Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Lincoln Tomb Ceremony (April 11, 2015)

All are invited to participate in the 59th Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony, sponsored by the SUVCW and MOLLUS, commemorating the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death. It will be held at the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Click here for additional information and the form by which to RSVP for your attendance.

Grand Army Men


Grand Army Men
The GAR and Its Male Organizations

This book is a collector’s guide and introductory history to the Grand Army of the Republic, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. Quoting long forgotten resources, it reveals a rich history previously lost. For the first time, all badges and insignia of all three post Civil War societies are shown in full color and in sequential order of manufacture. A “must have” volume for both historians and collectors.

Cost: $39.95 plus $5.00 shipping
(Florida residents must add $3.00 for sales tax)

Passing of Real Son Carson W. Yeager


Carson W. Yeager, the real son of Civil War Veteran Peter Yeager, passed away on July 15, 2014 at the age of 97 years old. He was a member of Chicago’s SUVCW Phil Sheridan Camp No. 2. He was born on September 23, 1916, grew up in Stockton, Illinois, and went on to serve in World War II in the Navy.

Carson’s father was German immigrant Peter Yeager (1847-1928), who served with the 146th Illinois Infantry, primarily transporting Confederate prisoners and guarding Union soldiers who had been drafted. His unit also skirmished with troops along the Mississippi River and Pvt. Yeager served on the honor guard for President Lincoln’s funeral in Springfield, Illinois. He died when Carson was eleven, leaving the younger Yeager to learn of his father’s experiences from his service diary.

Carson grew up on a farm in southern Illinois. After graduating high school, he took correspondence courses and then enrolled in Bradley University. He worked as an electrician in Rockford for three years before enlisting in the “Seabees” in 1942. He later applied for and was accepted into Officer Training School and spent the rest of the war in the navy’s Industrial Manager’s Office, specializing in sonar.

In honor of Brother Yeager’s passing, SUVCW Commander-in-Chief Tad Campbell has issued Special Order No. 1, which orders an official period of mourning for thirty days from September 5, 2014, during which time charters are to be draped and mourning ribbons are to be attached to the membership badge.

Only an estimated eight real sons of Civil War Union veterans remain alive today. Click here (pdf) for a list of those eight men (Charles Cox passed away earlier).

Special Committee on the Nat’l Regulations

A Special Committee on the National Regulations was established in 2012 with the purpose of reorganizing the National Regulations. The committee was directed to report its results to the 133rd National Encampment in 2014. Due to the size of the actual reorganized regulations (90 pages) they are posted here in anticipation of the National Encampment. Click here (pdf) for an outline of the reorganization regulations. Click here (pdf) for a report of the special committee on national regulations.

National Policy Regarding Minors

The SUVCW National Council of Administration recently voted to approve a new National Policy Regarding Minors (pdf). Pursuant to this policy all minors shall be accompanied by a parent or designated guardian (e.g., a family member or friend who is 18 years of age or older) when participating in any SUVCW activity.

At no time will a non-related Brother be permitted “one-on-one” contact with a minor. Any interaction with a minor must include at least two (2) Brothers over the age of 18 years at all times. Any Brother who, in good faith, witnesses or suspects any type of physical, mental or sexual abuse of any minor shall immediately report such suspicion to local authorities first, and then to the appropriate local Camp and Department Commanders immediately thereafter.

All Brothers shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws pertaining to child abuse and the reporting thereof. While not a requirement, it is recommended that every Brother, who is 18 years or older, who may have contact with a minor, complete training related to the protection of children from abuse of any type. Free training is available from the Boy Scouts of America through their website at Local Camps may wish to retain a record of those Brothers who have completed such training.

Records of previous meeting minutes and electronic boardroom votes of the National Council of Administration are available here.

July 2014

Independence – Our History and Ongoing Story
John W. Bates
National Patriotic Instructor

We have now celebrated our 238th Birthday in these United States, and we are a Nation that must remember her past, live in her present and prepare for her Future.

This experiment of A Democratic Republic is an ever evolving work in progress, and with the Guidance of The Almighty will never be quite finished. As Americans, we enjoy so many privileges that other parts of the world can only dream of. The Constitution of The United States guarantees certain inalienable rights to all citizens. These rights and privileges are so often taken by us all for granted. The Founding Fathers established these rights for all citizens into perpetuity so that we might all enjoy “Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness”.

These rights, have come at a great price. From our founding in 1776, millions have served our Nation and many have made many sacrifices to safeguard these rights and our republic. The great civil war, (our crucible as a nation) tested as President Lincoln stated “whether this nation, or any nation so conceived can long endure”. This he spoke at Gettysburg, four months after the crucial conflict, and it truly resonates to us every day this country lives, our July 4th celebration must be tempered with honor and respect to all those who serve our nation, past, present and future. It is the spirit Of America that binds us all together to be one nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.

As we move through our lives every day, let us honor our past, cherish our present, and dedicate our future to those unborn generations that will carry the torch forward passed to us by the Founding Fathers – A Nation United for all for all times!

June 2014

The Effect of the War on the election of 1864
John W. Bates
National Patriotic Instructor

At the end of June, 1864 The Civil War had reached an unclear quagmire. While the Union had made strides and had started to turn the tide of the war against the CSA, it was not clear if and when the fighting would cease. As the American public was made aware thru dispatches in the press and front line reports, the brutality of the fighting in the Wilderness and the Sieges of Petersburg and Spotsylvania had been so terrible that the people wanted an end. This critical time would make or break the war, either for or against the Union. As President Lincoln finally had found a General in appointing U.S. Grant in early 1864 as Commander of all Union Forces, The Union finally had a man who could fight and defeat Robert E. Lee. The fighting of 1864 would be long, hard and very costly. The copperheads in the North were starting to make people listen to their ideas. Lincoln was thinking as the year dragged on that he would not be re-elected. He even stated that as it was probable his Administration would not be re-elected, it would be his duty to co-operate with the President-Elect in coming to power in 1865. Thankfully to History and The United States, The President was in error in his thoughts on the election of 1864. As General Grant had finally succeeded in halting and at least partly containing the Army of Northern Virginia, The political mood of the North began to swing to Lincoln again. After the victories in Gettysburg and Vicksburg, The people had rallied behind Lincoln as never before. It took many events in 1864 to bring the support he needed back to him.

When General Sherman marched thru Atlanta and on to Savannah, Lincoln finally had his support back. Along with the men in the field who stood solidly behind him, the people re-elected Lincoln by a wide margin. As The story then played out, In his very shortened second term, The President was able to get The 13th amendment thru a hostile Congress, and Lived long enough to see the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House. This would not have happened if he had simply given up, or if the people in the North had given up on him. Thank God this was not the case.


In Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty,
John W. Bates III
National Patriotic Instructor

Membership Report

The end of the 2nd quarter 2014 membership report shows good improvement compared to June of a year ago. When you join the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, you enter a network of more than 6,000 men who form lifelong bonds, honor their heroic ancestors, and promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism in their communities. To learn more about membership click here.

Date Associate
Real Sons Total
June 2013 558 95 365 5,383 11 6,412
June 2014 557 76 372 5,453 9 6,467

150th Anniversary of Washington Arsenal Explosion


Tuesday marked the 150th Anniversary of the Washington Arsenal Explosion. The explosion left 21 girls, mostly poor Irish immigrant women, dead. The fire was a sensation at the time with President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edward Stanton leading the mourners at the funeral.

On Wednesday the SUVCW held ceremonies at Congressional Cemetery and Fort McNair in Washington, DC to mark the anniversary of the fire and their funeral. Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore was on hand to lay a wreath. In his remarks, Foreign Minister Gilmore gave specific thanks to the SUVCW for its work to make sure these women were not forgotten.
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