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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."

October, 2016



In this issue

Rally Round the Flag
Commanders Column
Secretary's Report
Waterloo Pioneer Days
The G.A.R. in Michigan
Oct. Meeting GAR Memorial Hall
Jacob Miller
Civil War Money
Upcoming events
Back Issues
A photo from the Civil War


Let me thank you go being your Commander this past year. It was great honor to serve as the Commander. As of right now I am looking to the future of our camp and this department. Are main focus as a camp should be that of membership through the keeping green the memory of the boys in blue. Over the winter new ideas should start being thought of as we do not have that many things going on. This past week it has accrued to me that there is not a good bibliography of books, websites, journal articles, or newspaper articles out for the Civil War. Along with the membership from all of the camps and other departments I will be working on a Bibliography to the Civil War. I will be sending out a fill in form soon. Again permit me to thank you all of you again.

In Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty

Chris Cox

Camp Commander, Austin Blair Camp No. 7

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PCC Henry Hawker and Brother Ed Conklin checking out some of the happings at the Waterloo event.

Wagon rides were a big hit at the event.

Waterloo Pioneer Days

On the 9th of October, members of our Camp visited the Waterloo Farm Museum for their annual Pioneer Days event. An encampment and displays were set up for visitors to the event could get the feel of how a soldier lived and the equipment they used during the war. Wagon rides were also a big hit for the day.

This year, unfortunately, private Woody succumb to his many wounds and had to be placed in the Ice House at the farm so that he didn't "start to stink." Many of the children visiting the event expressed their concern for him and his family.

To see more pictures of this and other events check our facebook page

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PCC Mike Maillard, Acting Commander SVC Dave Kimble, and PCC Ron Tyrl at our October meeting.

PCC Tyrl receives his Past Camp Commander Badge from PCinC Keith Harrison.

Our October meeting
G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum

On the 10th our camp was given a special treat as we were allowed to meeting at the James Brainerd Post 111 Memorial Hall and Museum in Eaton Rapids. It was quite a thrill indeed to meet in an actual G.A.R. meeting hall where the ghost of the Boys in Blue watched over our meeting and hopefully were smiling on us and our work of keeping their memories alive. At the meeting PCC Ron Tyrl was, after many years of delay, awarded his Past Camp Commanders Badge. The badge was presented by Past Commander and Chief, Keith Harrison.

A very special Thank You, and Hazzah goes out to Museum Board President Keith Harrison, and all the board members for making this meeting a very special night for all of us. .



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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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Jacob Miller
A Scarred Veteran

Taken from the Daily News Joliet Ill. Wed. June 14, 1911
Thanks to the help of Beverly L. Craig Fossil Ridge Library, Braidwood Ill.

Braidwood Veteran Carried Bullet in Head For Many Years After War

Story of Vicissitudes of the Veteran, Left on the field of Battle as Dead
Reviewed From His own Biography Receives $40 Month Pension

Braidwood is sending to the state G.A.R. encampment today one of the most remarkable hero survivors of the Civil War. His name is Jacob Miller and since Sept. 19, 1863, he has lived with an open bullet wound in his forehead. For a number of years the bullet remained in his head but piece by piece it fell out till now. It is thought none of it remains in the wound. During the time it was in the head it at times would produce a stupor, which sometimes would last two weeks, it being usually when he caught cold and produced more of a pressure on the brain. At other times delirium would seize him and he would imagine himself again on picket duty and would tramp back and forth on his beat, a stick on his shoulder for a musket, a pitiful object of the sacrifice for freedom. As these pieces of lead gradually loosened and fell out he regained his usual health and is now at the age of 78 years, one of the most, if not the most, remarkable survivor of the Civil war.

The harrowing experience undergone by Mr. Miller is so vividly felt by him even at this late day that it is seldom he can be persuaded to talk of it.

But it is my privilege to record from his own hand writing written for his family the story of his miraculous escape from death at that memorable time under his signature.

Jacob Miller, formerly a private in company K 9th Indiana Vol. Inf. Was wounded in the head near Brock Field at the battle of Chickamagua, Georgia on the morning of Sept. 19, 1863. I was left for dead when my company when my company fell back from that position. When I came to my senses some time after I found I was in the rear of the confederate line. So not to become a prisoner I made up my mind to make an effort to get around their line and back on my own side. I got up with the help of my gun as a staff, then went back some distance, then started parallel with the line of battle. I suppose I was so covered with blood that those that I met, did not notice that I was a Yank, ( at least our Major, my former captain did not recognize me when I met him after passing to our own side).

At last I got to the end of the confederate line and went to our own side while a brigade of confederates came up to their line behind me. There were none of the Union forces found on that part of the field when I passed along. I struck an old by-road and followed it the best I could, as by this time my head was swelled so bad it shut my eyes and I could see to get along only by raising the lid of my right eye and look ahead then go on till I ran afoul of something, then would look again and so on till I came to the Lafayette Pike near the Kelly house and started towards the field Hospital at the springs. I at length got so badly exhausted I had to lie down by the side of the road. At last some bearers came along and put me on their stretcher and carried me to the hospital and laid me on the ground in a tent. A hospital nurse came and put a wet bandage over my wound and around my head and gave me a canteen of water. I donít know what time of day they examined my wound and decided to put me on the operating table till after dark some time. The surgeons examined my wound and decided it was best not to operate on me and give me more pain as they said I couldnít live very long, so the nurse took me back into the tent. I slept some during the night . The next morning (Sunday), the doctors came around to make a list of the wounded and of their company and regiments and said to send all the wounded to Chattanooga that the ambulances would carry and told me I was wounded too bad to be moved, and if the army fell back those that were left there could afterwards be exchanged.

As stated before I made up my mind as long as I could drag one foot after another I would not allow myself to be taken prisoner. I got a nurse to fill my canteen with water so I could make an effort in getting near safety as possible. I got out of the tent without being noticed and got behind some wagons that stood near the road till I was safely away (having to open my eye with my finger to take my bearings on the road) I went away from the boom of cannon and the rattle of musketry. I worked my way along the road as best I could. At one time I got off to the side of the road and bumped my head against a low hanging limb. The shock toppled me over, I got up and took my bearings again and went on as long as I could drag a foot then lay down beside the road, to see if I could not rest so I could move. I hadnít lain long till the ambulance train began to pass, the drivers as they passed me asked me if I was still alive, then passing on. At last one of the drivers asked if I was alive and said he would take me in, as one of his men had died back awes, and he had taken him out. Then it was all a blank to me, (Monday the 21st I came to myself and found I was in a long building in Chattanooga Tenn., lying with hundreds of other wounded on the floor almost as thick as hogs in a stock car. Some were talking , some were groaning. I raised myself to a sitting position got my canteen and wet my head. While doing it I heard a couple of soldiers who were from my company. They could not believe it was me as they said I was left for dead on the field at the left of Brock Cabin. They came over to where I was and we visited together till then came an order for all the wounded that could walk to start across the river on a pontoon bridge to a hospital, to be treated ready to be taken to Nashville. I told the boys if they could lead me, I could walk that distance. I started but owing to our army retreating the night before, and was then in and around the city wagon trains. Troops and artillery were crossing the river on the single pontoon bridge. We could not get across until almost sundown. When we arrived across and up on the bank we luckily ran across our company teamster, who we stopped with that night He got us something to eat After we ate some (the first I had tasted before daylight Saturday morning the 19th), we lay down on a pile of blankets, each fixed under the wagon and rested pretty well as the teamsters stayed awake till nearly morning to keep our wounds moist with cool water from a nearby spring.

Tuesday morning the 22nd we awoke to the crackling of the camp fire that a comrade built to get us a cup of coffee and a bite to eat of hard tack and fat meat. While eating, an orderly rode up and asked if we were wounded. If so we were to go back along the road to get our wounds dressed, so we bid the teamsters good-bye and went to get our wounds attended to. We had to wait till near noon before we were attended to. That was the first time I had my wound washed and dressed by a surgeon. After we were fixed up we drew a few crackers, some sugar coffee, salt and a cake of soap and were ordered to get into an army wagon with four army mules, ( God Bless the army mule, the soldiers friend.) We got in and started to go over Raccoon or Sand Mountain to Bridgeport, Ala. To take the train to Nashville, Tenn. After riding in the wagon awhile I found the jolting hurt my head so badly I could not stand it so had to get out. My comrades got out with me and we went on foot. I was told it was 60 miles that route to Bridgport, at least it took us four days to get there. Wednesday morning when I woke up I found I could open my right eye and see to get around. We arrived at Bridgeport the fourth day out from Chattanooga at noon, just as a train of box cars were ready to pull out. I got in a car and lay down. I had gained my point so far--and how. As the soldiers term it with lots of sand, but the sand had run out with me for the time being.

The next thing I remember I was stripped and in a bath tub of warm water in a hospital at Nashville. I do not know what date it was; in fact I didnít pay much attention to the dates from the Friday at noon when I got in the box car at Bridgeport to start to Nashville.

After, some length of time I was transferred to Louisville , Ky. From there to New Albany, Ind.. In all the hospitals I was in I begged the surgeons to operate on my head but they all refused.

I suffered for nine months then I got a furlough home to Logansport and got Drs. Fitch and Colman to operate on my wound. They took out the musket ball. After the operation a few days, I returned to the hospital at Madison and stayed there till the expiration of my enlistment, Sept. 17, 1864. Seventeen years after I was wounded a buck shot dropped out of my wound and thirty one years after two pieces of lead came out.

Some ask how it is I can describe so minutely my getting wounded and getting off the battle field after so many years. My answer is I have an everyday reminder of it in my wound and constant pain in the head, never free of it while not asleep. The whole scene is imprinted on my brain as with a steel engraving.

I havenít written this to complain of any one being in fault for my misfortune and suffering all these years, the government is good to me and gives me $40.00 per month pension.

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Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The October 10, 2016 meeting of the Austin Blair Camp No.7 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was held at the GAR Memorial Hall & Museum Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

Members in attendance were Brothers: Joe Davis, Bob Griggs, Dave Kimble, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Nathan Tingley, Ron Tyrl, Dave VanHoof and Charlie Waters Jr. & Charlie Waters III. Guest: PCinC Keith Harrison..

SVC Dave Kimble welcomed all to the GAR Hall & thanked Keith Harrison for the use of the hall.
The Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Griggs and seconded by Brother Davis motion passed.
The Treasurer's Report was motioned accepted as presented by Brother Tingley and seconded by Brother Griggs, motion passed.

Patriotic Instructor

Brother Davis brought in items, magazines & books for distribute. Brother Maillard passed around the "Meeting of the Widows", medallion from the 1997 Gettysburg event.

Graves Registration

1. Brother Waters III reported that two stones are ready for placement: "Bullard" & "Lovell, in Woodland Cemetery, date to be determined.
2. Brother Tingley discussed the coordination with the 102nd USCT reinactors. Advance notice is needed for the 102nd participants, tentatively scheduled for 2017.
3. Discussion of the going forward with the graves registration of Hillsdale County. Focusing on those cemeteries not registered was done. Gay-Indian, off US 12, will be the first project, date to be determined.


1. Brother Griggs will be updating the website with a link to the California Digital Library. There are many old Civil War book and several are believed to be other state's equivalent "Brown book" soldier database.
2. The Jacob Miller, gun wound in the forehead at Chicamauga, pictures & story will be made up to be handed out at events.


1. Brother Griggs received a request for information from a man who found a GAR star on a Civil War relative's grave.
2. Brother Maillard received a letter from the Jackson Veteran's Council for the Veterans Day activities.
3. Brother Griggs received an email invitation to the Friday November 11th Mason Veteran's Day Parade.


1. Brother Avery Lynch's paperwork completed for full membership.

Old Business

1. Rope replaced for the new fly.
2. "Michigan at Antietam" monument updates by Brother Tingley: continue awaiting money collection & monument design options.
3. Brother VanHoof continues working the "Under the Oaks" park proposals. Also Brother VanHoof reported the "Abolition Museum" work continues.

New Business

1. The Michigan 2017 National Encampment October 22 Encampment preparation meeting scheduled. Meeting to be held at the G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum in Eaton Rapids
2. Brother Kimble reported Mr. Dave Hilliker continues to have a great coat for sale.
3. Discussion on holding the Christmas Party at a restaurant was proposed.
4. The certificate was made to recognize Jackson Monument Company with the "Austin Blair Award" and will be presented at the November Camp meeting.
5. After nominations were requested from the floor, a motion by Brother Griggs was made to continue the current Camp officer positions to 2017, seconded by Brother Lloyd, motion passed.
6. Brother Griggs motioned to donate $25 to the GAR Museum for use of their facility for the meeting, seconded by Brother Maillard, motion passed.
7. Brother VanHoof is currently working on a "Fallen Soldiers Memorial" for Brooklyn, Michigan. Brother VanHoof needs to find the men from Columbia township that have fallen during the Civil War. Brother Waters III recommended getting with Bill Lowe since he & Bill completed a roster of men that had fallen from Jackson county previously. Brother Maillard also offered to research at the Brooklyn library.

For the Good of the Order

Events up-coming:

1. The Civil War Reinactor's Round Table is scheduled for November 5th at the Lansing State Library.
2. Friday, November 11, Veteran's Day events: Jackson 11:00 at Withington monument, Mason's parade at 3 O'Clock.
3. Brother Tyrl was presented with the Past Commander's Badge in recognition of his prior tenure.
4. Brother Harrison reported that three camps have held their meetings at the Hall: Flint, Sunfield & now Jackson.

Senior Vice Commander Kimble closed the meeting at 8:10pm. Our next camp meeting is scheduled for Monday, Novenber 14, 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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An original photograph shown with a colorized picture of the same view. Montgomery Blair.

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G.A.R.Monument G.A.R. Park Eaton Rapids, MI.

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