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2017 Cumberland Guard Schedule of Events


2017 Cumberland Guard Meeting After Action Report

I thought I would post a very brief summary of our meeting from January 14, 2017. The meeting was held in Fort Wayne and thanks to Steve Smith for arranging the facility and Greg Swank for jotting down some notes. The meeting was well attended and we discussed the following items.

We had a few guests who updated us on their respective organizations, specifically:

Denny Whiting, Nathan Tingley and Tom Emerick from the Great Lakes Battalion visited with us. The GLB will be attending Jackson and will be meeting towards the end of the month to finalize their 2017 schedule. The GLB is also hosting a Battalion Drill at Historic Fort Wayne in Detroit, MI on March 24-26, 2017.

Bob A Minton of the First Federal Division also came out to the meeting and discussed 2017 Shiloh. Bob discussed the Grand Armies of the Republic group of Western Federal reenacting groups of which Rob Van distributed copies of the signed resolution that came out after Perryville, representing most of the major Federal groups in the West / Midwest. The affiliation helped stop a second Shiloh event from happening, and Shiloh 2017 will be the first time the group will be in command of a major event. Shiloh will be hosted by Earl Zeckman’s group, and registration is open.

After our guests, we went around the room and provided updates on individual groups.

Calendar year 2016 was reviewed, and the following Cumberland Guard Blue Ribbon events were discussed. The following was noted.

Charlton Park Civil War Weekend
- Great weather
- Good skirmish/tactical
- No injuries
- Great cavalry, good usage of them – suggest galvanizing a few for each side
- Having the rear gate open helped reduce if not eliminate vehicle traffic Saturday night.
- Campaigners appreciated the support of the organizers and event

Jackson Civil War Muster
- Public very enthused – loved the interaction period with soldiers in crowd
- Reenactors pleased
- Small issue with Port a Johns in back – adding more and trash receptacles to reduce litter
- Few safety issues with encroachments on guns on union side, may need to limit movement
- Reenactors will be replacing retiring members of the Jackson Board = more reenactor ran
- Perhaps burying the speaker wire to avoid safety issues
- GLB very positive impression, liked the crowd interaction

Perryville, KY
- Frustration with lack of activity at times
- Struggled with communication, organization at times from event staff
- Fun to have large MI, IN companies
- Good parking!

After breaking for lunch, the full list of events was discussed (see my other post which contains the 2017 events) including various smaller and regional events, as well as an opportunity for some campaign events. For 2017, the Cumberland Guard Blue Ribbon (Focused) events will be:

Shiloh April 6-9
- Need to support to get GAR off the ground – large financial cost to put on an event
- Inclusive to all styles of reenactors
- The AOW, Cumberland Guard, Great Lakes Battalion, and Earl Zeckman’s Department of the Mississippi would be under Rob Van and Rob will handle our brigade. Reduce micromanagement
- Fallen Timbers land area will be used: actual battleground owned by CWPT
- Try to get battles with early as possible on Sunday to facilitate the drive
- Hornets Nest scenario, Grant’s counterattack – artillery will be required to galvanize for proper show
- Mixed camps, but also an authentic period village as well
- Rob Van will be attending a site walkthrough Jan. 28-29

Hastings, MI Charlton Park July 14-16

Cascades Park Jackson, MI Aug. 26-27
- Meeting with Sheriff and city police for security after last year’s vehicle break ins
- Driving range is closing, will have the entire area for use during reenactment
- 2017 scenario is Centreville 1861

Thanks to everyone who attended, and we will see you on the field in 2017!


2017 Cumberland Guard Meeting

Saturday, January 14, 2017
10:30 am EST

Lutheran Hospital  of Indiana

7950 West Jefferson Boulevard
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Function Rooms 3 & 4
(Lower Level next to Dining Room)


Civil War Field Music School

From Captain Russ Paul, Fourth Michigan Infantry

This past June, I attended the National Civil War Field Music School at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore.  The school is for drummers, buglers, and fifers of all abilities.  I personally am working at becoming a drummer, in anticipation of the day when I get tired of carrying a sword or rifle (or just as an option for any event where a drummer may be needed).  I can say without question that attending this school successfully laid the groundwork for that preparation. 

 The instructors are first-rate in their respective fields.  I can't speak for all the instruments, but among the drum instructors, two were from Camp Chase Fifes and Drums and another is with the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Band.  This truly is an opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business.

 If you have never been to Baltimore and/or Ft. McHenry, this is a good excuse to do so.  The British bombardment at Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812 is what inspired the writing of our national anthem.  There is plenty to do and see in Baltimore, including a small Civil War museum, the Inner Harbor,  and four vessels open for tours (among them the sloop USS Constellation and the submarine USS Torsk).  And if you're a seafood lover, you'll be in heaven as there is no shortage of quality fare!

More detailed information on the school can be found by visiting its web site at:


If you have questions of a more "personal experience" nature, I would be more than happy to try and answer them for you.  I am not affiliated with the school in any way, other than being a former (and future) student.  After 7 seasons as a company commander, however, I have come to appreciate and value the effect musicians have and the important role they play in our hobby.  I can be contacted at puknut33@aol.com.




Cumberland Guard 2016 Blue Ribbon Events

Historic Charlton Park
Jul 15 - Jul 17
Hastings, Michigan

Cascades Park
Aug 19 - Aug 21
Jackson, Michigan

155th Anniversary Battle of Perryville
Oct 7 - Oct 9
Perryville, Kentucky


Battalion Orders for Hastings/Charlton Park are on the 'Special Orders' page

Battalion Orders for Jackson are on the 'Special Orders' page


Cumberland Guard 2016 Meeting Minutes

I wanted to take a few minutes and recap the annual Cumberland Guard Meeting, which was held on January 9 in Fort Wayne, IN. Again special thanks to Steve Smith for securing the meeting site.

 The meeting was very well attended, and we covered the following items:

 1. A message from Colonel Shackelford was read to those in attendance.

2. After general introductions, specific recognition was given to the following individuals

 Introduction of Greg Swank as Chief of Staff. Greg expressed a desire to help facilitate activities, facilitate cooperation, and to help everyone to get what they want/need from the hobby

 Bob A Minton, First Federal Division was a guest at the meeting. Bob expressed a desire to mend fences and end the squabbles that have plagued the hobby over the years. The annual FFD meeting will be held Jan. 30 in St. Louis, MO which Rob Van will be attending as a guest. Bob also mentioned the dissolution of the BGA

 John Vohlken reviewed the status of the CG website. We also discussed the CG Facebook page and the success of both items.

 Denny Whiting with the Great Lakes Battalion was also in attendance. Denny mentioned that the Great Lakes Battalion plans on having a drill in April open to anyone who wishes to attend. They also commented that the cooperation amongst the GLB and the Guard was great at Jackson, and their members will march with us at Perryville, KY later this year.

 3. Rob discussed attending not only the FFD meeting in January, but that he was also attending the January Annual AOW Meeting, and the January Annual Independent Guard (Confederate) meeting in Indianapolis.

 4. Rob also discussed the end of the Indiana events Billie Creek and Conner Prairie, and expressed hope that they might return at some point.

 5. Updates from all units present

 6. Discussion / sharing of recruiting and retention strategies

 7. General discussion of the state of the hobby, including the recent political story and subsequent protests in regards to Confederate flags. Several recommended units having one spokesperson to handle this issue with the public and especially with media. We also discussed scenarios in regards to any protest attempts to interrupt a battle, and the appropriate response and planning by Command to address such an event.

 8. We reviewed the 2015 Blue Ribbon Events, Hastings, MI and Jackson, MI. We also discussed Indiana troops making the trip to Hastings and Jackson, and the Michigan and Ohio troops (including Marty Walker, Ryan VanMaldegen, and Bob A Minton, just to name a few) at Hartford City.

 9. We discussed the 2016 Blue Ribbon Events, Hastings, MI, Jackson, MI and Perryville, KY. (Please register as the Cumberland Guard).

 10. General discussion

 I’d like to thank everyone for a solid 2015, and I am looking forward to continuing the progress we made with the hobby as we turn to 2016.

Colonel Van


The Cumberland Guard officially welcomes to our ranks
The Seventeenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company "E"
A hearty Hurrah to Captain Nick Miner and his "Stonewall Regiment."


April 2017 --  Shiloh After Action Report

August 2016 --  Jackson After Action Report

July 2016 --  Hastings/Charlton Park After Action Report

August 2015 --  Jackson After Action Report

April 2014 -- Message from Colonel Van

October 2013 -- Retirement Statement from Colonel Dave.


With thanks to First Sergeant Siler of the 19th Indiana, the following forms are now available:

Guard Mount

Morning Report


Questions about the Cumberland Guard should be directed to:

      Colonel Rob Van at robert.r.van@gmail.com
      Major Greg Swank at greg.swank@gmail.com


Questions about this web site can be directed to the Cumberland Guard Webmaster, John Vohlken.

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Last modified date and time: 04/09/2014 17:45