Camp Courier Header

"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."

April, 2016



In this issue

Rally Round the Flag
Commanders Column
Secretary's Report
Oh Captain, my Captain
The G.A.R. in Michigan
The President Dies
Civil War Money
African Americans in the service
Upcoming events
Back Issues
A photo from the Civil War

Brothers and Sisters,

Around the corner is the Department Encampment, in which one of our own members is running for Department Junior Vice Commander. If any brother did not get a credential card, I will have some with me if you come and need one. If you plan on attending the Encampment it is at the Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing, Michigan on April 30.

After the encampment the camp has plans to do some upkeep on the headstones at Mount Evergreen. We are coming to the point of the year that most of our lives will become busy. The busy season for the camp is slowly coming and with the snow in April anything can happen. Please be prepared to be ready for anything that will come our way.

With the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic here, as the heir to the G.A.R. we should still work hard on keeping the green the memory of the boys in blue and grey along with the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic.

In Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty

Christopher Cox

Camp Commander, Austin Blair Camp No. 7

Return to the top of the page.

O Captain! My Captain!
By Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Return to the top of the page.


The President is Dead.

On April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, dies from an assassin’s bullet. Shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington the night before, Lincoln lived for nine hours before succumbing to the severe head wound he sustained.

Lincoln’s death came just after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Lincoln had just served the most difficult presidency in history, successfully leading the country through civil war. His job was exhausting and overwhelming at times. He had to manage a tremendous military effort, deal with diverse opinions in his own Republican party, counter his Democratic critics, maintain morale on the northern home front, and keep foreign countries such as France and Great Britain from recognizing the Confederacy. He did all of this, and changed American history when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, converting the war goal from reunion of the nation to a crusade to end slavery.

Now, the great man was dead. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton said, “Now, he belongs to the ages.” Word spread quickly across the nation, stunning a people who were still celebrating the Union victory. Troops in the field wept, as did General Ulysses S. Grant, the overall Union commander. Perhaps no group was more grief stricken than the freed slaves. Although abolitionists considered Lincoln slow in moving against slavery, many freedmen saw “Father Abraham” as their savior. They faced an uncertain world, and now had lost their most powerful proponent.

Lincoln’s funeral was held on April 19, before a funeral train carried his body back to his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. During the two-week journey, hundreds of thousands gathered along the railroad tracks to pay their respects, and the casket was unloaded for public viewing at several stops. He and his son, Willie, who died in the White House of typhoid fever in 1862, were interred on May 4. .


Return to the top of the page.

Civil War Money

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

Return to the top of the page.


Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The April 11, 2016 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: Chris Cox, Joe Davis, Bob Griggs, Henry Hawker, Kim Horning, Dave Kimble, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Nathan & Alex Tingley, Ron Tyrl, Dave Van Hoof, Charlie Waters III and Charlie Waters Jr. Guest: PDC Paul Davis & Chris St. John, Jackson Monument Company.

Commander Cox opened the meeting and welcomed Chris St. John.
The Secretary’s report was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Tingley and seconded by Brother Kimble, motion passed.
The Treasurer’s Report was motioned accepted as amended to account for the $5 application fee for Junior Barrett Oberdank by Brother Van Hoof and seconded by Brother Lloyd, motion passed. Treasurer Maillard reported the IRS Annual Report is filed. Treasurer Maillard sent in the paperwork for the Jackson Memorial Day program.

Patriotic Instructor

Brother Joe Davis thanked all for the books & magazines being brought to the meetings for sharing. Brother Davis also reviewed an article on maintaining cemetery soldier stones.

Graves Registration

1. Brother Waters III reported that John Kelley's stone dedication is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at 2 o'clock.
2. The "Jewell" headstone is ready for setting at Mt. Evergreen cemetery; date set for Tuesday, May 17; Dedication planned for Memorial Day.
3. Two more stones will be ordered for Woodland cemetery, more to follow.
4. June 12, there is planned a dedication for Brother Howard Lloyd's relative buried in Newego County, man was lost on Sultana.
5. Brother Horning is planning a dedication for his relative John Rauser, 1st Michigan Infantry & 1st Michigan Light Artillery in Charlotte, Michigan.
6. The cleaning day for the Mt Evergreen's soldier's plot is Tuesday May 17 at 9am.


1. Brother Griggs has updated the 2016 Website & Facebook pages. The web & Domain name fees are coming due for 2016.


1. The JROTC banquet is scheduled for April 29th and Brother Tingley has offered to present the SUVCW's award to the individual chosen.

Old Business

1. Brother Tingley suggested purchasing the replacement 12x12 Fly from Fall Creek Sutlery for $169.95. Brother Maillard notion to purchase the fly and seconded by Brother Van Hoof, motion passed.
2. "Michigan at Antietam" monument updates by Brother Tingley.
3. Brother VanHoof updated on the progress with Mayor George on the "Under the Oaks" park and the historical marker proposal for the law office of Governor Austin Blair is closed since research did not confirm location.

New Business

1. Chris St. John presented a D2 cleaning product his company uses to clean stones and would like to use this product when we clean the soldier stones at Mt. Evergreen in May.
2. Auxiliary Karen Hamann summarized the continuing planning for the Michigan held National Encampment being held in August 17, 2017.
3. Discussion on the Eaton Rapid's GAR Museum held last weekend was held and was enjoyed by those that attended. A private collection of Civil War and GAR items in Manchester was also reviewed, possible showing to the Camp at the GAR Museum was suggested.

For the Good of the Order

Events up-coming:

1. April 29-30 Friday-Sat. Dept. Encampment.
2. May 20, Fri., Ella Sharp Museum's Civil War Days.
3. May 21, Sat., Kelly headstone dedication 2pm, Mt Evergreen.
4. May 24, Tuesday, Paragon School program.
5. May 30, Monday, Memorial Day & Jewell headstone dedication, Mt. Evergreen.
6. June 12, Sunday, Howard Lloyd's relative headstone dedication.
7. June 25-26, Sat-Sun., Waterloo Bkacksmith & Soldiers Day.
8. June 25, Sat. Springport's Heritage Days.
9. July 6, Wednesday, Under the Oaks event.
10. July 9, Sat. Return of the Flags, Lansing.
11. August 20-21, Sat-Sun. Jackson Muster.

Commander Cox reported that he has an SUVCW license plate on his vehivle for review after the meeting and proceeded to close the meeting at 8:30pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 9, to be held at Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

Return to the top of the page.



African Americans
in Father A'bram's Army

Submitted my PCC Ron Tyrl

The 1860 census had revealed that there were about 100,000 free black men and more than 500,000 male slaves of military age lived in the U.S at that time. While many of the latter remained behind Confederate lines, younger men who had survived an escape to federal lines made up an unusual high percentage of the contraband population. Lincoln clearly saw the value of these potential soldiers.

Of the nearly 600,000 black men of military age in the U.S. and the time of the war, about 180,000 of them served. Meaning that about 30% of the eligible men served. About twenty percent of the 101,000 men who served in the U.S. Navy during the war were black; a little over 20,000 men.

Return to the top of the page.


Upcoming Events

Please click here to see our upcoming events.

Return to the top of the page.



Raising the U.S. Flag at Fort Sumter
four years after it was surrendered.

Return to the top of the page.

Surviving members of the 4th Michigan Cavalry G.A.R. Department Encampment 1913.

Return to the top of the page.


Return to Austin Blair home page.