The modern 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment was formed in 1992 by Edd Sharp to create a living history organization that specializes in programs, re-enactments and provides a rallying point for the preservation of our civil war history. Formed as a 501c(3) non-profit organization, it is one of the primary missions of the regiment to raise money for annual donations towards battlefield preservation. Members of the 1st Tennessee account for over 75 years of combined experience in our hobby. Throughout the 1st Tennessee’s 25 years in existence, over 120 members have passed through our rolls. Current membership numbers are approximately 40, including a growing civilian contingent who portray in-camp laundresses that saw service through the war.
Currently, the 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment is affiliated with the Independent Guard and Jeff Davis Rifles Battalions, but has held affiliations with the Confederate Military Forces, Breckenridge Battalion and Bushrod Johnson Battalion.
Captain Sharp retired from active service in 2009 and Gary Evens was then promoted to the command of the regiment. After spending 2 years of exemplary command, in 2011, Captain Evens joined Captain Sharp in retirement and named J.R. Sharp as his successor, who commands the unit presently.
The role of the 1st Sergeant has always been elected by the military membership of the group. The 1st Sergeant is a key position and provides and interface between the officer staff and the enlisted men. Of the men who have served the regiment in this capacity are Wayne Hale, Jim Hampton, Dave Livingston, Carl Raider, Matt Moser, Gary Shaw, Andrew Mott, Jim Kletzli and our current 1st Sergeant, Jeff Carte.
Many of our members have participated in some of the most high-profile events and movies in the most recent years. Of these, are Glory, North and South, Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. Through the years, we have also participated in many of the “anniversary” events such as the 135th, 140th, 145th and 150th series of re-enactments. With membership and friends that extend into Europe, the 1st Tennessee’s influence and goals are far reaching. Members of the 1st Tennessee have also been actively involved in many efforts to preserve our history in our home state such as Buffington Island, Johnson’s Island, The John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail, Ohio State Penitentiary and a newer project centered around preserving the graves of Civil War veterans from Shelby County, Ohio.
The 1st Tennessee also has several different membership options for those who are not interested in a military impression. Our goals and focus towards preservation and commemoration are common amongst all of our members. If you have an interest in history and its preservation, please inquire about a membership.