It’s time to notify everyone that the 2016 Sultana Reunion will be here in Knoxville, TN! The dates are Friday and Saturday, April 22nd and 23rd. Be sure to mark your calendars!
For those who don’t know, our reunions for descendants and friends had it’s first reunion, informally, at the beautiful Sultana monument in South Knox County in 1987 followed by our first formal reunion in 1988, 28 reunions ago!
We then met in Knoxville for the first 14 years before holding reunions at sites related to the Sultana story. Our first “away” reunion was in Vicksburg, MS, our first of 3 eventual reunions at that location. Some other cities where we held our annual gatherings are Memphis, Chattanooga, and Franklin in Tennessee; Mansfield and Cincinnati in Ohio; Athens, AL; and, of course, in Marion, AR, this year.
Many reasons point toward returning to Knoxville in 2016. A very important one is that we want to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the erection and dedication of the Tennessee Sultana Monument held on July 4, 1916 (see attached photos of that special event plus how at the monument looks like today)!! Plus, I hope we can unveil several new carved names on the monument that were mistakenly omitted by the original planners (to date, we’ve added about 10 names).
Another, is that I feel we will have an exceptional turnout of area wide descendants! The re-dedication of the Sultana Monument last May 3rd, one weekend after the Marion reunion, sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans (SUV) Major McTeer Camp 39 (McTeer was an officer with the 3rd Tenn. Cav.) from neighboring Maryville was a huge success with about 150 people showing up!! I was asked to give a short history of the monument and our reunions. The attached newsletter of the McTeer Camp gives you a better understanding of what a great time everyone had! While there, I added another dozen email addresses to my membership list, but wish I had been able to obtain many more.
I’ve been thinking of some interesting things to do next year, some for the first time! More details on that later but expect a tour of local Civil War sites including visits to some of the churches where local Sultana survivors met. Mt. Olive Baptist Church, often a gathering site by theSultana men, will most likely allow us to once again hold our reunion there. They generously permit us to use their church sanctuary where we replicate, as much as possible, the early reunions of Sultana survivors and their families starting with a Pledge of Allegiance, special introductions and talks, singing, etc, followed by an evening meal.
Please click here to send me an email with any questions and to reserve your spot.
I know we will all have a great time! Hope to see you there.