET will be out there telling the story of East Tennessee Civil War history. To it’s good fortune the DET has so many great soldiers and people helping to make this all happen. Plus the DET is always looking for new soldiers who would like to go out and live the history. After all we must know the past to see the future.
To view all of the events that are being hosted by or attended by the Department just go to the Department of East Tennessee Reenacting Facebook page. The DET page has been and is an indispensable tool and forum for the department. Much of the departments success stems from the great level of connection and communication brought about by the use of social media. Again the Department of East Tennessee thanks you for your continued support. We will see you all very soon on the fields of honor.
Your humble and obedient servant
1Sgt. Tim Williams 26th Tenn. Inf. Co. K (DET)