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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."

March, 2018



In this issue

Commanders Colummn
Secretary's Report
James Vernor-A soldiers story
The G.A.R. in Michigan
March 13, 1865
Civil War Money
A day at the Museum
Upcoming events
Back Issues
A photo from the Civil War


Brothers at our last meeting we started our 50/50 drawings to boost our funds for the camp. We collected $34.00 and our newest member Ray Rowley was our first winner of $17.00. We had a light turnout at the meeting and I am hoping that our numbers will increase with the weather becoming warmer. I want to thank Sister June Lloyd for working on a new venue for this years Christmas party to be held December 2. We are about to get busy very soon with parade season fast approaching so I hope to see all of you at our next meeting in April.

In F,C&L

David Kimble

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On March 13, 1865, with the main Rebel armies facing long odds against must larger Union armies,the Confederacy, in a desperate measure,reluctantly approves the use of black troops.

The situation was bleak for the Confederates in the spring of 1865. The Yankees had captured large swaths of Southern territory, General William T. Sherman’s Union army was tearing through the Carolinas, and General Robert E. Lee was trying valiantly to hold the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia,against General Ulysses S. Grant’s growing force. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis had only two options. One was for Lee to unite with General Joseph Johnston’s army in the Carolinas and use the combined force to take on Sherman and Grant one at a time. The other option was to arm slaves, the last source of fresh manpower in the Confederacy.

The idea of enlisting blacks had been debated for some time. Arming slaves was essentially a way of setting them free, since they could not realistically be sent back to plantations after they had fought. General Patrick Cleburne had suggested enlisting slaves a year before, but few in the Confederate leadership considered the proposal, since slavery was the foundation of Southern society. One politician asked, “What did we go to war for, if not to protect our property?” Another suggested, “If slaves will make good soldiers, our whole theory of slavery is wrong.” Lee weighed in on the issue and asked the Confederate government for help. “We must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves be used against us, or use them ourselves.” Lee asked that the slaves be freed as a condition of fighting, but the bill that passed the Confederate Congress on March 13, 1865,did not stipulate freedom for those who served.

The measure did nothing to stop the destruction of the Confederacy. Several thousand blacks were enlisted in the Rebel cause, but they could not begin to balance out the nearly 200,000 blacks who fought for the Union.

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James Vernor
Burton Historical Collection,Detroit Public Library
James Vernor - 4th Michigan Cavalry

James Vernor was born in New York and moved to Detroit at the age of 15. He worked as an errand boy for Higby & Stearns drug store. On august 14, 1862, the age of 19, he enlisted in the 4th Michigan Cavalry as a hospital steward for three years. He was 19 years old at the time. He mustered August 29th. In January of 1983 he was captured and paroled. On September 20, 1864 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of Company M. He remained with the unit and mustered out July 1, 1865. After his return to Detroit, he opened a drug store with Charles L'Hommedieu. Five years later, after buying out his partners share, he was the sole proprietor. Before joining the army he was working on a new formula for ginger ale. In 1868 he started selling that as a sideline to his drug store business. By 1870 that business was taking up most of his time, and the ginger ale, Vernor's, is how he made his fortune.

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Civil War Money

At the time of the Civil War many States, banks, and business printed/minted their own money.
Below is an example of one of those.

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Tour Group visit the G.A.R. Museum.

On the 12th of the month, PCC Bob Griggs traveled to Eaton Rapids to assist at the G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum with a tour group that came in from Clio. Also there to assist were Brothers from Curtenius Guard Camp No.17, and museum board members. The tour, numbering 54 were split into two groups to see the museum. The volunteers were able to tell the group about the Grand Army of the Republic, and the building that members of the Lt. James B. Brainerd Post 111 built. They also were able to relate personal stories about their ancestors and other men and women who fought to preserve the Union during the Civil War.

The group enjoyed coffee and cookies while touring the museum and ask many questions about the items on display. It was a great day enjoyed by all and we hope they all tell their friends about the museum and come back to visit often.

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Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The March 12, 2018 meeting of the Austin Blair Camp No.7 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was held at the American Legion Post 29, Jackson, Michigan.

Members in attendance were Brothers: Bob Griggs, Henry Hawker, Kim Horning, Dave Kimble, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Raymond Rowley, Nathan Tingley, Ron Tyrl, Dave Van Hoof, Charlie Waters III.

Commander Kimble welcomed all and the Secretary's report was requested and was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Tingley and seconded by Brother Griggs, motion passed.

The Treasurer's Report was motioned accepted as presented by Brother Griggs seconded by Brother Rowley, motion passed. Treasurer Maillard briefed on the form 990 "Tax Exempt" that will be sent to the Dept. Treasurer as the filling process now.

Patriotic Instructor

1. Brother Hawker reported on the Grass Lake, Michigan War Museum's Confederate Flag day event. Discussion was also done on the huge Confederate Flag north of Montgomery, Alabama off Interstate 65 on private property.
2. The History Channel's "Curse of Civil War Gold" program was discussed.


Graves Registration

1. Brother Waters reported that the headstone for the Maple Grove Cemetery in Grass Lake internee Charles McDole continues to be followed-up on. Charles McDole served in the 20th Michigan and 2nd Michigan Infantry Regiments and was wounded at Spotsylvania and discharged and died in 1868.
2. The sexton will be contacted for Hiram Dailey, interned at Woodland Cemetery, military headstone correctly placed.
3. The VA Headstone application changed to reflect Race ðnicity boxes Brother Waters reported.
4. Camp 14 Travers City will be doing a dedication for 10 headstones replaced this year.
5. 70,617 men are currently in the Michigan Graves Registration database.


1. Brother Griggs has also up-dated website and Facebook pages to date.
2. Brother Griggs has made another batch of the post cards we display and give to visitors at our events. Also he purchased another roll of the labels to put on them.


1. National's finalizing Camp, Department and National By-Laws by April 2019.
2. Brother Tingley will be sending details on the Department Encampment this May.

Old Business

1. The Camp tent grommet tear at front left corner is on Auxiliary Connie Horning's agenda.

New Business

1. Brother Griggs announced that the GAR program on the "Worst Colonel Quinn" of the 12th Michigan program is next Tuesday at 7pm.
2. The Auxiliary announced that "Spag's" restaurant in Williamston, Michigan is proposed as the Christmas Party host this year.
3. A "Thank you" letter was received from the "VFW's National Home for Children" that our last year's Christmas party funds went to.
4. Commander Kimble explained the Sergeant Major's uniform he was wearing at this meeting in remembrance of his participating in the "Wild Faith" movie he had done wearing this uniform.

For the Good of the Order

1. March 17-18, Sat-Sun, Kalamazoo Living History Show, 9-5pm & Brother Doyle's Memorial service Saturday March 17th.
2. April 14, Saturday, Lincoln Tomb, Springfield Illinois.
3. May 4-5, Fri-Sat, Department Encampment, Great Lakes College, Lansing, Michigan.
4. May 26, Saturday, Mount Hope Memorial Day program, Lansing 11am.
5. May 30, Wednesday, Memorial Day at GAR Museum.
9. June 16-17, Sat-Sun, Turkeyville Muster.
6. June 24, Saturday, Waterloo Farm's Blacksmith & Soldiers Weekend, 12-5pm.
7. July 5-8, 155th Gettysburg Reenactment.
8. July 21-22, Sat-Sun, Charlton Park Muster, Hastings, Michigan.
9. August 9-11, 2018; Thurs-Sat, National Encampment at Framingham, Massachusetts.
10. August 15, Wednesday, GAR Discovery Camp, GAR Museum.
11. August 24-26, Fri-Sun, Cascade's Muster.

Commander Dave Kimble closed the meeting at 8:05pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 9, 2018 to be held at Post 29 American Legion.

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Upcoming Events

Please click here to see our upcoming events.

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Johnny Lincoln Clem 22nd Michigan.

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Eaton County Battalion Encampment badge 1906.

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