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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."

May, 2016



In this issue

Rally Round the Flag
Commanders Column
Secretary's Report
Army of the Dead
The G.A.R. in Michigan
The Capture of Jefferson Davis
Civil War Money
Sultana - An American Disaster
Upcoming events
Back Issues
A photo from the Civil War

Brothers and Sisters,

Instead of a commanders column this month I believe that it is right to put General Logan's General Order No.11 the creation of Decoration Day.

In Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty

Christopher Cox

Camp Commander, Austin Blair Camp No. 7

General Order
No. 11

Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic
Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868

I.  The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

II.  It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III.  Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.

By command of:


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Our Army Of The Dead.
A poem by Will Carleton

Will Carleton was known as the Michigan Poet. Born and Raised in Hudson, Michigan, and educated at Hillsdale College, he had an older brother who died while serving in the Union Army.
By the edge of the Atlantic, where the waves of Freedom roar,
And the breezes of the ocean chant a requiem to the shore,
On the Nation's eastern hill-tops, where its corner-stone was laid,
On the mountains of New England, where our fathers toiled and prayed,
Mid old Key-stone's rugged riches, which the miner's hand await,
Mid the never-ceasing commerce of the busy Empire State,
With the country's love and honor on each brave, devoted head,
Is a band of noble heroes--is our Army of the Dead.

On the lake-encircled homestead of the thriving Wolverine,
On the beauteous Western prairies, with their carpeting of green,
By the sweeping Mississippi, long our country's pride and boast,
On the rugged Rocky Mountains, and the weird Pacific coast,
In the listless, sunny Southland, with its blossoms and its vines,
On the bracing Northern hill-tops, and amid their murmuring pines,
Over all our happy country--over all our Nation spread,
Is a band of noble heroes--is our Army of the Dead.

Not with musket, and with saber, and with glad heart beating fast;
Not with cannon that had thundered till the bloody war was past;
Not with voices that are shouting with the vim of victory's note;
Not with armor gayly glistening, and with flags that proudly float;
Not with air of martial vigor, nor with steady, soldier tramp,
Come they grandly marching to us--for the boys are all in camp.
With forgetfulness upon it--each within his earthy bed,
Waiting for his marching orders--is our Army of the Dead.

Fast asleep the boys are lying, in their low and narrow tents,
And no battle-cry can wake them, and no orders call them hence;
And the yearnings of the mother, and the anguish of the wife,
Can not with their magic presence call the soldier back to life;
And the brother's manly sorrow, and the father's mournful pride,
Can not give back to his country him who for his country died.
They who for the trembling Nation in its hour of trial bled,
Lie, in these its years of triumph, with our Army of the Dead.

When the years of Earth are over, and the cares of Earth are done,
When the reign of Time is ended, and Eternity begun,
When the thunders of Omniscience on our wakened senses roll,
And the sky above shall wither, and be gathered like a scroll;
When, among the lofty mountains, and across the mighty sea,
The sublime celestial bugler shall ring out the reveille,
Then shall march with brightest laurels, and with proud, victorious tread,
To their station up in heaven, our Grand Army of the Dead!

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The Capture of Jefferson Davis.

Even though his armies had surrendered, Confederate president Jefferson Davis still retained hopes for the future of the Confederacy. Privately, he harbored a desire to reinforce the armies and move the fighting to the western part of the Confederacy. Publicly, he was forced to flee the Confederate capital in Richmond, Virginia, with a cadre of trusted advisors, which in effect became a government in exile. Upon departing Richmond, Davis and his retinue established a temporary center of government at Danville, Virginia. They soon moved farther south, however, because Virginia was heavily saturated with Union troops.

Among Davis's advisors were John H. Reagan, Judah P. Benjamin, John Breckinridge, and Burton Harrison. A small but elite military escort was also in tow, and they all arrived in Washington, in Wilkes County, on May 3. The next day Davis held a final meeting with his cabinet, and the members dispersed after the president authorized their belated compensation from the remaining Confederate treasury, including gold. Davis proceeded south to Sandersville, where on May 6 he entrusted the remaining Confederate treasury to Captain Micajah Clark, the acting treasurer of the Confederacy, and on May 7 he was reunited with his wife, Varina, and their children. Together they moved on through Abbeville, in Wilcox County, on May 8, keenly aware that Union forces were close behind. The pursuit of Davis resulted largely from the U.S. War Department's false assumption that he was complicit in the assassination of Lincoln. A $100,000 reward was promised for anyone who could bring in the president and his aides. Reaching the farming community of Irwinville, GA on the evening of May 9, the remaining hopefuls, still assuming that they were a step ahead of their pursuers, set up camp near a creek bed.

Early the next morning the camp was awakened by a pop of gunfire and within minutes was surrounded by members of the First Wisconsin and Fourth Michigan cavalries. Not one shot was fired by the Confederates. Before the two sides figured out both were Union troops Lt. Bouttelle of the 4th Michigan Cavalry was wounded and two of his men killed. The attacking force, the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, had three men who had been seriously wounded. Through the confusion that was created, Davis made a quick dash toward the creek. He had thrown his wife's raglan, or overcoat, on his shoulders. This led to the persistent rumor that he attempted to flee in women's clothes. A popular song of the era was "Jeff in Petticoats," and the major tabloids featured artists' renderings of the fallen leader dressed in everything from a wig to a hoop skirt. A zealous member of the Michigan detail quickly apprehended Davis, and he was transported to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, where he remained a prisoner for more than two years. A War Department Commission decided that the 4th MI had captured Jefferson Davis and were entitled to the reward being offered. When the claim reached Congress it was found that the 1st WI had also laid claim to the reward. It took over two years to sort it out, but after giving $3,000 each to four officers involved, the remainder of the $100,000 was divided equity between the two regiments. .


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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..

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Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The May 9, 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, Bob Griggs, Henry Hawker, Kim Horning, Dave Kimble, Ron Lewis, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Nathan Tingley, Ron Tyrl, Charlie Waters III and Charlie Waters Jr. Guest: PDC Paul Davis & Gary Holmes- Blissfield Camp & Tim & Emily Ernst- projector helpers.

Commander Cox opened the meeting and welcomed Brother Gary Holmes, who will do a presentation on the Sultana- river boat disaster.
The Secretary's report 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 Kimble and seconded by Brother Griggs, motion passed.

Patriotic Instructor

Brother Griggs reported, in Brother Davis's absence, on this date May 9, 1864, the Battle of Snake Creek Gap was fought. Which was part of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.

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. The two 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. Brother Waters reported he tried the D2 cleaner recently and there was no cleaning results however; Brother Davis reported that he used the D2 cleaner at full straigth with excellent cleaning results.


1. Brother Griggs has updated the 2016 Website & Facebook pages. The web & Domain name fees are coming due for 2016.
2. Brother Griggs has submitted Brother Tingley's JROTC award presentation, and the story of the Brothers and Sisters tirp to Knoxville to the Department & National for publishing.


1. An invitation from the Jackson Marine Corps League received to join them in a flag Retirement Ceremony at Cascades Park, Tuesday June 14, at 6pm, on Flag Day.
2. An application received for participation in the 2016 Learning Fair, Ella Sharp Museum, Thursday & Friday July 14 & 15, 10 to 5pm.


Commander Cox has received data from the Department Memorials Officer Rick Danes twelve known Civil War monuments in Jackson county. The department CWM Form 61 needs to be done on Hillsdale county & two Jackson county monuments including pictures of the monuments.

Old Business

1. Brother Tingley has purchased the replacement 12x12 Fly from Fall Creek Sutlery for $169.95. Brother Maillard motioned to reimburse Brother Tingley and seconded by Brother Griggs, motion passed.
2. "Michigan at Antietam" monument updates by Brother Tingley: the land has been purchased and now awaiting money collection & monument design options.
3. Nothing currently from Brother VanHoof on the progress with Mayor George on the "Under the Oaks" park.

New Business

1. Auxiliary Karen Hamann is selling a coin on the GAR establishment anniversary as s fund raising for the Michigan National Encampment being held in August 17, 2017.
2. Treasurer Maillard motioned to purchase ten challenge coins from the National "Banner" magazine, contingent on free shipping, seconded by Brother Kimble, motion passed.
3. The Department is fund raising for a 102nd USCT monument on the State Capital lawn.

For the Good of the Order

Events up-coming:

1. May 15, and 16 Saturday and Sunday, headstone dedications in St. Charles, and Sturgis Michigan.
2. May 20, Fri., Ella Sharp Museum's Civil War Days.
3. May 21, Sat., Kelly headstone dedication 2pm, Mt Evergreen. Also Muster at Grovenor House, Jonesville.
4. May 24, Tuesday, Paragon School program.
5. May 28, Mt. Hope ceremony, 10:30.
6. May 30, Monday, Memorial Day & Jewell headstone dedication, Mt. Evergreen.
7. June 12, Sunday, Howard Lloyd's relative headstone dedication, Grant, MI.
8. June 14, Tuesday, Flag Day, Cascades 6pm.
9. June 25-26, Sat-Sun., Waterloo Blacksmith & Soldiers Day. 10. June 25, Sat. Springport's Heritage Days.
11. July 6, Wednesday, Under the Oaks event.
12. July 9, Sat. Return of the Flags, Lansing.
13. August 20-21, Sat-Sun. Jackson Muster.

Commander Cox closed the meeting at 8:00pm followed by Brother Holmes's "Sultana" presentation. Our next camp meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 11, to be held at Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

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An American

Brother Gary Holmes and his assistant, Tim Ernst.

At our regular meeting on May 9th we had the honor of having a guest speaker. Brother Gary Holmes of the Nash-Hodges Camp No. 43 attending our meeting and gave a very informative talk on the greatest maritime disaster in American history; The Sinking of the Sultana.

A huge thank you goes out to Brother Holmes and his assistance Tim & Emily Ernst for taking the time out of their schedules to do this presentation for us. It was truly appreciated.

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Upcoming Events

Please click here to see our upcoming events.

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Confederate President Jefferson Davis, captured May 10, 1865.

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Civil War monument Big Rapids, Michigan 1912.

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