March, 2009

Commanders Column


Thank you all, who were able for attending our February meeting. It was good seeing you all.

The first thing I would like to do is thank Mark and John for getting the cabinet and the items needed to hold our meeting delivered to the Jackson Eagles. I would also like to thank our guest from Camp 17, Commander Dave Arnold, PCC Marc Bennetts and Ron Shull for attending the meeting and helping us eat the Lincoln birthday cake so I didn't have so much to bring as much home. Last, but by no means least; I would like to thank ASUVCW Department President Linda Kronbery for filling us in on the activities for the upcoming Department Encampment.

As I'm sure you all know our Camp is very quickly approaching its 95th anniversary. We, as a Camp have undergone many changes over the last 95 years but one thing has never changed. The memberships determination and resolve to "Keep green the memory" of the Union Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines who fought to preserve this great Country of ours. I am proud to be a member of this Camp. At this time I would like to ask each of you to be thinking about we might want to do to celebrate this occasion and bring those ideas with you to the meeting this month. President Lincoln said; "....The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here....". Each of us, in our own way are helping to see that they won't forget.

If you are planning on making the trip to Springfield for the Ceremoney at Lincoln's Tomb be sure to get your check for the luncheon to Mark so that he can get the reservations in for us.

In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.

Bob Griggs CC
February 18, 2009

Treasure's Report
Mike Maillard
1 February 2009 thru 28 February 2009


-$150.00 -$59.40
1 February 2009 . Total Begining Balance $3,461.19

1 February 2009 . General Fund Beginning Balance $1,520.96

. Jeff Oberdank - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Bob Hoffman - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. F.O.E. 612 Issued CK 268 2009 Contribution for Hall use
. Dan Doyle Issued CK 269 2008 payment for website
. Charles Waters Jr. - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
28 February 2009 . General Fund Ending Balance $1,414.56
1 February 2009 . Restoration Fund Beginning Balance $557.78

28 February 2009 . Restoration Fund Ending Balance $557.78
1 February 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Beginning Balance $1,382.45
28 February 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Ending Balance $1,382.45
28 February 2009 . Total Ending Balance $3,359.79

**Twenty four Members and one Junior have paid their 2009 annual dues as of February 28, 2009. Of the $1,419.56 in the General Fund, $962.00 will be owed the Department and National for the 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 February 9, 2009 meeting of the Austin Blair Camp No.7 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was held at the Eagles, 209 N. Francis Jackson, Michigan.

Members in attendance were Brothers: Dan Conklin, Ed Conklin, Dave Gilman, Bob Griggs, Henry Hawker, Mark Heath, Bob Hoffman, Ron Lewis, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, John Mann, John McFeters, Bob Mulvihill, Jeff Oberdank, Ron Tyrl, Charlie Waters Jr. and Daniel Watkins. Guest: Camp 17 Commander Paul "David" Arnold, Ron Shall- Camp 17, Mark Bennetts- Camp 17. Commander Griggs welcomed our guest.

The Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Heath, seconded by Brother Gilman. Motion Passed. The Treasurer's Report was distributed for review and accepted by Brother Heath, seconded by Brother McFeters. Motion Passed as amended to correct the Camp's webpage to reflect full member not Junior for Brother George Conklin. Treasurer Maillard reported that he wrote a check to reimburse Brother Doyle's $59.40 payment for the 2008 Camp website. Treasurer Maillard also motioned to pay $150 to the Eagles lodge for use of their facility for this year, seconded by Brother Gilman, motion passed.


1. An Antiques, Coins, Sporting & Household Auction will be held Thursday, February 12, 2009, at the Hilltop Chapel Family Life Center, 11000 Spring Arbor Rd. Concord, Michigan.

2. The American Legion Post 81 invited the Camp to a Potluck dinner, Saturday March 14, 2009 at 6pm at the Concord United Methodist Church.

3. The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War invited the Camp to their opening ceremony of a new Tent in Lansing- at the Turner Dodge House, 100 E. North St., March 28, 2009 at 1:00pm

4. A resolution of Endorsement was received from Camp #17 endorsing Brother Paul "David" Arnold for the office of Junior Vice Department Commander. Brother Arnold stated that he wishes to receive our Camp members votes but he emphasize that each should vote his own wishes and that he does have good ideas for the improvement of our Department.

5. An e-mail was received from Mr. James N. Jackson informing the Camp that he is available for "Speaking Engagements"; at no charge. Mr. Jackson has served as President of a number of Genealogical Societies and his qualifications and past engagements are listed on, which also contains 550,000 names of Civil War veterans which he would instruct our group on how to use this resource.

Patriotic Instructor

1. Brother Oberdank summarized the numerous programs on the History Channel in celebration of President Lincoln's Bicentennial.

2. Feb. 11, 2009, Albion District Library will be hosting a childrens' "Lincoln Log Cabin Day program".

3. Feb. 24, 2009, 7:00 to 9:00pm, the Sunfield Community Center program is "Come on You Wolverines" presented by Michigan State Prof. Rosenstetler.

4. Brother Maillard summarized the Lincoln Pennies that will be made available at the U.S Mint to celebrate the Lincoln Bicentennial.

5. Brother Gilman covered the proliferation of Civil War related items that are sold illegally, whether stolen from private collectors or taken from public areas- GAR Markers, Flag holders, etc, on the intranet and other venues.

6. Brother Lewis reported that a military headstone was delivered for the Jefferson Cemetery project and is ready for pick up at Brother Holton's Spring Arbor Lumber; this is the last stone that will complete this project.

Old Business

1. Chaplain Heath reminded the Camp of the Dedication planned for the Jefferson Cemetery work this coming May; more details will be coming.

2. Commander Griggs reported the 2008 year in review pages were sent to update the Camp website and the 2006 and 2007 pages will be removed and in the future only one year's pages will be posted at a time.

3. Commander Griggs invited Dept. of Michigan Auxiliary President Linda Kronberg to speak on the up-coming Dept. Encampment, April 24, 2009 in Lansing, in which the Auxiliary will be hosting for the first time in 50 years. There will be a Brunch and an evening Banquet featuring Bob Elliott on "Michigan Ghost Tour". More details are on the Dept. Encampment links.

New Business

1. Brother Hoffman informed the Camp that the Eaton Rapids' library will be sending the descriptive and GAR Battalion records and 1893 -1929 meeting minutes of the Eaton Rapids GAR Post 111 to the Michigan Archives. Brother Hoffman reported that the library will allow copying of these records for a $250 fee. Chaplain Heath and Camp 17 Commander Arnold suggested that Brother Hoffman contact the Dept. GAR records committee- Rick Green or Commander Derr for assistance in this issue since there are grants available from the Historical Commission for records preservation. Brother Hoffman also reported that the library had a Civil War Photograph book but over the years all the photos were removed but one; lost forever. Brother Mulvihill suggested during discussion that for those that have pictures of their Civil War families or soldiers to name the individuals for future generations since many in Civil War photos are not identified.

2. Commander Griggs received a flyer for a Civil War Reenactment for July 4th weekend at Turkeyville in Calhoun County. Discussion followed and Brother Hawker suggested we get the details and then determine if we can support this. Chaplain Heath reminded the Camp that the Marshall- June 20-21 muster and Waterloo June 27th Civil War Days events are prior to the Turkeyville event.

3. Treasurer Maillard reported that $103 was spent on Quartermaster supplies so there's replacement Son's Badge ribbons and extra badges for future members.

For the Good of the Order

1. Brother Gilman e-mailed a list of Civil War equipment and miscellaneous items he has for sale since he's been down sizing his collection of reenactment gear and Civil War items. He asked those interested in his sale to give him a call or e-mail for specifics.

2. Camp 17 Commander Arnold personally invited the Camp to their Camp's events covered last meeting- the GAR Campfire tentatively scheduled for June and the Lansing Sesquicentennial events.

3. Brother Gilman informed the Camp that Brother Engle is currently in British Columbia pursuing a child adoption; the Camp wishes his family the best.

4. A Valentine's Card was passed around for signatures to be presented to the ladies of the Camp's Auxiliary.

5. Brother Oberdank informed the Camp to his surprise that after researching his family's history his Civil War generation and his father -in -law Commander Griggs' family had connections then- their relatives worked, lived and were buried together in the same cemetery; generations ago, "it's a small world".

Commander Griggs proceeded to close the meeting at 8:15pm and invited everyone to participate in the celebration of President Lincoln's Bicentennial Birthday Celebration of Birthday Cake and drink refreshments with the auxiliary. Our next camp meeting is scheduled for March 9, 2009, to be held at the Eagles, Jackson, Michigan.


What we have read.

Abraham Lincoln
The Prairie Years and The War Years
The Illustrated Edition
By Carl Sandburg.

I have noticed in the course of my readings that often books written in the latter part of the 19th or early part of the 20th century read differently than books written in the last 20 to 30 years. Things are just worded differently. (Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's - Bayonets Forward comes to mind.) I found that to be true of this book. There were many places that I had to read over a couple of times to understand what the author was trying to say. Not that that is a bad thing. The book was written very well and I enjoyed it very much. The chapter Blood on the Moon is probably the best description of the events that took place during and after the assassination of Lincoln that I have ever read. One thing that I found quite nice about this book is that the chapters were all short, (65 chapters 455 pages with about half of the pages being photos) meaning that if you only had a few minutes to devote to reading you could probably get through the whole chapter rather than having to stop in the middle of it.

I would recomend this book.

Bob Griggs


9th Monday 7 p.m.Jackson
Austin Blair Camp Meeting and Auxiliary Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. (Visitors welcome).


14th Saturday 6 p.m.Concord
The American Legion Post 81 Potluck dinner, at the Concord United Methodist Church.


13th Monday 7 p.m.Jackson
Austin Blair Camp Meeting and Auxiliary Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. (Visitors welcome).


18th - Saturday 10 a.m. Springfield IL
53rd Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony.


24th & 25th Friday & SaturdayLansing
6211 W. Willow Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917. This year the Auxiliary is hosting and this will be their first time hosting an encampment in 50 years. Friday evening beginning at 7:30, the Auxiliary will be hosting a Hospitality Room. There will be games, prizes, drinks, and snacks.







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