So all of the drill, all of the marching and all of the stories about sleeping out under the stars agrees with you? All of the fun times and interesting people sound like something of which you want to be a part?
The Tenth is open to everyone interested in participating and helping inform the public about our history. No, you don’t need to be a Civil War historian, nor do you need to be an expert in anything except walking, but you will need a willingness to learn and a desire to have fun.
More good news. You don’t need to be equipped to be welcomed. This hobby is expensive and no one is expected to come onboard for the first time with everything they need—in fact, we recommend against it! For suiting up the first time we recommend contacting us as to which event you would like to attend. We will make sure you have all of the gear you will need to step back in time for a day or the entire weekend. However, since shoes are in short supply with our army, we ask that you try and bring black shoes or boots (not tennis shoes). Be careful! During the summer, the days are hot and these uniforms are wool. If you have any medical conditions that may be effected, please let us know right away.
There are some requirements to “falling in” with the Tenth. We ask that you be over 16 and posses a Hunter’s Safety Card. All ages are welcome to attend as runners or civilians as well. All newcomers will be inspected by one of our NCOs for the safety of all.
“I’ve fallen in and now I want to jine de Tinth…”
Now that you’ve experienced the fun first hand, you want to fall in more often. Membership to the Tenth is gained once certain criteria are met and you are voted in. Some of the criteria are:
There are many benefits in joining the Tenth. This unit is focused on both having fun (as much for families as the soldiers) and public education. You will get to meet plenty of people involved with the preservation and furthering of Civil War history. There is a strong sense of brotherhood in the Tenth that goes beyond the weekends together.
There are some minor fees associated with the Tenth. A $10 annual due is paid by every member or family at the annual meeting in February. The dues cover the operating cost of this website, the organization’s operating cost and affiliation fees the Tenth pays (battalion registry). No matter if you are a family of six or a single soldier on the line, the annual fee is the same.
Cost is a big factor in any hobby. To get totally outfitted with new equipment will run about $1,500. Before you go running for the hills, the Tenth Tennessee asks that by your second or third season, you are fully equipped. Before that time, other members will be more than happy to help you out. We have all started off at some point or another and realize how much money is involved. Not all of us have money to burn.
We also strongly recommend that you work with one of our experienced members to buy your gear. Just as there’s a lot of good places to buy, there are a lot of bad ones, too. The difference between buying “off the rack” and having a well-repected craftsman make your gear is less than you think.
Costs can be brought down by buying equipment off of other quality re-enactors, purchasing a previously owned musket (which is the biggest cost—a new musket will run about $600), and asking the other members where to get the best deal. Some have been outfitted for about $500.
The Tenth recreates the environment of an army on the move. There are privates, there are sergeants and there is a commanding officer. At larger events there are battalion officers, too. What does that mean for the re-enactors? You’ve joined the army for the weekend. The officer says jump, we jump. The sergeants say march, we march. Guard duty is required and we guard. No questions.
That means we are given orders and often the commands are given in a direct, unquestioned manner. The reason for this is as much of simplicity as it is accuracy to the period. Shouting is required to hear commands over the weapons fire—don’t be intimidated by it!
The Tenth has a commanding officer, in our case it is a Captain. He is immediately followed by a cadre of non-commissioned officers (commonly referred as NCOs) made up of a First Sergeant, a Second Sergeant and four Corporals. While these positions are elected, their orders are not given to discussion. Once at an event, orders are orders. Rank is respected to the highest degree.