Camp Courier Header

August, 2009

Commanders Column

Last night I, along with other members of Camp 7 and Auxiliary stood in the presence of some true American heros. We provided the Honor Guard for the South Central Wood Carvers as they presented three veterans and the widow of a veteran, (all from WW II) canes they had carved for these men under their " Lean on Me " program. The veterans now seem to be ordinary men, but in that extraordinary time in history, they offered themselves up to the world to save it. From Omaha Beach to the skies of the Pacific, these men faced and overcame things that I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams, or more correctly put - nightmares. I am sure we all know or have family members who fought in WW II, but if you are like me you have never taken the time to thank them. I myself had three uncles, and my father-in-law who served during that war, and not only did I never thank them, but I never even asked or talked to them about it. If they were like most vets they would not have said too much anyway. I never even talked to or thanked my Dad who worked building B-24's here in the states. As I have already stated, he too probably would have said that they did what they had to do, that it wasn't that big of a deal. The sad thing is that now it is too late for me to do so, as all of them are gone.

In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.

Bob Griggs CC
August 13, 2009

As time goes on, our window of opportunity to thank these men and women is rapidly closing. It saddens me to think of the day when that window will be closed forever. I wonder if any of us will ever know just how much of a debt we owe to these men and women and if we will ever be able to pay it back. With that I'm not just talking about the veterans of WW II but of all veterans. From the Minutemen of our War for Independence, to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, who are serving today, as well as all who will serve tomorrow. I have to believe that the answer is no we cannot know how much of a debt we owe them. All we can do is to try to live by the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said; " care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations. "

To all veterans. I thank you.

The Honoree's being congratulated by
people attending the ceremony.


At our July meeting the Camp received a new member. David Van Hoof joined the Camp.
Welcome David, he will be installed as a member at the Cascades Civil War Muster.

David (right) Commanding General of Central Command General Petreus.


Treasure's Report
Mike Maillard
1 July 2009 thru 31 August 2009


1 July 2009 . Total Begining Balance $2,744.50

1 May 2009 . General Fund Beginning Balance $890.75

. Received check from Consumers 2nd quarter dividend $20.25
. Dept. of MI - Issued Ck 0425 prorated/initiation dues Vanhoof $18.00
. Received Camp donation Concord annual heritage festival * $200.00
. . . .
31 August 2009 . General Fund Ending Balance $1,093.00
1 July 2009 . Restoration Fund Beginning Balance $518.25

31 August 2009 . Restoration Fund Ending Balance $518.25
1 July 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Beginning Balance $1,335.50
31 August 2009 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Ending Balance $1,335.50
31 August 2009 . Total Ending Balance $2,946.75

* Half the donation received for the Concord Festival will be given to the Auxiliary for their participation in that event druing the September Camp meeting. That amount will be $100.00. .

Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The July 13, 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: Kyle Bublitz, Dave Gilman, Bob Griggs, Henry Hawker, Mark Heath, Bob Hoffman, Howard Lloyd, Avery Lynch, Mike Maillard, Bob Mulvihill, Jeff Oberdank, Ron Tyrl, Charlie Waters Jr., Daniel Watkins and new member Dave VanHoof.

Commander Griggs welcomed our newest applicant Dave VanHoof of Horton, Michigan whose relative was Corporal David Vale Plants, Company H, 112th Illinois Infantry Regt. Service from August 22, 1862 to July 7, 1865. Cpl. Van Hoof was wounded twice during his service in the Union army and was the regiment's color bearer and was discharged by reason of end of war. Commander Griggs reported all the paperwork was in order and dues are paid. Brother Heath motioned to accept Mr. Dave VanHoof's application for membership to the camp, seconded by Brother Gilman, motion passed.

The Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the courier by Brother Hoffman, seconded by Brother Waters. Motion Passed. The Treasurer's Report was accepted as published by Brother Oberdank, seconded by Brother Gilman. Motion Passed.


1. A "thank you" card was received from PNCC Keith Harrison for the well wishes from our camp during his by-pass surgery recovery.

2. The camp received a letter from the Jackson County Genealogical Society's Laurie Lightfoot thanking our participation in the Jefferson Cemetery program. She also requested our assistance in reimbursing Mark Nye for the $40 expense to repair the date on Pvt. Elias Redner's stone. Brother Gilman motioned to forward $40 to Mark Nye, seconded by Brother Waters. Motion Passed.

3. The Jackson County Veterans Council is requesting our members to contact their state legislators: Rep. Michael Simpson PO Box 30014 Lansing, Mi. 48909-7514 and Rep. Martin Griffin- same address, in opposition to Bill 250 which will cut veteran assistance budgets by 25%.

Chaplain's Report

Chaplain Heath reported that Brother Ed Conklin's father-in-law passed away recently and Chaplain Heath requested that we keep Ed and his wife Wendy and their family in our prayers.


1. Commander Griggs checked all the links on the Camp's website and all are working.

Graves Registration

1. Brother Waters and Lowe have been doing some work in the Grass Lake cemetery and there will be a work detail soon to straighten and repair some stones there and in Mt. Evergreen. An e-mail will be sent when times and dates of these work projects are determined.


1. JVC Gilman reported that he has a couple of "Eagle" scouts that are available for work projects and he requested that work projects be forward to him for consideration by these candidates. After discussion on the Eagle Scout certificates the SUV provides a motion was presented by Brother Heath and seconded by Brother Hoffman to order six of them for our camp to present in the future. Motion Passed.

Old Business

1. Commander Griggs contacted the Ella Sharp Museum and renewed the contract for the GAR Post 48 Book for the period from July 2009-July 2012.

2. The Camp council recommends appointing Brother Hawker to fill the vacant SVC position with the passing of Brother John McFeters for the rest of this year's term.

3. Last meeting there was discussion of the possible closure of the Michigan Archives and Library in Lansing and as of today Governor Jennifer M. Granholm PO Box 30013 Lansing, Mi. 48909 is closing the Dept. of Arts and History. Brother Hoffman received the minutes on that decision which recommends moving these duties to the Dept. of Education or Michigan State University both Federal deposits of the National Archives. Brother Hoffman recommends members contact legislators to ensure archived items such as the Michigan Battle Flags are handled properly with all these changes occurring. Brother Maillard also said e-mail links are on all state legislators' WebPages.

New Business

1. The Concord "Civil War Days" event is scheduled for Saturday, August 1, 2009 at the Paddock Hubbard House. Set up will be Friday and this is only a one day event for Saturday only. The theme this year is "Honoring all war's Veterans" contact Commander Griggs or Brother Heath for details.

2. The Cascades 25th Silver Anniversary muster will be August 29-30. There will be a Friday battle and concert so our camp's set up in the band shell will be Saturday morning. The Camp's participation plans are the same as the last few musters. Brother Heath reported that the American Flag holder will have a plaque placed on it in memory of Brother John McFeters. The camp's webpage will have more details on the muster or contact Commander Griggs or Brother Heath.

For the Good of the Order

1. The Camp's recently graduated Brother Watkins plans on remaining in the area and attending college here rather than his original planned Connecticut College.

2. Brother Maillard reported that the U.S. mint will be producing a limited number of the Lincoln dollar and penny sets and he will inform us when available.

3. Brother Hoffman reported he had exceptional help by the VFW Home, Scouts and Church groups volunteers this Memorial weekend in placing flags on veteran's graves in Rose Hill Cemetery in Eaton Rapids.

Commander Griggs proceeded to close the meeting at 8:20pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for September 14, 2009, to be held at the Eagles, Jackson, Michigan.

Austin Blair Camp No7 Secretary
1 September 2009
August 28-30, 2009 Cascade’s 25th Muster

Graves Registration and National Park Service Database Work Report

Commander Griggs,

1. The Civil War soldiers’ database was fun this muster; especially, on Saturday with numerous inquiries made. What a beautiful weather weekend! The following Brothers manned the database area in the band shell during the Muster:

Mike Maillard
Bob Griggs
Bob Hoffman
Ron Lewis
Bill Lowe
Bill McAfee – Dept Chaplain
Ron Tyrl
Charlie Waters Jr.
Charlie Waters III

Brothers Dan and Ed Conklin, Henry Hawker and Mark Heath assisted with the setting up and tearing down the band shell area.

A. I worked the following inquiries:

1. William C. Walter, 6th Michigan Cavalry, didn’t get the inquirers name, he was from out of town, he was given a grave registration worksheet.

2. George Norton, 6th Michigan Cavalry, didn’t get the inquirers name, from out of town, he was given info. we had in the database.

3. Hiram B. Fountain, 4th Michigan Infantry (1st Organized) relative said Hiram was killed at Gettysburg and buried in the National Cemetery there, this is a local man interested in our Camp, gave him our camp’s brochure, “Prospective Member”.

4. Daniel Barrett, 42 names found, relative will do more research.

5. James Little, 9th Michigan Infantry, out of town inquirer, found in database.

6. August Ucker, 2nd Minnesota Infantry, relative Cathy, out of town, sent to National database.

7. George Moore, 24th Michigan Infantry, our Grave’s registration database shows Oakwood cemetery Monroe, Michigan, relative said there’s another stone for this person and then we found in the database that it is documented that there is a duplicate stone for him. The Inquirer was given a Grave’s registration database update sheet.

8. John Couch, 17th Kentucky Cavalry, this Michigan relative was given National website database address.

9. Townsend Ely, 8th Michigan Infantry, relative from out of town, given a graves registration database update sheet.

10. Elijah Laverty, 4th Michigan Infantry (1st Organization), relative from out of town, given a graves registration database update sheet.

11. George T. Eaton, 23rd Illinois Infantry, info in Grave’s registration database matched relative’s knowledge, nothing additionally added.

12. Edward Spitstone, 26th Michigan Infantry, relative has pension records and said he’s buried in Leslie, not in Grave’s registration database, he was given a graves registration database update sheet.

13. Thomas J. Curtis, 10th Michigan Infantry. didn’t see in database, relative given a grave’s registration update sheet.

14. William Messmore, relative said served in the 34th Illinois Infantry, has all documents from archives and said he was not in the National SSCW database. I said I would check on this site and he was listed as number #34 of William Messmores, so was in database and I e-mailed to relative.

15. Relative from Grass Lake recognized Hartman Felt’s picture among those displayed and asked where he could obtain one and was told the picture was from the national archives. Bill Lowe- this young man’s e-mail address is WOLFBOY3@YAHOO.COM, he may like the pictures you have of this man’s stone you have.

16. Charles B. Lewis, relative said she thought he was with the 7th Michigan Cavalry but database shows he served with the 6th Michigan Cav. She said she was a relative of Brother Ron Lewis, didn’t get her name.

17. Benjamin Morse, 3rd Michigan Infantry Co. C, all in database, relative given a grave’s registration up-date sheet.

18. John Lewis Bridgewater Havens, 12 Kentucky Cavalry, Co K, buried Andersonville Cemetery and Joseph Hadfield, 125th Illinois Infantry Co. H, buried Marietta Cemetery, relative is interested in joining our camp, “Ralph Anderson, 6749 Rives Junction Rd. Jackson Michigan 49201”, “Prospective Member”.

19. John Finley, 3rd Tennessee Cavalry, relative Charles Finley- Monroe, Michigan said he died as a POW at the age 45 years old, sent to National database.

20. David Strother, 1st Texas Cavalry, relative given SUVCW Brochure, out of town.

21. Henry Poppelman, 118th Ohio Infantry, relative out of town, given brochures.

22. Lawrence Cannell, 18th Michigan Co. K, relative Tammi (Phillips) Widmaier gave the following information, service 8-2-1862 to 6-25, 1865 enlisted in Monroe for 3 years age 21 muster out Nashville Tenn. Not sure if this is in database.

23. Austin Phillips, in brown book Tammi (Phillips) Widmaier gave the following info: Birth 1846, died 3-18-1879 in Conway, Michigan buried Little Traverse cemetery, Michigan. Can’t remember if she was given a registration form or we may have been out.

24. William Jarrett, 3rd Michigan Cavalry, in database, his relative also William Jarrett was with wife and talked to them for a long time, she’s also a history buff- she talked about President Lincoln and Mary. William is a local Jackson man and he is interested in joining our camp, he was given our e-mail address and camp brochure, “Prospective Member”.

2. There were numerous inquiries for non-Michigan soldiers, which I directed them to the national civil war soldier and sailors databases.

There were 25 copies of the National Park service soldiers and sailors civil war database site information papers that were handed out by the end of Saturday; so on Sunday we had to write the address on slips of paper to the inquirers.

A couple of applications were given out and numerous SUVCW brochures also given to prospective out of town members.

3. A couple of stories from the muster:

a. I had a woman inquire about a Thomas Thomas, I thought she was repeating herself but she said no her relative was Tom Thomas and the National database list 156 men that served with the name Thomas Thomas. I couldn’t help her though since she didn’t have any more details.

b. Next a middle aged man asked me to research the surname assenmacher, I looked and didn’t find any in the Michigan brown book so I gave him the National database sheet. On the way home after that day while reviewing all the inquiries it finally dawned on me that he may have been Lampooning me with a bogus name to make an “ass of me” “assenmacher”, first I laughed then got embarrassed and then mad for the waste of time because he asked when we had people waiting. When I got home, my wife asked how the day went and I told her we were busy sometimes and I had one clown that had me looking up the name assenmacher, of course she laughed and told me I was stupid for falling for that but in defense I said we were busy and I just focused on finding the name and it didn’t dawn on me until later that this guy was pulling my leg. Later, I got on line and looked on the National database and sure enough there were six Union men from Wisconsin and two Confederate’s from Louisiana that had surnames of Assenmacher. So now I’m really embarrassed because he had a legitimate inquiry, it looks like, but now my wife doesn’t believe me, she likes it better that I was lampooned and made to look foolish.

c. The PA Announcer introduced us to a Ms. Maggie Ruff of Jackson, she had a GAR Kepi and a Bugle and wanted information on them. Ron Lewis told her about the Kepi and then I took her to Mark Heath for her questions on the Bugle. She may have other items and I told her we may like to see them at a Camp meeting if she could bring them. She said we can call her to coordinate a visit.

4. Learning lesson- we ran out of National Park database forms and applications because we never know the number of inquiries, last year was a lot lighter load, this year a lot more people stopped by.

5. The Camp may have three prospective members I worked with and other workers may have others so possibly a good year for new members.

In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Ron Tyrl
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War



Upcoming Events



14th - Monday 7 p.m. Jackson
Austin Blair Camp Meeting and Auxilliary Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).


October 2009

3rd - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Albion
Albion A-Maizing Corn Festival.

11th - Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. Waterloo
Waterloo Farm Museum Pioneer Day. Waterloo Farm Museum 9998 Waterloo Munith Rd., Waterloo Michigan

12th - Monday 7 p.m. Jackson
Austin Blair Camp Meeting and Auxiliary Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).





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