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February, 2010

Commanders Column

I'm not too sure about the rest of you, but since I've retired I have spent most of the cold, blustery winter days curled up in my recliner or sofa, trying to stay warm and reading while waiting for my wife to get home from work. Such has been the case for most of the days this January.

What I have found during this time I am finding somewhat alarming. I am talking about mistakes I have dound while reading. Now granted, I have made mistakes in my life, (if you don't believe me and you have a couple of days to kill you can set down and ask my wife and kids about some of the smaller ones) but I'm not charging someone $25 plus to find out about them. I will point out some of the more glaring ones that jumped out at me in my reading over the last couple of weeks.

The first one is from a book written by, according to the back cover of the book, "The best military historian of our generation.", or "Our greatest modern military historian.". There were a couple of places in the book that didn't sound quite right to me, but this one about Champion Hill during Grant's Vicksburg Campaign really jump out at me. It states..... "driving Pemberton to take his small army to a place on the railroad to the east of Jackson (Mississippi) called Champion's Hill....." This statement being made two pages after a map of the area. I'm not sure why Pemberton would ever have run his supply lines almost 24,000 miles going east, when all he had to do was move 26 miles to the west. That of course providing that he had been at Jackson to begin with. No wonder the Confederates lost that battle. I'm not sure that even our modern army would have won fighting against Grant's army with supply lines that long.

The next mistakes are from a different book that "Provides the complete history of the Civil War at a glance."

In looking at the two pictures above, I'm sure you will all recognize the picture on the left as one depicting the Battle of Shiloh. .



The caption for this picture read; "The fierce Battle of Shiloh on 6 and 7 April in Virginia resulted in a total of nearly 24,000 casualties....." I, like many of you had an ancestor who fought at Shiloh and as stated before I could be wrong, but I always thought they were in Tennessee at the time of the battle. Again, supply lines must have been way too long for the Confederates to sustain from Corinth, Mississippi to Virginia.

The picture on the right, now to my very bad eyes this looks to be a Union Brigadier General, but according to the caption it is; "John H. Morgan, then a Confederate colonel, led a cavalry raid into Kentucky on 4 July." Not too sure what to make of that one..... Also in this book in talking about General John Pope's July 14th speech to the Army of Virginia, he is quoted as saying "....Success and glory are in the advance, disaster and same lurk in the rear....." Now if I were a betting man, and in this case I could very well be, I would guess that "shame", not "same" lurk in the rear. One more from this book and then I'll move on. This one is concerning the last day at Gettysburg where ...."Lee preferred to assault the enemy's 'centre' directly at Culp's Hill, using the fresh troops of General George Pickett...." It seems that maybe General Lee's men WOULD move mountains for him, or at least in this case a hill.

The last one is from a "Special Issue" magazine. The whole paragraph is rather long so I'll cut it down to just the part that I'm talking about. Talking about General Williams .... Williams on September 18 played a key role in one of the major turning points of the Civil War. Moving on to the end of the paragraph, ....and thus brought on the Battle of Antietam on September 17. I'm not sure, that even Einstein could have played a "key role" with something on the 18th that would have caused the Battle of Antietam on the 17th. I guess proofreading has gone by the way of the slide rule. Looks like it might be time to bring it back.

I guess what I am trying to get at in all of this ranting is that I am glad to be part of a group who can hopefully clear up some of the misconceptions that the public has about the Civil War and the men and woman who fought it as books, movies, and TV shows don't always seem to be right.


In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,

Bob Griggs CC
January 28, 2010


At our January meeting the Camp inducted a new member. Chris Cox joined the Camp.
Welcome Chris, we look forward to sharing our meetings and events with you..

Chris at our January meeting.





Civil War Quiz
Match the battles to their dates
Battle of Antietam July 1 - 3, 1863
Battle of Five Forks June 27, 1864
Battle of Shiloh December 31, 1862 to
January 2, 1863
Battle of First Bull Run September 17, 1862
Battle of Chickamauga August 30, 1862
Battle of Gettysburg December 13, 1862
Battle of Stones River April 6 - 7, 1862
Battle of Fredericksburg April 1, 1865
Battle of Kennesaw Mountain July 21, 1861
Battle of Second Bull Run September 19-20, 1863

Click here to return to see the correct answers



Treasure's Report
Mike Maillard
1 January 2010 thru 31 January 2010


1 January 2010 . Total Begining Balance $2,934.53

. . . .
1 January 2010 . General Fund Beginning Balance $1,125.00

. . . .
. FOE 612 Issued CK 432 Annual contribution for use of hall $150.00
. Bob Griggs Received cash SUVCW Grave Marker $30.00
. Val Somerlott Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Henry Hawker Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Kyle Bublitz Received 2010 Junior dues $10.00
. Charles Waters Jr Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. David Van Hoof Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Mark Heath Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Dave Gilman Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. George Conklin Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Jerry Wright Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Bob Diver Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Russell Watson Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Thomas Fenton Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. John Maloney Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Charles Waters III Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Tom Green Received 2010 Membership dues $36.00
. Chris Cox Received 2010 Initiation and Membership dues $61.00
. Consumers Energy Received 4th Quarter 2009 dividend $20.25
. . . .
31 January 2010 . General Fund Ending Balance  * $1,600.25
. . . .
1 November 2009 . Restoration Fund Beginning Balance $474.03

. Charlie Waters III - Issued Ck 0433 Postage in correspondence for Monument restorations^ /replacement $4.88
31 January 2010 . Restoration Fund Ending Balance $469.15
. . . .
1 January 2010 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Beginning Balance $1,335.50
31 January 2010 . Camp Blair Memorial Fund Ending Balance $1,335.50
. . . .
31 January 2010 . Total Ending Balance $3,404.90

* 24 Members and two Juniors have paid their 2010 annual dues as of January 30, 2010. Of the $1600.25 in the General Fund, $941, will be owed the Department and National for 2010 per capita dues, assuming the camp has 36 paid Members and one $5.00 initiation fee. We have a total of 40 camp members which includes two life members and two juniors. We lost two members from last year- John Mann transferring and John McFeters, who passed away. We have added two new members in David Van Hoof and Christopher Cox. ^

It also must be decided by the camp, in my finding days after the January meeting, that I was $5.00 short of collected fees, which I have no answer for.

^ The remarks in purple are revised from the original report.



Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The January 11, 2010 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, Dan Conklin, Ed Conklin, Chris Cox, Dave Gilman, Bob Griggs, Mark Heath, Henry Hawker, Howard Lloyd, Bill Lowe, Mike Maillard, Jeff Oberdank, Ron Tyrl, Charlie Waters Jr. and Russell Watson.

Commander Griggs opened the meeting with the news that Brother Bob Hoffman and Brother Max Miller's wife Darlene were recently in the hospital and both are doing fine now. Our best wishes for the recovery of their health. 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 and accepted as published by Brother Gilman, seconded by Brother Oberdank. Motion Passed.

At the request of Treasurer Maillard, Brother Heath motioned to issue a $150 check to the Eagles for the use of their facility for 2010, seconded by Brother Waters, motion passed.

Treasurer Maillard also reported that he's researched the cost of the Sons flag holders in the Camp's possession and in 1995 the cost was $27.25 per holder. Brother Lowe motioned to establish the cost at $30 for the holders now on hand and then adjusted to the new cost once more are purchased, motion passed. Quartermaster Charlie Waters agreed to research the price for the new SUVCW holders.


1. A "Thank You" card was received from the Waterloo Historical Society for our participation in their programs in 2009 and they look forward to our help in 2010.

Patriotic Instructor

1. Brother Lloyd summarized President Lincoln and Michigan: Abraham Lincoln visited Michigan only once for a Republican Rally in Bronson Park, Kalamazoo for candidate John Fremont. And it was Governor Austin Blair who nominated Abraham Lincoln for President in 1860. President Lincoln's coffin was moved 17 times once it arrived in Springfield after his assassination due to the risk of theft. When the 1st Michigan Infantry arrived in Washington after Lincoln's first call for troops, Lincoln was reported to have exclaimed "Thank God For Michigan". And lastly, President Lincoln and Mary never had a photograph taken together.


1. Commander Griggs brought in CDs and DVDs of the Camp's activities in 2009.

Graves Registration

1. Brother Waters is working currently working three Civil War veteran inquiries: Roger Lawton buried in the North Oak Grove Cemetery in Napoleon and Oren and Edward Carley. Oren is in a cemetery in Henrietta Twp.

2. Two headstones were ordered in October and still awaiting delivery and all new orders are on hold until the new Veterans Administration procedures are finalized. Discussion on these new VA procedures was held and it's hoped this will be resolved in a few months.


See new business.

Old Business

1. Chaplain Heath updated the Camp on the ad hoc committees for options for the Camp's Flags. Chaplain Heath will review all the options once finalized.

New Business

1. Brother Oberdank reported that Christopher Cox's application to join our Camp was all in order and his money paid to the Treasury. Chris Cox's Civil War veteran relative is his 3x Great Grandfather Augustus Norton, mustered into service on 11 October 1862 in Company B of the 6th Michigan Cavalry with the rank of private and was honorably discharged at the rank of Full Bugler on the 24th of November 1865, by reason of End of War. Brother Oberdank motioned to accept Christopher Cox as a member and seconded by Brother Watson, motion passed.

For the Good of the Order

1. Commander Griggs summarized two programs of interest on T.V recently: the first on the Polar Bear unit during WWI that served in Russia in support of the royalist Russian government against the communist forces. The men from the unit were primarily from Michigan and Brother Van Hoof reported that there is a museum in Frankenmuth on the unit. Secondly, the program "Digging up the Trenches" covered the excavation of WWI battle field trenches, both excellent shows of interest.

2. Brother Gilman reported that the National Eagle Scout Association will be releasing a book shortly and our SUVCW order will be mentioned as supportive of the Eagle Scout program.

3. The Michigan History magazine's January issue will have an article on the Sultana Monument in Hillsdale.

4. The re-enactor's Roundtable will be held on January 30th for the coming year's events, the roundtable will be held at the Michigan Library/Museum in Lansing.

5. Brother Conklin ended the meeting with a news article: "A judge in Virginia says it's a draw between two Union and Confederate Civil War re-enactors who got into a tussle on the battlefield. Each man was found not guilty of assault after they pressed charges against each other over a dispute last Sept. The men were playing cavalry officers in a re-enactment of the Battle of Standardsville. The Confederate claims a Union counterpart knocked his hat off. The Confed. was accused of responding by firing a blank round from his revolver and the powder charge injured the union man. Both men said their actions were accidental and the judge concluded he could not find either man guilty." The meeting ended with laughter.

Commander Griggs proceeded to close the meeting at 8:15pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2010, to be held at the Eagles, Jackson, Michigan.






General Order #9
SERIES 2009-2010
16 January 2010

Brother Alan L Russ is appointed as Acting Chair of the Program and Policy Committee effective this date.

This action is taken is response to the total lack of communication between the Program and Policy Committee, the Officers of the Order and Sr Vice CinC James Hanby since his election in August 2009.

This action is necessary to move the Committee along on issues presented to it from the National Encampment and subsequent Council of Administration meetings. These issues are important to the Order and cannot sit unattended any longer.

Ordered this 16th day of January, 2010
Leo F Kennedy
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Donald Palmer
National Order, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War



Department Orders No. 6

Series 2009-2010

01 January 2010

1. It is my sincere hope that every Brother and his family have a Happy and Prosperous New Year. May the Camps of the Department of Michigan and their Officers continue their work for the Good of the Order in 2010.

2. This is the call for every Camp Patriotic Instructor to visit the National Website,, download the annual Patriotic Instructors report and fill in the appropriate information that pertains to your Camp for the calendar year of 2009. The due date is February 1, 2010. Each Camp Patriotic Instructor should make two copies and mail them to:

Max Riekse, Department Patriotic Instructor
P.O. Box 82
Fruitport, Michigan. 49415

3. A reminder to all Camps that Camp Officer Installations must be completed by January 31, 2009. Installing Officers are to be appointed by the Department Commander, so if there is someone in particular that you would like to request to install your Camp Officers you need to contact me so I can make the appointment. Also, it is the Installing Officer’s responsibility to make sure that Form 22, Certification of Election and Installation of Camp Officers is properly completed with all required signatures.

4. All Camps are reminded that Form 22, Certification of Election and Installation of Camp Officers is due to the Department Secretary by February 15, 2009 and is available for download from the National SUVCW Website, I would strongly encourage all Camps to submit Form 22 as soon as possible after Camp Officers have been installed. Each Camp needs to send two copies to:

Kevin J. Lindsey, Secretary
Department of Michigan, SUVCW
6890 Norton Drive
Troy, MI 48085-1659

5. It is my pleasure to congratulate on behalf of the entire Department, Brother Gary Naugle of Nash-Hodges Camp 43, recipient of the Meritorious Service Award. Brother Gary is recognized for his ten years of service as Parade Marshal for the annual Memorial Day Parade for the City of Tecumseh, Michigan. The National Council of Administration approved the award at their November meeting.

6. Finally, it is my pleasure to officially welcome on behalf of the entire Department, our newest Camp. US Grant Camp No. 67 of Bay City with Brother Bill Morris, Camp Commander. Commander-In-Chief Leo Kennedy approved the charter on December 28, 2009. I would like to congratulate the Brothers of Camp 67 and Camp Organizer Donald Shaw, DSVC, for their persistence and hard work to bring this Camp together.

In Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty,
Charles L. Worley
Department of Michigan
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


Kevin J. Lindsey
Department of Michigan
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War



Department Orders No. 7

Series 2009-2010

21 January 2010

1. I have asked the following Brothers to serve on the Nomination Committee for the 2010 Department Encampment: Chairman Rick Danes, CC Camp 427 Robert Mitchell, Camp-At-Large Coordinator Camp 462, Bill Skillman, SVC Camp 14, Dennis Derr II, PDC Camp 145.

This Committee may begin its work as it prepares a slate of nominations for the April 24, 2010 Department Encampment. All brothers interested in holding a Department Office need to submit their credentials and endorsements to a member of the Committee.

2. Camp Patriotic Instructors Reports are due by January 31, 2010 and Form 22 is due by February 15, 2010. Please refer to Department Order Number 6 for specific instructions.

3. I would like to thank the Camps for the invitations and hospitality shown to the Department SVC, Department JVC, Past Department Commanders and/or Department Officers, and myself as we assisted the installations of the 2010 Camp Officers and Staff.

4. Finally, I have been honored to serve the Department of Michigan this last year as the Department Commander. I have learned much and see opportunities to grow our Department. Therefore, I have decided that I will not run for a second year as Department Commander, but would prefer to direct my energies to several of the special projects of the Department and Camp 135 in the next year.

In Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty,

Charles L. Worley
Department of Michigan
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


Kevin J. Lindsey
Department of Michigan
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


The following was taken from the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Website. It was brought to my attention by Brother Lowe, and is good informaion.

From the Office of the National Historian

P.O. Box 1411
Key West , FL 33041

Reference: GAR Death Badge Fantasy

To Whom It May Concern:

The Officers of the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War have noticed with growing alarm the sale of so called Grand Army of the Republic Death Badges through internet sales and antique stores.

There is no such thing. As the National Historian, I have been charged to read every national proceeding of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Sons of Veterans, USA and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. There are no references anywhere to the existence of a “ GAR Death Badge or Widow’s Badge”.

The comrades of the GAR honored their dead by wearing a black silk or satin ribbon with the name of their Post imprinted on it.

The so called Death Badge is, in fact, the official membership badge of the Masonic Order called the Knights Templar. The wide spread joint membership by Union veterans in both the GAR and the Knights Templar caused these membership badges to be found together by later heirs and dealers. There is no other connection. No Maltese cross badge marked with GAR identification has ever been found. There have been no printed records located regionally, departmentally or nationally that would indicate the GAR ever used such a badge. For dealers or sellers to offer such a badge is an accidental or intentional fraud.

Fraternally yours in F, C & L,

Robert J. Wolz, National Historian
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Past Ohio Department Commander 1968 & 1972
Past Senior Vice Commander in Chief 1974-1976
Past Junior Vice Commander in Chief 1972-1974
Past National Patriotic Instructor



Civil War Quiz
Battle of Antietam September 17, 1862
Battle of Five Forks April 1, 1865
Battle of Shiloh April 6-7, 1862
Battle of First Bull Run July 21, 1861
Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20, 1863
Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863
Battle of Stones River December 31, 1862 to
January 2, 1863
Battle of Fredericksburg December 13, 1862
Battle of Kennesaw Mountain June 27, 1864
Battle of Second Bull Run August 30, 1862

Click here to return to the quiz




Upcoming Events


February: 2010
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Monday February 8th;

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).

Friday February 12th;

~ Abraham Lincoln's 201st Birthday ~

Monday February 8th;

Austin Blair Ladies Auxiliary Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome). .



March: 2010
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Monday March 8th;

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).
Monday March 8th;

Austin Blair Ladies Auxiliary Meeting. Jackson Eagles-612, 301 Detroit St. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).





Return to Austin Blair home page.