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"It is not merely for today, but for all time to come that we should perpetuate for our children's children this great and free government, which we have enjoyed all our lives."

January, 2013



In this issue

Commanders Column
Secretary's Report
Treasurer Report
New Members
What made up a regiment
The Myth of Baseball
Old Abe
A Civil War Poem
Upcoming events
Back Issues

Commanders Column


As this is my first column I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year.

I would like, on behalf of the entire camp to thank Commander Hawker for the great job he did for us. Under his very able leadership and guidance we had a very busy 2012, and were abler to reach many people to tell the stories of the "the Boys in Blue". To you Henry a very hardy HAZAH! Job well done.

I am trying to get a couple of speakers to come and give talks to us throughout the coming year. We are all here to honor our ancestors, and I look forward to working with all of you in doing that. I think we will have a great 2013.

As a reminder to those of you who have not paid their dues please do so to help Mike. Lets see if we can get all of the dues in by no later than the middle of February.

In F. L. C.

Howard Lloyd
Camp Commander
Austin Blair Camp No. 7
Department of Michigan

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~ TAPS ~

It is with great sadness that we pass along to you news of the death of Brother Bob Hoffman. Brother Hoffman joined Austin Blair Camp No. 7 July 8, 1996 and was very active in many camp activities throughout the years. Bob also served in many of the Camp Officer positions, including Camp Commander. He was instrumental in getting Island Park in Eaton Rapids renamed back to G.A.R. Park also locating the original G.A R. Hall in Eaton Rapids and getting a plaque placed on the building.

Bob was born October 16, 1947 one of 3 sons born to Kenneth and Mary (Waldron) Hoffman. Bob was an Eaton Rapids High School graduate class of 1965, and also served in the Naval Reserve. He began his career with the City of Eaton Rapids as a full time fire fighter serving more than 20 years with that position. Bob was 2 weeks short of retiring with the city in the Department of Public Works. He was the historian for the Eaton Rapids area not only for the city but also for the local Historical Society.

Brother Hoffman will be sorely missed by all in our Camp and Auxiliary. All would join to say one last "Thank you" Bob for all of your service to our Camp and and all you did to "Keep Green the Memory" of the
Boys in Blue.

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According to regulations, a regiment consisted of ten companies. Theoretically, a regiment consisted of 1,025 officers and men however very few regiments ever approached that number. After several month in the field it was no unusual later in the war for both Union and Confederate regiments to number no more than 200. Most of the States in the Union would raise new regiments rather than add men to one that already existed. Michigan was one exception to that rule as they would enlist men into units that were already in the field. Confederate typically filled open slots in regiments that were already established.

Throughout the way the Union, because of this practice, fielded approximately 2,100 regiments while the Confederates only fielded about 680.


1 Colonel
1 Lieutenant Colonel
1 Major
1 Adjutant
1 Quartermaster
1 Surgeon (with the rank of Major)
2 Asst. Surgeons
1 Chaplain
1 Sergeant-Major
1 Quartermaster Sergeant
1 Commissary-Sergeant
1 Hospital Steward
2 Principal Musicians


1 Captain
1 First Lieutenant
1 Second Lieutenant
1 First Sergeant
4 Sergeants
8 Corporals
2 Musicians
1 Wagoner
82 Privates



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At our November meeting the Camp and Auxiliary inducted two new members.
Our new members are Brother David Kimble and Sister Lucille Streeter.
Welcome to both, we look forward to sharing our meetings and events with you.



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~ The Myth of Baseball ~

Abner Doubleday

Though most American myths are created from a kernel of truth, some are just flat-out made up to achieve a historical purpose. Walk into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and right at the beginning is a portrait of Abner Doubleday. Next to it is the caption: "Abner Doubleday was a career U.S. military officer and Union general in the Civil War. Prior to entering the military he attended school in Cooperstown and the Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1842. Although Doubleday had a distinguished military career, he is best known as the supposed inventor of baseball." Catch the weasel word? "Supposed."

Not only did Doubleday not invent baseball, no evidence exists that he ever played it, said John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball, whose recent book is the latest to try to puncture that myth.

In the early part of twentieth century, Thorn said, Albert G. Spalding, a former player and subsequently a sporting goods magnate and National League official, was desperate to prove that baseball was purely an American invention. He wanted to counter claims from a British-born writer that a game originated in England. He created a commission to explore the origin of baseball. It latched onto a letter written to it by a "determined mining engineer" from Colorado, who claimed that at the age of five, he was in Cooperstown and played with Doubleday as he invented baseball in 1839, according to Thorn.

But Doubleday was at West Point as a cadet without leave in 1839, Thorn said. In his memoirs, Doubleday never mentioned baseball. He did "invent" one piece of American history. He was at Fort Sumter and fired the first shot in reply to the Confederate bombardment. In a sense, he invented the Civil War.

On the hall of fame's third floor, a placard says Spalding invented the Doubleday myth in a "patriotic desire to see the sport as purely an American invention." But on the first floor, a placard says the museum owns the baseball used by Doubleday to invent the game.

"Abner Doubleday, despite my best efforts, will continue as the Father of Baseball the same way that Santa Claus will continue as the Father of Christmas," Thorn said. "We use myth and lie interchangeably. But they are not. Myth is more powerful than fact."

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Treasure's Report
Mike Maillard

1 November 2012 thru 31 December 2012


1 November 2012 . Total Begining Balance $2,892.81

. . . .
1 November 2012 . General Fund Beginning Balance $1,262.38

. . . .
. Issued Check 241 To Bob Griggs For Internet Update and Renewal $99.35
. Received Initation and Prorated Dues From David Kimble $37.25
. Received Donation to Camp From David Kimble $3.75
. Received 2013 Membership Dues From Bob Griggs $41.00
. Received Donation to Camp From Bob Griggs $1.00
. Received 2013 Junior Dues For Dennis Oberdank $10.00
. Camp Approved Transfer of $100.00 to Restoration Fund $100.00
. Issued Check 242 To Smith Post No. 29 Annual Contribution $150.00
. Received 2013 Membership Dues From Roger Manning $41.00
. Received 2013 Membership Dues From Charles Waters Jr. $41.00
. Jeff Oberdank purchased Junior Camp Medal $22.00
. Received 2013 Membership Dues From Mike Maillard $41.00
. Issued Ck No. 243 to Mike Maillard Reimbursement of Camp QM Supplies $98.00
. Issued Ck No. 244 to Mike Maillard Reimbursement of Funeral Flowers Bob Hoffman $65.00
. Received 4th Qrt 2012 Dividends Conusmers Energy $20.25
. . . .
31 December 2012 . General Fund Ending Balance $1,010.53
. . . .
1 November 2012 . Restoration Fund Beginning Balance $294.93

. Transferred $100.00 from General Fund to the Restoration Fund $100.00
. Bob & Peggy Griggs-Contribution Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $25.00
. Paula & Lao Kunkel-Donation Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $25.00
. Mari Petti-Donation Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $25.00
. Victor & Peggy White-Donation Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $25.00
. Gerald & Janice Mills-Donation Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $80.00
. Jeanne Brugh-Donation Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $26.67
. Mr & Mrs Michael Decker-Donation Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $26.67
. Mr & Mrs Michael Armstrong-Donation Toward Bob Hoffman Memorial Fund $26.66
31 December 2012 . Restoration Fund Ending Balance $654.93
. . . .
1 November 2012 . Camp Blair 1864-1866 Memorial Fund Beginning Balance $1,335.50
31 December 2012 . Camp Blair 1864-1866 Memorial Fund Ending Balance $1,335.50
. . . .
31 December 2012 . Total Ending Balance $2,998.96

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Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The November 12, 2012 meeting of the Austin Blair Camp No.7 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was held at the Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

Members in attendance were Brothers: Kyle Bublitz, Chris Cox, Henry Hawker, Joe Davis, Bob Griggs, Dave Kimble, Ron Lewis, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Ron Tyrl, Dave Van Hoof, Charlie Waters Jr., and guest Dept. Commander Dave Arnold & Dept. Rep. Howard Streeter.

Commander Hawker welcomed Commander Arnold & Howard Streeter to our meeting and the Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Waters and seconded by Brother Cox, motion passed.

The Treasurer's Report was motioned accepted by Brother Griggs, seconded by Brother Cox. Discussion on the restoration fund was done as a result of the $100 sent to Camp 20 last month taken from the restoration fund not from the general fund which Treasurer Maillard informed the camp that the fund was intended by those that were working restorations when the fund was started: Bill Lowe, Bud Tallman, Gary Woodman, Max Miller and Maillard himself, was to be used for local projects rather than general and Maillard motioned to restore the $100 to the restoration fund from the general funds, motion seconded by Brother Lewis; motions passed.

Commander Hawker proposed that the restoration fund should be replenished from the general fund periodically before it is totally depleted by work projects; possibly a percentage taken from the general fund.

Discussion on the Mt. Evergreen wooden "Soldier's Cemetery Sign" installed in 2004 may need to be replaced by a permanent marker. Brother VanHoof recommended that we make a proposal to the city and tie it to the Sesquicentennial and then discussion of funding was held and Secretary Tyrl will e-mail National for their requirements for their memorial funds available for these projects.

Nominations Committee

The Nomination committee presented the following for the 2013 year:

Commander: Howard Lloyd
SVC: Daniel (Watkins) Pardee
JVC: Charlie Waters Jr.
Treasurer: Mike Maillard
Secretary: Ron Tyrl
Camp Council: Hawker, Hoffman, and Lewis.
Brother Bob Griggs motioned to accept the nominations, seconded by Chris Cox, motion passed.

Patriotic Instructor

Brother Joe Davis agreed to accept the Patriotic Instructor position for the coming year and he brought in a number of Civil War books and materials for those interested in having. Commander Arnold reminded the Camp that the Patriotic Instructor report is requested by the Department for the Camp's activities which are documented on our website.

Graves Registration

1. Brother Maillard reported that the "Medal of Honor" recipient, John Kelly, confirmed to be interned in Mount Evergreen cemetery with no marker and a soldier's stone is being applied for to mark his burial, his descendants are being contacted to make the formal request for the stone. .


1. Brother Griggs up-dated the year's page to include yesterday's Veteran's Day events and the new roster will be coming out soon.
2. $99.35 check was made to pay for the website for the coming year and a new up-grade program to load the website which makes the work much easier for our signals officer.


1. Auxiliary Vicki Weiss bought over fliers for the December 9, 1pm Christmas Party at the Sandstone Church.
2. Received a "Thank You" note from Camp #20 for the $100 for their Vicksburg monument repairs and Commander Hawker informed Camp 20 that our Camp would assist them with their dedication program when scheduled.
3. Brother Maillard discussed ordering the 150th commemorative metal listed in the "Banner".

Old Business

1. Commander Hawker reviewed some programs planned for the coming year:    a. The Jackson County Genealogical Society will do a program on the "old bottle collection" from the 1800s, many being elixirs from that era, planned for February.
   b. Department Representative Keith Harrison will review ceremonies & rituals, and proper uniform & accoutrements to assist our camp's participation in these programs, planned for April.
   c. Mr. Ron Jones will be bringing his 24th Michigan Infantry's relative's rifle and gear from his service in the "Iron Brigade".
   d. Mr. John McLaughlin agreed to show the Camp the Surgical Kit his relative used in the Civil War.

New Business

1. Auxiliary June Lloyd presented Brother Dave Van Hoof a quilt for his service overseas in Afghanistan recently.
2. Department Commander Dave Arnold installed the 2013 Camp officers per ritual.
3. Camp Commander Howard Lloyd installed Dave Kimble as our Camp's newest member per his 2x Great Grandfather Anton (Anthony) Steffes, mustered May 13, 1861 in Company C, 3rd Michigan Infantry Regiment, discharged Feb. 23, 1862 discharged for Disability.

For the Good of the Order

1. Dept. Commander Arnold reviewed the "Remembrance Day" activities scheduled at Gettysburg.
2. 14 Camps participated in the Detroit Veteran's Day parade this year and the Detroit GAR Hall restoration is scheduled to be completed and a dedication is planned for next year.
3. Commander Lloyd "Thanked" Brother Hawker for his year as Commander and all his efforts for the year and see all at the Christmas Party, Sunday, 9 November.

Commander Lloyd proceeded to close the meeting at 8:20pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for January 14, 2013, to be held at Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

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Front and back of a "certified" likeness of Abe.
Old Abe

8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

Members of the 8th Wisconsin with "Old Abe"

An uninformed observer watching the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, on October 2, 1862 would have been flabbergasted by the strange behavior of the Confederate troops. Many of them, instead of aiming at Union soldiers, were turning their rifles skyward, shooting at a bird flying high above. “Get that confounded eagle!” had been their general's orders. The bird they were trying to hit was one of the most amazing mascots ever carried by American servicemen - Old Abe, a giant bald eagle. Fearless of whistling bullets and roaring cannonades, she amazed, amused and inspired the men who fought alongside her in no less than 20 battles and 30 skirmishes.

Old Abe was captured in 1861 by Chief Sky near the Chippewa River. She was subsequently traded to a local farmer for a bushel of corn, who in turn sold her to the 8th Wisconsin's Company C for $2.50.

Company C named the eagle after President Abraham Lincoln, and designed a special perch on which they carried the bird into battle. Old Abe participated in the Second Battle of Corinth (in which the 8th Wisconsin lost half of its men) and the Siege of Vicksburg, among other battles. In battle, Old Abe quickly became legendary, screaming and spreading her wings at the enemy. Confederate troops called her the "Yankee Buzzard" and made several attempts to capture her but never succeeded. Several times she lost feathers to bullets and saw her handlers get shot out from under her. When passing by, Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and William Rosecrans were known to doff their hats at the eagle. In her first battle she spread her wings and screamed through the smoke and roar. The Confederate army knew that there was a Wisconsin Regiment that carried a live Eagle and they had cautioned their men the morning of the 3rd of October 1862 to take that Eagle dead or alive.

Old Abe was carried beside the flag and made quite a conspicuous mark. “The eagle and flag were in plain sight of the enemy and then they gave the rebel yell and came for the eagle and flag, but about 3,000 muskets fired into them in volley made them hesitate; but they rallied and came on again, bound to take that eagle. The boys were ready for them and were reinforced by the 2nd Iowa Battery, who commenced firing canister into them. They (rebels) fell back, badly broken up, with their appetite all gone for young eagles; in fact they did not want any Wisconsin eagles.

When they made the first charge, a bullet cut the cord that held the eagle to her perch when she flew off about 50 feet from the flag. She was shot through one wing, cutting out three quill feathers, but not drawing blood. At the same time the bearer (McLain) was shot through the left shoulder of his blouse and right leg of his pants. In both cases happily no blood was drawn. This only goes to show how dangerous a place the eagle bearer had.”

Old Abe was still going strong 15 years after the war was over in 1881. Then one morning fire broke out in the Capitol, where Old Abe lived. From the eagle's room came a wild cry. As an attendant, a veteran who had served with her, dashed through the choking fumes, he could see his charge jumping up and down on her perch, shrieking fiercely. Old Abe hadn't forgotten the smoke of the battlefields. She thought she was back fighting! The veteran hastily carried her out to the fresh air but the bird had gone limp in his arms. Doctors said the excitement had been too much for her. It was a mourning member of the 8th Wisconsin's who provide the epitaph for the fighting eagle. “Maybe it wasn't the real battle, but Old Abe thought it was, she died fighting.”

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By Jeanne Losey
He was his mother's only son,
A load of just fourteen,
Not quite a child, not quite a man,
But somewhere in between.

He tried to lie about his age,
(How old he had become.)
They said he couldn't have a gun,
But he could beat the drum.

He ate and slept beside the men.
His fervor did not lag.
He beat the drum, and many times,
He got to bear the flag.

The marchers' feet were quickened by
The drummer's rapid beat,
And like the bugler, Billy vowed
He'd never beat retreat.

But when they fought at Shiloh,
The man felt such despair,
For Billy didn't fire a shot,
But bullets just don't care.

He'd marched along beside his troops
And held their banner high.
They said he was too young to fight
But not too young to die!


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Upcoming Events

January: 2013
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Monday January 14th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).
Monday January 14th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Ladies Auxiliary Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).

February: 2013
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Monday February 11th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).

Tuesday February 12th;

~ Abraham Lincoln's 204rd Birthday ~

Monday February 11th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Ladies Auxiliary Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).




March: 2013
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Monday March 11th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).

Monday March 11th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Ladies Auxiliary Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. ( Visitors welcome).

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