April, 2009

Commanders Column


Thank you all, who were able too attending the March meeting. It was by far the longest meeting we have had since I became Commander but I think we got a lot of things taken care of.

It would appear that the warmer weather is finally here. With this comes outdoor activities. So far my outdoor activities have mostly been getting out of the house and driving. I attended the Camp 58 in DeWitt meeting on the 16th and Jim Lyons memorial service on the 17th. Myself and Brother Lloyd from our Camp and the Sisters Lloyd (June and Liz) from the Auxiliary made it to the Charter signing for the new DUVCW Tent #59 in Lansing. I was asked to help in the ceremony by being a member of the Color Guard and was proud to help them out by doing this.

This looks to be just the beginning of a busy year for our Camp as in the very near future we have our celebration of the Camps 95th birthday, our trip to Springfield, as well as the Department Encampment coming up in Lansing. That is just the next month, and it doesn't slow down much after that. As always I look forward to sharing the comradery that goes along with these events which enables us to "Keep green the memory" of the Boys in Blue.

In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.

Bob Griggs CC
March 19, 2009

Treasure's Report
Mike Maillard
1 March 2009 thru 31 March 2009


1 March 2009 . Total Begining Balance $3,359.79

1 March 2009 . General Fund Beginning Balance $1,1419.56

. Ron Tyrl - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Ken Strickler - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Bill Lowe - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Michael Gillett - Received 2009 Membership Dues $43.00
. Michael Gillett Issued CK 270 for overpayment of dues
. Tom Fenton - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Frank Engle - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Max Miller - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Gary Miller - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. William Vette - Received 2009 Membership Dues + $2.50 arrears $38.50
. Michael Shade - Received 2009 Membership Dues $36.00
. Max Newman (Nat'l) - Received annual payment for Life Member $12.00
. Consumers Energy - Received Quartely Dividend $20.25
31 March 2009 . General Fund Ending Balance *$1,814.31
1 March 2009 . Restoration Fund Beginning Balance $557.78

. Charles Waters III - Issued CK 271 Cleaners and paint for monument restoration $27.66
31 March 2009 . Restoration Fund Ending Balance $530.12
1 March 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Beginning Balance $1,382.45
31 March 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Ending Balance $1,382.45
31 March 2009 . Total Ending Balance $3,726.88

* Thirty-four Members and one Junior have paid their 2009 annual dues as of March 31, 2009. Of the $1,814.31 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 March 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, Dave Gilman, Bob Griggs, Bob Hoffman, Ron Lewis, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, John McFeters, Bob Mulvihill, Jeff Oberdank, Ron Tyrl, and Charlie Waters Jr.

The Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the courier by Brother Gilman, seconded by Brother Oberdank. Motion Passed. The Treasurer's Report was distributed for review and accepted by Brother Gilman, seconded by Brother McFeters. Motion Passed as amended to correct the Camp's webpage to reflect a 31 February 2009 date for the total end balance instead of January 2009.

Commander Griggs requested volunteers for a By-Laws committee to make the changes for the Life membership dues changes. SVC John McFeters and Brother Dan Conklin volunteered. Commander Griggs also addressed two changes to the operating procedures: to change the address of the Camp's meeting place from post 29 to the Eagle's facility and a statement that the Courier will be posted on the Camp's website rather than mailed to the membership. These changes were motion accepted by Brother McFeters and seconded by Brother Oberdank. Motion passed.


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

2. Brother Gilman sent two invitations to Mr. Bill Shoemaker and Mr. Jim Trotter inviting these men to our Camp meetings as potential members.

3. Brother Gilman suggested that the Camp send invitations to the recently disbanded Litchfield Camp welcoming them to our Camp meetings and activities.


1. Commander Griggs reported that as of the end of February he will be performing the duties of the Camp's website webmaster from Bother Doyle. The account was transferred to Commander Griggs and during this transfer the web-forwarding feature dropped off unexpectantly and Commander Griggs paid for three years at $12 a year to continue this feature. The Camp's website domain name is paid up until November 2016.

2. Commander Griggs reviewed the Camp's website pages and the links at the bottom of the home page for discussion on which to keep or delete. Commander Griggs summarized the most current items on the website: the Sultana, Private Pine, the GAR Memorial, the Camp's anniversary, the adopted member. The outdated items were: The Horton cemetery program, past Memorial and Veteran Days, and the Berdan Sharpshooter's program. Brother Gilman motioned to allow the deletions to be done at the webmaster's discretion, seconded by Brother Oberdank. Motion passed.

3. Commander Griggs concluded the signal's report by reporting that the Jackson County GAR Posts were added the Camp's website as a new feature.

Patriotic Instructor

1. Brother Oberdank summarized the Monitor and Virginia naval battle which occurred this date. And he summarized a newspaper article on the drafts of President Lincoln's most notable speeches.

2. Brother Maillard reported that the mint is producing a President Lincoln two hundredth birthday commemorative "Silver Dollar". Also, there will be a coin set which will include the Silver dollar and the commemorative pennies will be available soon. Brother Oberdank stated that he inherited four books of Lincoln pennies previously issued by the mint.

Old Business

1. The Dedication program planned for the Jefferson Cemetery work this coming May is currently being worked, more details will be coming.

2. The July 4th Turkeyville muster has been cancelled due to no sponsors.

3. The Eaton Rapids' "Dam Festival" is scheduled for June 27-28th Saturday and Sunday. This is the same weekend as the "Waterloo Civil War Days". Commander Griggs asked if there was interest in supporting both events and there were volunteers for both events; more details to come. Brother Hoffman informed the Camp that this will be the Hundredth Anniversary of the GAR Encampment in Eaton Rapids this August.

New Business

1. Commander Griggs reviewed some ideas for the Camp's 95th Anniversary Celebration and after discussion it was agreed to invite some guest to our celebration and we will be having Pizza and an anniversary cake at the April Camp meeting.

2. Credential cards are available for those attending the Dept. Encampment next month April 25, 2009 at the Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing.

For the Good of the Order

1. Brother Gilman brought a Zouave 58 caliber rifle and two 44 caliber revolvers for sale from his downsizing of equipment and gear for purchasing after the meeting.

2. Commander Griggs summarized the plans for the Springfield trip April 17 -19th, 2009. Carpooling details and events planning were discussed.

3. The Camp 17 Campfire event is still tentatively scheduled for June this year.

4. Brother Conklin reminded the Camp of the Marshall- June 20-21 muster.

5. Brother Conklin also reported that the Camp has been invited to participate in the Concord Hubbard House Civil War program August 1, 2009.

Commander Griggs proceeded to close the meeting at 8:50pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for April 13, 2009, to be held at the Eagles, Jackson, Michigan.


What we have read

The Untold Story of Shiolh

By Timothy B. Smith

The title tells a lot about this book. It did not however let the reader know that there was going to be very little about the Battle of Shiloh told. It starts out talking about the area and the people who lived in the area going back to the time that Tennessee became a State. It then gives a brief overview of the battle and talks about the controversy that has surrounded it for the last 140 plus years. Next it proceeds to tackle the ten biggest myths of the battle. Then comes the untold part of the book. Mr. Smith does not spend must time on the battle, but creation of the National Cemetery and the Park itself.

Starting from the beginning to now, (now being 2006) he takes you through some of the problems that were encountered in setting up the park as well as what was done to over come them. There are chapters about the "Father of Shiloh National Military Park", as well as "Shiloh's Poet Preservationist". There were many times where he repeated himself but it always fit into the context of what he was saying at the time so it was not really minded on my part.

As many of us know there seems to be a new thinking on the Battle of Shiloh, such as the Hornet's Nest did not hold as much weight in the fighting as we have been lead to believe over the last 140 plus years. This thought is carried on and advanced in this book. He also goes on to explain why it has been thought of as being such for the last 147 years.

Although the book was not what I was expecting, it was very informative and fairly easy to read. About the only complaint I had is one that I have with many of the newer books and that is the font was a little small for old eyes. The book was only 170 pages and I don't think it would have hurt one bit to have added 25 or 30 more pages to that and made the font a little bit larger.

For anyone interested in the National Military Park and its history (as started not much about the battle itself) I would highly recommend this book.

Bob Griggs


Upcoming Events



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 & Saturday Lansing
The 120th Annual Department Encampment will be held at the Great Lakes Christian College, 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.


11th - Monday 7 p.m. Jackson
Austin Blair Camp Meeting and Auxiliary Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).

25th - Monday Memorial Day - Be sure to thank a Veteran
10 a.m. Parades Jackson and Concord.
1 p.m. Parade Spring Arbor

30th - Saturday Memorial Day Traditional. 1 p.m. Brooklyn
Dedication of newly installed headstones at Jefferson Rd Cemetery.






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