January 27, 2016
To the Washington Co. Militia,
Let me begin with wishing you all a very happy 2016. It’s hard to believe that a new year has already rolled around. I trust that everyone had a wonderful Christmas season and that you are well and happy in the New Year. The first weekend of the month at the fort was wonderful. Thank you so much for all who attended and made our Old Christmas a grand event. Beautiful and unseasonal weather made for an enjoyable time for both visitors and participants alike making it a great start to the New Year.
2015 was a banner year for the unit. Early in the year, nineteen of our number representing the 1812 portion of our family attended the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, and once again our unit stepped up to the plate to save the day for our brethren in Louisiana. April saw a well-attended event at the Carter Mansion Celebration and a good showing from our group at the Blockhouse at Natural Tunnel. The May Siege was very well attended and the battles this year were the best yet. The event that sticks out in my memory for this past year is the September Muster. Even though it took over a year of planning, partnering with the Tennessee State Guard for the event was indeed worth it. The ceremony following the river crossing was very moving and memorable. The Military Timeline event has grown tremendously, and it was a very enjoyable time despite the weather. Finally, we closed out the year with a wonderful and well attended Christmas event at the Carter Mansion. My sincerest and heartfelt thanks to all who have made 2015 a great year for this unit!
As for me personally, 2015 was a very busy, eventful and life changing year. Topping the list is my marriage to the beautiful and charming Mrs. Bogart (whom Cohen Daniels refers to as Mrs. Chad). Anna and I are very grateful to you, our militia family, for all the lovely gifts and personal expressions of support and congratulations. We moved into our 1920 farmhouse and have had a wonderful start to what I hope is a long and healthy life together. In November I began my new position at Sycamore Shoals as the Museum Curatorial Assistant, and will be devoting a greater portion of my work to the stewardship of the Exhibits and our Historic House Museums (the Carter Mansion and Sabine Hill). However, my most humbling event of the past year was being chosen as the new Colonel of our Militia. This came about after Bob McCroskey’s decision to step down as our commander. Bob’s leadership started what I hope will be a long legacy of living history excellence in this area, and it will be an incredible privilege to serve you and lead this outstanding group into the future.
I am very excited about 2016. Lots of new opportunities are on the horizon and a few surprises as well! We are already off to a great start with a fantastic Old Christmas event as mentioned earlier. Also, fifteen of us went back to Chalmette, LA and attended the 201st anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. We were not only honored to raise and lower the site’s huge 15 star flag, but also fielded two complete gun crews to man and fire one of the artillery pieces on Line Jackson. It is indeed another feather to add to our cap. I am so proud of our unit and I know that this will be a great year for us all! HUZZAH!!!
Along with the New Year come a few obligations that must be taken care of. Dues are due and the deadline is February 28th. Individual dues are $25.00 and family dues are $35.00. As always $10.00 of your payment goes to pay for insurance and the remainder goes into the general fund. Please remember, only Full Members pay dues. Trial Members do not. Please make checks payable to “FSSSHA” (Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area). On the memo line of the check please write “Militia Dues”. Please send dues to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Attn: Washington Co. Militia 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643.
I am also obligated to provide the unit with a yearly financial report. The 2015 quarterly reports are attached with this message. Hard copies along with the 2015 receipts are available in my office at the park should anyone wish to look them over or have a copy.
Thank you all so much for everything you do to make the Washington County Militia what it has become. I look forward to working and reenacting with you in the coming months. Let’s make 2016 the greatest year yet for our organization.
ED NOTE: The financials were emailed as separate documents. If you are a member and did not receive this email, please notify Chad Bogart at the historical site.