February, 2009

Commanders Column


I wish to thank all of you were were able to get out and attend our January meeting. I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever have another day without snow in the forecast. It's to bad we could not have taken some of the heat of the building to have outside now to warm things up just a bit

"I have an irrepressible desire to live till I can be assured that the world is a little better for my having lived in it."

~ Abraham Lincoln ~

We all know many of Abraham Lincoln's sayings. This is probably my favorite and as we are edging ever closer to his 200th birthday I wanted to share it with all of you. As you know he was disliked and ridiculed by many, if not most of the people of his time. It was not until after his death that the country started to understand what they had actually lost. I think I can safely say that the world is a better place for him having lived it in.

We all have ties to a Civil War Veteran by blood. There are other ways we tie ourselves to them, copies of military records, regimental histories, magazine articles or books about the Corps or the Army that they belonged to. I was lucky enough to find another one on the 14th of January. I was at the Ingham County Court House in Mason, picking up some paperwork for my daughter who lives in Ohio. I noticed display cases, some with Civil War era items in when I walked in but did not take the time to really look at any of them. As I left I took the time to look, and boy was I glad I did. I'm not sure you can imagine my delight when I found something in there that belonged to my great grandfather, Edwin Potter. Right in front of the display, just a little bit to the right was his straight razor, along with a card that said it was carried by him through the Civil War. I'll tell ya I was as gitty as a schoolgirl as the saying goes. I found it very hard to believe that such a simple item could get me so worked up. I could only imagine the thrill that the "True Son's" had in holding items belonging to one of the Boys in Blue and hearing the stories that would go along with it. Although I don't really have it, I feel that I now have something more than DNA to tie me to the Union soldiers who fought to save our country.

It might not seem like much to a lot of people, but to us a find like this is almost to good to be true. I guess this just goes to show that you never know where you might locate something that can bridge you to your past.

Razor carried by Edwin Potter

Written on Card

"This razor was carried through the Civil War by the late Edwin Potter Co K. 4th Michigan Cavalry. The 4th Michigan Cavalry was the unit that captured Jefferson Davis, and Mr. Potter was on{e} of the first three guards that was placed over the noted Captive."

Don't forget, our meetings for the rest of this year will be held at the Eagle's located at 301 Detroit St in Jackson. This is just East of Francis St. just north of the railroad tracks.

I thought I would add something new to the Courier. I'm pretty sure that we have all read many books, articles, clippings etc. that we would like to share. I was thinking that maybe, with everyone's help we could put in a little bit about something that we had read so that Camp members might get some ideas of different things they would like to read, or stay away from. I'll start it off this month and if you would like you can send me something telling about what you have read, good, bad, or indifferent. Check it out right after the Secretary's Report.

Once again here is your reminder that your dues are due by the first of March. These can be paid at the meetings or checks can be sent to Mike Maillard who's address is on your copy of the Roster. The cost is $36.00 for members and associates, $10.00 for juniors.

In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.

Bob Griggs CC
January 4, 2009

Treasure's Report
Mike Maillard
1 January 2009 thru 31 Januray 2009 .


1 January 2009 . Total Begining Balance $3,182.94

1 January . General Fund Beginning Ballance $1,242.71

. Thomas Green - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Robert Diver - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Gerald Wright - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. John McFeters - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Russel Watson - Received 2009 Membership Dues ($1.00 in arrears) $37.00
. Daniel Conklin - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. George Conklin - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Ron Lewis - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. John Maloney - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Charles Waters III - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Dave Gilman - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Consumers Energy - Received Quarterly dividend $20.25
. Jackson Veteran's Council - Ck 266 issued Annual Dues -$5.00
. Nat'l SUVCW - Ck 267 issued Camp badges & Membership cards -$102.00
31 January 2009 . General Fund Ending Balance $1,520.96
1 January 2009 . Restoration Fund Beginning Balance $557.78

31 January 2009 . Restoration Fund Ending Balance $557.78
1 January 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Beginning Balance $1,382.45
31 Januray 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Ending Balance $1,382.45
31 Januray 2009 . Total Ending Balance $3,461.19

* 21 Members and one Junior have paid their 2009 annual dues as of January 31, 2009. Of the $ 1,520.96 in the General Fund, $ 962.00 will be owed the Department and National for 2009 per capita dues, assuming the camp will have 37 paid members. We have two life members and two that have taken honorable discharges.

Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The January 12, 2009 meeting of the Austin Blair Camp No.7 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was held at the Elks, Lansing Ave. Jackson, Michigan.

Members in attendance were Brothers: Dan Conklin, Ed Conklin, Dave Gilman, Bob Griggs, Henry Hawker, Mark Heath, Ron Lewis, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, John McFeters, Bob Mulvihill, Jeff Oberdank, Ron Tyrl, and Russell Watson.

The Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the courier by Brother McFeters, seconded by Brother Gilman. Motion Passed. The Treasurer's Report was distributed for review and accepted by Brother Gilman, seconded by Brother Oberdank. Motion Passed. Treasurer Maillard reported that the Camp will not receive the $10 reimbursement for Brother Holton's life membership which is received for our other life member Dan Doyle. The reimbursement was stopped a few years back and it's finally being stopped this year. Brother Heath motioned to not ask for Brother Holton's $10 2009 dues for this year only, seconded by Brother Hawker, motion passed. Commander Griggs will have the By-Laws committee review and adjust the dues section to reflect this change.

Commander Griggs ensured everyone has access to the courier on the Camp's website and by all acknowledging they have, shows this new method for the courier's posting seems to be working.


1. The Meeting Minutes for the Jackson County Veterans Council was received and Commander Welihan reported that due to severe budget cuts cemetery flags are one program on question. The $5 yearly membership dues was asked also from the Jackson County Veterans Council and Treasurer Maillard wrote the check.

2. An e-mail was received from the Commander of the Curtenius Guard Camp #17 Dave Arnold inviting our camp to three up-coming events:

1. February 24, 2009 at 7pm at the Sunfield Community room the editor of the Michigan History Magazine will be speaking on Michigan in the Civil War.

2. May 16, 2009 the City of Lansing is having a parade for its 150th Birthday (Sesquicentennial).

3. In Early Summer -date to be determined, Camp #17 is planning a SUVCW Campfire similar to what the GAR use to have.

4. Brother Arnold also announced his running for the Dept. of Michigan JVC position and requested a letter of endorsement from our camp.

Patriotic Instructor

1. Brother Oberdank reviewed "this day in the civil" which was the state of Alabama voted to be the fourth state to succeed from the Union 61 to 39 the closest vote of all succeeding states.

2. Civil War-era letters were donated to the Michigan Library & Historical Center in Lansing recently. Almost 300 letters between a husband and wife from Hillsdale will soon be available for history buffs to read. Wallace Ewing of Grand Haven donated 291 letters- one of the largest in the country - to the Archives. They were written by his great grandparents Henry McKendree and Nancy Ewing between 1861 - 1865. By spring these letters will be accessed at www.seekingmichigan.org.

3. Brother McFeters summarized the Camp's planned trip to the Lincoln tomb ceremony planned for Saturday, April 18, 2009. Commander Griggs and others have already made reservations and Commander Griggs asked for a show of hands of those planning on attending and 10 members were counted.

Old Business

1. Commander Griggs reported that the Courier posted on the Camp's website seems to be working and Brother Doyle has hinted that he would like to have Commander Griggs take over this signal officer's duties. Commander Griggs said that if and when that happened he would like to leave Brother Doyle's name listed on the website. Brother Heath motioned to leave Brother Doyle as "Emeritus" on the Camp's Webpage, seconded by Brother Gilman, motion passed.

2. Brother Conklin reported that the audit committee conducted an audit of the Camp's treasury prior to the Christmas party and found all was in order. The report was forwarded to the Dept. and National.

3. Brother Letterman's request for discharge paper work was mailed and about a dozen Camp Couriers were sent to recipients that didn't have e-mail addresses to inform them that the Courier will no longer be sent in the mail and will be posted on the Camp's website.

4. Discussion of the Camp meeting location was held and Brother Heath motioned to hold the Camp meetings at the Eagles facility at Detroit and Francis for the remainder of the year, seconded by Brother Mulvihill, motion passed. Continuing searches for a meeting location will be done and if another more favorable location is suggested for next year a vote will be taken.

New Business

1. Commander Griggs provided the Camp with CDs and DVDs of numerous Civil War related books: ex. - Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, History of the GAR, Michigan in the War, Flags of Michigan, GAR Blue Book, The War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

For the Good of the Order

1. Brother Gilman reminded the Camp pf the Civil War reenactor's "Round Table" this coming Saturday January 17, 2009 at 1pm.

2. Commander Griggs reminded the Camp of the up-coming April 28, 2008 Dept. Encampment, details of the Dept. website.

Commander Griggs proceeded to close the meeting at 8:10pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for February 9, 2009, to be held at the Eagles on Lansing and Detroit ave. Jackson, Michigan.

What we have read.

Too Afraid to Cry
Maryland civilians in the Antietam Campaign
By Kathleen A. Ernst.

I really enjoyed this book. In the back of my mind I've have always wondering about the civilians and how they were affected by battles that took place in their front yards. Ms. Ernst takes you to the area of western Maryland for not only the Antietam Campaign of 1862, but also for the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863 and the Jubal Early Campaign of 1864. She not only uses stories from, or about people in Sharpsburg but also includes the surrounding areas. Her use of first person accounts from civilians and soldiers (from both sides) along with pictures of the people and towns, and etchings made at the time of the battles really enhanced the story.

If you would like to find out about civilians and the hardships they faced this just might be the book for you. I found it very informative and easy to read.

Bob Griggs

9th Monday 7 p.m. -Jackson-

Austin Blair Camp Meeting and Auxiliary Meeting.Eagles 612, located 301 Detroit St Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome)

12th Thursday

Abrham Lincoln's 200th Birthday. It is said that Washington is the Father of our Country. If that is so then Lincoln has to be the Father of our Nation.
Thank you Father Abraham.

14th Saturday 8:30 a.m. -Vandercook-

Civil War Roundtable Meeting at MARRS Avenue Grill South, 3306 Francis Street.

28th Saturday 8:30 a.m. -Vandercook-

Civil War Roundtable Meeting at MARRS Avenue Grill South, 3306 Francis Street.

9th Monday 7 p.m. -Jackson-

Austin Blair Camp Meeting and Auxiliary Meeting.Eagles 612, located 301 Detroit St Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome)

14th Saturday 8:30 a.m. -Vandercook-

Civil War Roundtable Meeting at MARRS Avenue Grill South, 3306 Francis Street.

28th Saturday 8:30 a.m. -Vandercook-

Civil War Roundtable Meeting at MARRS Avenue Grill South, 3306 Francis Street.



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