AAR – Hermitage 2019

Members, comrades and friends of the 2nd Kentucky Regiment of Volunteers mustered last month at The Hermitage, estate home of General Andrew Jackson, to mark the 252nd anniversary of his birth.  Present from the 2nd Kentucky were Lt. Col. & Mrs. Sheets, Sgt. Major and Mrs. Swartz and Lt. Wagner.  Also present from the Left Wing of the Southern Division were the White River Guard, Linegals’ Company of Ohio Militia and 5th Indiana Territorials.

IT DIDN’T RAIN!

These words seem hard to write and even harder to believe, but a tradition was broken and no rain fell during the event!  In the spirit of full honesty, there was a shower or two Thursday, but with the event officially starting Friday morning, we’ll chalk this one up as a win.

Your humble author traveled and camped with the White River Guard contingent; Captain Schoening, Mr. Evans and Mr. Adams were excellent camp mates and traveling companions. After enduring a small rain shower and setting up camp Thursday afternoon, we mustered for dinner in town along with Mr. & Mrs. Reed of the 5th Indiana.  Friday morning was rather brisk; the day started with breakfast and morning colors.  Capt. Rogers of Linegal’s Company commanded the consolidated militia company, with Mr.  Reed acting as duly appointed First Sergeant.  The day continued on with company drill, followed by a midday ceremony marking the General’s 252nd Birthday.  Guest speakers included representatives of the Jackson family, the Tennessee National Guard and the Hermitage.

After the memorial, the day continued with dinner and additional company drill in the afternoon, followed by parade.  As afternoon gave way to evening and dusk brought with it some brisk temperatures, those present gathered at the Tulip Grove house to enjoy a dance in the General’s honor.  After the dance concluded, silence settled in around the camps as darkness closed in.  However, the day’s duties were not concluded.  The Southern Division posted honor guards to watch over the General and Mrs. Jackson’s resting place.  Posted individually or in pairs, guards marched 21 steps, marked 21 seconds, then marched 21 steps back.

Saturday began as most days in camp do, with reveille, breakfast and morning parade.  After parade, the consolidated company again drilled, then enjoyed some leisure time and fellowship.  The ladies’ salon, organized by Mrs. Sheets, was in full swing.  After dinner, the Southern Division drilled under the apt tutelage of Major Lundgren and Sgt. Major Lanham, after which followed evening parade.

Saturday night was marked with a renewal of the candlelight tours through camp, following the story of Jackson’s service in the War of 1812.  Visitors were guided from vignette to vignette, including mustering into the army in Nashville, Sam Houston’s injury at Horseshoe Bend, and the preparation of Line Jackson and the General’s final council of war on the eve of battle.  Col. Sheets, Sgt. Major Swartz and Lt. Wagner were all incorporated into the final war council vignette; White River Guard provided causalities for the Horseshoe Bend scene.  After the last tour, the night concluded as each one should, with warm conversation and fellowship as friendships were forged and renewed.

Sunday was dedicated to breaking camp and travel back to homes.  The author is happy to report the roads were clear and all present from the Left Wing arrived home safe and sound.  A special thanks to all those who organized and orchestrated another great experience!