Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Past National Encampment Report of
Commander-in-Chief Charles W. Corfman



109th National Encampment / DesMoines, Iowa / August 14, 1990


 To the Officers and Members of the 109th Annual Encampment of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Officers and Brothers:

In August 1989, at Stamford , Connecticut , you honored me greatly by electing me your Commander-in-Chief. Many members stood up to publicly offer their support in my coming administration. I thank them and wish to say that their support has greatly contributed to the success of this administration.

While I shall attempt to keep this short, General Schlenker had requested that I retain my SVR rank and duties where there was no conflict of interest, during my year as Commander-in-Chief, so some of that will overlap in this report.

August 19, 20: Jackson , Michigan . We attended a Battle Reenactment. I served as a Captain on a battery section. This is a nice event with about 300 participants. Michigan has some good reenactors who are on the fence about rejoining the SVR. They are gradually getting over the Rowley problems.

August 21: Spring Grove , PA. With the permission and at the request of, Mary Lou Shriver. Elmer Atkinson, George Long, Richard Schlenker, and I picked up the SUV and SVR property from the office of former Sec-Treas. Chester S. Shriver. Three cars and one pickup truck were fully loaded when we left. Elmer Atkinson took the supplies, Richard Schlenker took the SVR records and property, and I took the treasurer’s and secretary’s records and supplies. I delivered the treasurer’s materials to Richard Orr that evening in a motel parking lot. Richard thought I that I was kidding when I told him to bring a truck.

August 23: Lansing , Michigan . I delivered the secretaries materials to Jim Lyons at Lansing , MI . The office work was now divided up under the new administration, and it was amazingly correct. Very few items had to be reshipped.

October 1: Spencer , Ohio . I attended a small re-enactment. We need to support our local events if we want them to come to ours.

October 6,7, 8: Atwood Lake . This is a nice little re-enactment sponsored by the 19 th OVI. There were about 75 participants. We had the 16 th’s cannon and gun crew. I attended with Captain’s rank and stood Colors with Captain Bill Smith .

October 14, 15: Algonquin Mill, Our son, Dan, was married on the 14 th, so I didn’t get there until the 15 th. My thanks to Major Frank Foight, III for his help in managing the event on the 14 th.

October 21: Waterloo , NY . Janice and I attended the reception for National Auxiliary President, Beatrice Greenwalt.

October 24: Mansfield , Ohio . I installed member Tim Park as Commander of the Jo int Veterans Council. Mansfield , Ohio , at a dinner at the Mansfield VFW Post.

November 4: Wooster , Ohio . The Ohio Department, Given Camp and my family hosted a Testimonial Dinner and Reception for me as Commander-in-Chief. About 80 guests attended, and I received many nice gifts. My sons and daughter provided the musical entertainment.

November 11: Mansfield , Ohio . I was the principal speaker at the Veterans Day ceremonies on the Court House Lawn at Mansfield .

November 11: Pittsburgh , PA. We then traveled to the Cranberry Motor Lodge, Pittsburgh , PA , where we attended the testimonial dinner for David Orr, Pennsylvania Department Commander.

November 18, 19, 20: Gettysburg , PA. Remembrance Day is one of the three big days that we celebrate in the life of Abraham Lincoln. The weekend is sponsored by the SVR. It started with a Military Affairs Committee meeting on Friday night. A Saturday SVR breakfast was followed by a Unit Commanders meeting. A parade of 3000 Civil War Troops was led by the SVR Staff and your Commander-in-Chief, who reviewed the troops as they entered the Park Grounds.

State and National Heads of the Five Allied Orders laid wreaths at the Woolson Monument in outdoor ceremonies. This was followed by ceremonies inside the Cyclorama, where I gave a short talk.

Following the Cyclorama event, some of us went to the grave of Past Commander-in-Chester S. Shriver for a short informal ceremony.

Saturday evening was a banquet at the Holiday Inn, followed by a Military Ball.

Sunday, morning was a meeting of the Council of Administration. We reviewed the problems that had come up since our National Encampment. Money is the biggest problem.

February 4: Given Camp #50 meeting at the Corfman Home.

February 10, 11, 12: Washington , DC . As houseguests of the Richard Schlenkers, we attended the Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. Sunday we toured Ford’s Theatre in uniform with our ladies in period dress. We then attended the Lincoln Birthday Services at the New York Ave Presbyterian Church, where Bea Greenwalt and I led the Pledge of Allegiance. On Lincoln ’s Birthday, February 12, I presented a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial during the ceremonies there.

March 17: Pittsburgh , PA. A special Council of Administration meeting was called at Cranberry Motor Lodge. The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss finances and the Banner.

April 1: Massillon , Ohio . We attended the regular meeting of Given Camp #50.

April 6, 7, 8: Hyannis , MA . We attended the Massachusetts Department Encampment. This was a fine, well-run encampment. Frank Tucker is a good M.C.

April 13,14: Springfield , IL . The Lincoln Tomb ceremonies are the third of the Lincoln Ceremonies of the year. Your Commander-in-Chief gets to be the speaker for this event. My picture made the wire service that day, and I received copies of my picture from Maine , Philadelphia , and Ohio . We also held a planning meeting for the Iowa Encampment.

April 21, 22: Providence , RI . We attended the Rhode Island Department Encampment. This is a lively and growing department. They initiated new members. One poor fellow I feel sorry for, they initiated the Reverend and immediately made him Chaplain.

April 27, 28, 29: Wilmington , DE . I attended the Maryland-Delaware Department Encampment. This Department is well established and growing.

May 4, 5: Philadelphia , PA. We attended the SVR training session and the 17 th SVR Encampment held at Neshaminy State Park . This was hosted by the GAR Museum , HQ’s for the 2 nd Military District, and the local historical society. We were houseguests of the Elmer Atkinson’s and toured the GAR Museum during the trip.

May 15: Indianapolis , IN. Bea Greenwalt, National President Auxiliary, Vera Fennell, National President LGAR, Marian Mogan, National President Women’s Relief Corp, and I, participated in the rededication of the restored Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis . We then had lunch at the Adams Mark Hotel , where the 1991 National Encampment will be held.

May 19: Washington , DC . I marched with the SVR Staff in The Grand Review. This marked the end of the 125 th Civil War Anniversary Celebrations.

May 22: Jackson , OH . I was guest speaker at a camp meeting of Gov. Dennison Camp #125.

June 1, 2, 3: Gibbstown , NJ . We attended the New Jersey Department Encampment. The death of Richard Hines has been a shock to this department, but they have some good members who will help to pull it through.

June 7, 8, 9, 10: Des Moines , IA. The Iowa Department is growing and working. This Department Encampment is a dress rehearsal for the National. “They done good.” Karen Moll (Auxiliary) had researched my ancestor in the 37 th Iowa , and had the service record for Christian Curfman and the 37 th Iowa “Graybeard” regiment ready for me.

June 15, 16, 17: Alliance , OH . We attended the Ohio Department Encampment. The situation was calm and routine, which I rather like for Ohio Department Encampment. This was the start of a big week.

June 17-20: Carlisle , PA. We attended the Pennsylvania Department Encampment. This is our largest, and surprisingly the fastest growing department as well. Pennsylvania is going to a weekend encampment next year.

With a couple of days open, we drove to the Ste-Therese, Quebec , to visit one of the companies that I represent.

June 22-24: Waterville , MA . We arrived in Waterville in time to join our hosts for a Maine Lobster luncheon. The Encampment went well.

In the week, we were in, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario, Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

June 29-July 1: Corland , NY . I attended the New York Department Encampment. This was a good chance to meet many friends.

At each of the Department Encampments I brought greetings from the National Organization, assisted as needed, installed new officers, spoke at banquets, and did whatever I could to help the Department Encampment without getting in the way.

There are only so many weekends in the spring to schedule department encampments. My thanks to PCINC Clark Mellor, SVCINC George Long, JVCINC Lowell Hammer and PCINC Richard Greenwalt for representing me at Department Encampments where there was a schedule conflict.

June 8, 9, 10: All five of us were at Department Encampment. It is my hope that the incoming Commanders-in-Chief will see fit to follow this procedure. I am not making this an official recommendation, as I want to make them free to adjust to circumstances.

August 2, 3: Springfield , IL . We attended the convention of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and were well received as we extended the greetings. It looks good for Indianapolis in 1991.

Many things were planned for this year. Some have succeeded, while others are still under process.

The Banner is being published on a fairly regular basis and the Post Office is delivering it.

Some of the last proceedings are transcribed and being edited so that they can be finally published.

We have new Camps and new Department in the works. I had hopes for a Department of Missouri by the time of this Encampment. This may still develop. Florida-Georgia, and Texas-Oklahoma are still a possibility.

Our membership is growing. Our small advertising program brought good results. Our National Secretary will give a full membership report, but our increase is the largest in many years.

The SVR has had an influence on this membership increase. Civil War Re-anacting is

Popular hobby and will continue to draw interest and to draw new members.

I have asked our National Secretary to write guidelines on forming new camps and Departments and to write guidelines on forming new Camps and Departments and to prepare a kit of forms to be used in forming Camp and/or Departments. We have people who want to organize new groups, and we should to our best to encourage this.

In conclusion, the SUV is alive and well. We are growing and the future looks favorable. I thank you and I’m making no recommendations as such in my report. I have some recommendations that will come to you through the Council of Administration.


In Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty,


Charles W. Corfman

Commander-in-Chief 1989-1990

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