The Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) is the ceremonial uniformed military component of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). The National Military Department of the SVR consists of the General Staff and seven geographical Military Districts across the nation. SVR Units participate in Civil War related ceremonies, parades, living history programs, and re-enactments.
Membership in the Sons of Veterans Reserve is open to any Member (Hereditary), Junior (Hereditary), or Associate (Non-hereditary) of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. To be in the SVR you must be a Member or Associate in the SUVCW.
The SVR roots date back to 1881 with the “Cadet Corps” of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) – the largest Union Veterans organization which formed in 1866 after the Civil War. The members of the GAR encouraged the formation of their sons as the SUVCW in 1881. These units eventually became known as the Sons of Veterans Reserve, when the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War moved toward a more patriotic and educational organization in design.
Many of the Sons of Union Veterans Camps (local organizations) formed reserve military units which volunteered their services during the Spanish – American War, World War I, and with the National Guard. Just prior to World War I, over 5,000 men wore the blue uniform of the SVR. As late as the 1930′s, several states regarded their local SVR units as a military training component. Since World War II, the SVR has evolved into a ceremonial and commemorative organization. In 1962, the National Military Department was created by the SUVCW and consolidated the SVR units under national regulations and command. Since 1962, there have been five SUVCW Brothers that have held the SVR rank of Brigadier General and have had the honor to serve as the Commanding Officer of the SVR. Visit the SVR website here.