"Authenticity will be our perpetual journey~~ not only in uniform, but in action, drill and attitude. Working together, we can work towards the next level of organization~~ including Evolutions of the Line~~ and together provide a better Civil War experience for our men, while honoring and remembering the brave citizen soldier of 1861."
~ S. Christian Anders
Created in September 2009 by like minded re-enactors, The Southern Division was formed on the eve of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with the purpose to honor, remember and preserve the history of those who fought in this conflict.
Under the command of Maj.Gen. S. Christian Anders, the Southern Division plans to organize one to two events per year and participate in another event per year as a division to provide the members with a variety of experiences.
Members of the Southern Division have organized the following events over the last 10 years:
Assault on Allegheny
Boys of '61
Fire on the Mountain
To the Gates of Washington
Bedford Officer Schools
At High Tide
Bedford Artillery School
Down the Valley
War on the James
Girding for War
Members of the Southern Division have raised more than $600,000 for battlefield and historic preservation through various events over the past decade. For example, since 1999, member units raised $65,200 to restore the battle flags of the 6th, 26th, 47th, 52nd, and 58th North Carolina regiments in the North Carolina Museum of History collection, as well as Banners in the Tennessee State Museum.
Members have also erected a regimental monument to the 26th North Carolina on the New Bern, NC battlefield.
There were also many successful efforts in the 1980s and 1990s including donations to the Highland Historical Society, the Adams County Land Conservatory, South Mountain State Battlefield, Berkeley Hundred Plantation, Pamplin Park, Central Maryland Heritage Foundation, as well as the restoration of the North Carolina monument at Gettysburg and assisting the North Caroliniana Society in the erection of two regimental markers for the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg.
Richmond VA, Dec 5th, 2010:
Following private showings of officer items in the collection, the Field and Staff of the Southern Division convened their first annual meeting in the ‘Stuart Room’ of the Museum of the Confederacy. Twenty-three attendees, from South Carolina to Massachusetts, braved a costal snowstorm to attend the afternoon meeting.
The Southern Division consists of two infantry brigades- the Southern Brigade commanded by Brig. General Jeff Stepp and the Mid Atlantic Brigade, commanded by Brig. General Dave Pridgeon. The Divisional Cavalry is led by Captain Rob Bruno and the Artillery is commanded by Captain David Stanley.
Total Roster Strength of the Division is 962 of all ranks, with 15 mounted horse and 4 guns, 2 horse drawn.
The meeting was convened for three purposes: personal contact between Field and Staff, the development of Standard Operating Procedures for the Division, and selection of Division events for 2010. Following Field and Staff introductions, S. Chris Anders, Division Commander, provided the primary remarks of the meeting, outlining the joint vision for authenticity, the prior achievements of member organizations in regard to both the hobby and preservation, and the common goal of providing the most authentic possible experience for the rank and file through organizing and ‘steering’ of events. Anders also reminded the Officer Corps that whenever any procedure is discussed, research into the original manuals and first person accounts must be the foundation for Division Policy.
“We must provide the men in the ranks with the experiences they desire, the public with the history they paid to see, and most of all, portray our forefathers with honor and dignity” Anders remarked. “To do that, we must realize that the hobby is about THEM. Too often in the hobby we make history fit us, and it MUST be the other way around. To properly honor the sacrifices of the Confederate Soldier, we must emulate them to the best of our ability in impression and action. Hobbyisms be damned, we will follow the script as written 150 years ago. This includes our drill, our paperwork, our bearing and our appearance. When in doubt we will refer to the original sources, manuals and accounts. We will let history guide us, and follow that example to the best of our abilities.”
Anders closed his remarks by admonishing the officers of the Division to adhere to “Article 113” of the “1862 Officer’s Pocket Companion”.
Two breakout sessions followed Anders’ remarks. Brigade and Battalion adjutants met to review the general outline for the administrative operation of the division. Meanwhile, Force Commanders and Division Staff Dept. heads met to discuss basic field operating procedures. A variety of topics, dealing with all aspects of field experience, from provost, medical, quartermaster, and commissary issues to tactics and logistics were discussed, as well as methods to create and maintain an authentic military experience for the boys in the ranks.
Upon completion of the breakout sessions the entire group re-convened to discuss events for the 2010-2011 season. After general discussion consensus was reached, and the division will come together for the PSL’s “Shenandoah ’62” event in June and work together again at the “Return to Manassas” event in August.
For 2011, several events were discussed, including an Officer School, geographic “Musters”, the 150th Firing on Fort Sumter, 150th Manassas and a Tactical based on the actions in North Carolina in 1861.
Divisional Staff contact is made through the AAG office @ firstname.lastname@example.org.