1. Recent efforts have been made by the Captain David L. Payne Camp #2, Department of the Southwest, to obtain Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) property via the Deed of Conveyance from the city of Wellington, Kansas, which is located within the jurisdiction of the Department of Kansas.
2. On April 9, 2000, I appointed Past Department Commander Dean K. Speaks, Historian of the Department of Kansas, to investigate this situation and report on his findings. Brother Speaks was already investigating this matter on behalf of the Department of Kansas and was instructed to also report to the Commander-in-Chief and National Council of Administration on his findings.
3. On April 17, 2000, Brother Speaks made a detailed report to the Commander-in-Chief, the National Council of Administration, and to the Commander and Council of the Department of Kansas on his findings in this matter.
4. The report of the investigator clearly shows that the Captain David L. Payne Camp #2 acted in a manner inconsistent with the wishes of the James Shields Post #57, GAR, and by choosing to ignore the jurisdiction of the Department of Kansas, proceeded instead in an attempt to recover property of the GAR which is located within said jurisdiction.
5. While I applaud the Camp for having the wherewithal to locate GAR property and its attempts to bring recognition to the Order, the Camp clearly usurped the rights and responsibilities of another Department of the Order in this matter. The Camp's actions in taking the matter "public" while the investigation into the history of these cannons' was ongoing, by issuing a "press release" and causing to be published subsequent articles in both states, have put this Order into the embarrassing position of trying to undo what was done. I cannot condone such actions by any member or Camp of this Order.
6. Based upon the findings of fact provided in the report, examination of the records and correspondences in this matter, the recommendations of the investigator, the recommendations of the National Counselor and pursuant to the authority invested in me by the Constitution and Regulations of the Order, the following actions are hereby ordered:
a. That the two Civil War era cannon in question will remain in Wellington, Kansas, in perpetuity, as a monument to all of the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors of Sumner County, as the James Shields Post #57 intended they be;
b. That the city of Wellington, Kansas be commended for their excellent care and protection of these cannons as such a monument;
c. That the Captain David L. Payne Camp #2 and its membership immediately "cease and desist" from any and all actions in attempting to recover GAR property located within the jurisdiction of the Department of Kansas. This includes the two Civil War era cannons located in Wellington, Kansas and any and all future references to these cannons in the media being initiated by members of this Camp; and
d. That the Captain David L. Payne Camp #2 immediately remove any and all references to the above mentioned property from its Camp websites, and request same to be removed from any and all other websites to which the Camp has provided this information.
By Order of:
Danny L. Wheeler
Todd A. Shillington