The Year Concludes and the Future Awaits

Men of the Battalion:

This past weekend proved a good event at Richmond, Kentucky. With a guest company, the 2nd South Carolina, the 44th Tennessee and 5th Kentucky were joined with members from the 9th Kentucky and 1st Tennessee at an event where we outnumbered the Federals by nearly 3 to 1. We joined the Tennessee Valley Battalion to fight the Yankee invaders with overwhelming numbers, bringing a total of nearly 120 rifles with our brigade, to the Yankee’s 40.

With the success of Richmond, fighting together with the Southern Guard Brigade, we can look forward to the events ahead for 2018.

Firstly, the elections for Adjutant, Sergeant Major, and Ordinance Sergeant were held at Richmond. As all positions were run unopposed, they were accepted. Elected were Andrew Enyart for Adjutant, KC Johnson for Sergeant Major, and Willy Schnorr for Ordinance Sergeant.

I had brevetted KC Johnson to Sergeant Major for the weekend and was quite pleased with the involvement I saw from him with the men. I believe his addition to the battalion staff will prove very fortuitous.

As we plan for 2018, I need you to consider what events need to have the Independent Guard and discuss them with your company commanders.

Currently, we are looking at making Murfreesboro–scheduled for some time in October 2018–a maximum-effort event next year, joining the Southern Guard Brigade. I believe the only thing that will hold us back is if the organizers fail to put the event on.

An event that the Tennessee Valley Battalion brought to my attention as a Southern Guard Brigade event is one in Cynthiana, Kentucky, scheduled for June 2-3, 2018. The event is to be a Morgan’s Raid scenario, with the 6th Ohio Cavalry representing Morgan’s Raiders. Should we choose to attend, we would need to galvanize as Yankee or Home Guard militia for the event.

I have not received much interest in Gettysburg, and the interest I did receive was for attending with different experiences in mind. The 5th Kentucky will be going to Gettysburg, but the 1st Tennessee wanted a more campaigner-style experience, which I believe will include a forced march. Therefore, instead of competing with other battalions for Gettysburg, I believe it in everyone’s best interest if the Independent Guard not attend Gettysburg. The 5th Kentucky will go with the 4th Battalion of PACS, commanded by Skip Wilson, while the 1st Tennessee will join the Jefferson Davis Rifles under Greg Van Wey. If you wish to attend Gettysburg, I can help you find a home with either of these companies, depending on the experience you are looking for.

Other events for consideration next year include Hartford City Indiana, Spring Mill in Indiana, Richmond, Kentucky, and Sidney, Ohio. Hartford City has been our regular staple event, and was a very good success this year, so I expect we’ll be returning. Spring Mill was a new event for us this year. Though the location feels particularly remote, it is a beautiful park, and we had a very enjoyable and memorable experience. This was my first time attending Richmond, and though the Federal presence was light in comparison to the Confederate numbers, I found it a good experience joining the Southern Guard Brigade, and would love to do it again. Sidney has a lot of support from its mayor and many other people, and is also a beautiful park with a layout to allow for creativity with a tactical and battle.

If there are other events you would like considered as well, be sure to bring them up with your commander to discuss at the winter meeting.

The final decision for the events for the Independent Guard will be discussed and decided at our winter meeting, which still needs scheduled. With reenactor attendance down, I don’t want to commit to very many events, but instead allow each company to find their own events they can focus on for recruiting. Personally, if only a single event were agreed upon, I would be satisfied, as I understand the struggle that all our companies are going through trying to retain soldiers and recruit new reenactors. I will be contacting your company commanders to determine a location to hold the meeting as well as a date for the meeting. All who wish to come will be welcome.

Finally, next year will be the election for colonel, Lt colonel, and major. As we are currently without a colonel, I fully intend to run for the colonel position, and I hope you feel I am worthy to lead you.

This year, my first in command, has been a spectacular experience, with my most important lesson being to always wear my sash into battle. It has be a great honor serving you, and I look forward to the years to come.

Your Humble Servant,
Russ Judge
Lt. Col, commanding
Independent Guard Battalion