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History of the

S.U.V.C.W.

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After the Civil War, in 1866 Union Veterans, trying to insure that their fallen and wounded brothers would not be forgotten formed the Grand Army of the Republic, also known as the G.A.R. The only requirement for membership in the G.A.R. was that the person had to have honorably served in the Army, Navy, Marines, or Revenue Cutter Service of the U.S. between the years 1861 - 1866.

Members of the G.A.R. realized that the organization could not survive as their members began to die. Wanting to pass on its heritage, the G.A.R. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania created a Corps of Cadets in 1878 which later became the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (SV). This latter organization was formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1881. The SV units functioned much as National Guard units and actually served along with state militia during the Spanish American War.

In 1904, the SV elected to become a patriotic education society and in 1925 changed its name to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). However, to keep the military aspect alive, they created within the organization the Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) which was carried on the Army rolls as a Reserve contingent. Some SVR units served with the Army during World War I. After World War I, the SVR was listed as a training company of the U.S. Army.

Prior to disbanding and before the death of Albert Woolson, its last member, the G.A.R. officially designated the SUVCW as its successor and heir to its remaining property. On August 20, 1954, the SUVCW was officially incorporated by an Act of Congress by the passing of Public Law 605 of the second session of the 83rd Congress.

Today the SUVCW has its headquarters in the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and has over 200 community-based Camps with approx. 7,000 members throughout the United States. Their primary function is to keep alive the memories of the men and women who fought to save the Union during the American Civil War.

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If interested in joining the Austin Blair Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War please click here for a "fill in application form" from the National Website.

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