Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Lowell Varner Hammer was elected Commander-in-Chief at the 110th National Encampment Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War held in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 11 - 14, 1991.
Commander-in-Chief Hammer was born in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. He was educated in the public schools of Ligonier, Greensburg, and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Service from Pennsylvania State University in 1950. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army, he served in the Far East Command based in Japan until his release from active duty in 1953.
Upon his return, Brother Hammer attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in 1954. During his career of over 30 years in foreign affairs with the federal government, he served as an officer in executive branch agencies and departments including the U.S. Foreign Service of the Department of State. He also served abroad in Africa and Europe. Retired from government service since January 1985, he continues to serve as a consultant in international security affairs.
Commander-in-Chief Hammer's grandfather, great uncle, and two great grandfathers served in the Union Army with the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. His grandfather, John B. Hammer, was a Sergeant with Company D of the 138th Regiment; his great uncle, Hezekiah Hammer, served as Captain of Company K of the 55th Regiment; and his great grandfather, Jacob G. Varner, served as a Private in Company A of the 107th Regiment. Another great grandfather, Thomas G. Walker, served as a Private in Company I of the 171st Regiment, as well as a Corporal in Company I of the 91st Regiment.
Commander-in-Chief Hammer is a Past Department Commander of Maryland and a Past Camp Commander of the Lincoln-Cushing Camp #2. At the National level, he has served as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway Officer, on the National Council of Administration, as Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief and as Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief. He is a Colonel in the Sons of Veterans Reserve and serves as the Washington, D.C. Liaison Officer. Commander-in-Chief Hammer is also the Vice Chair-man of the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee, the spon-sor of the annual ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial on February 12th.
Additionally, he is on the Advisory Board of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, a member of the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, and the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.
Commander-in-Chief Hammer and his wife, Betsy, reside in Potomac, Maryland. Betsy is a Past President of the Lincoln Cushing Camp Auxiliary and the current National Junior Vice President of the Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States.