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Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

"Following the Civil War, the men who had fought under the flag of the United States knew of the great sacrifices that had been made to preserve the Union and they wanted others, particularly students to know about the flag and what it means to each of us. As Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, we have a responsibility to educate others about the flag of the United States and the proper respect it deserves. " - Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War website at www.suvcw.org.

Origin of the SUVCW

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was a creation of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) which was formed in 1866. Wanting to pass on its heritage, the GAR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, created a Corps of Cadets in 1878 which later became the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (SV). The latter organization was formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 12, 1881. 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). Prior to disbanding and before the death of its last member, the GAR officially designated the SUVCW as its successor and heir to its remaining property. The SUVCW was officially incorporated by Act of Congress on August 30, 1954.

Objectives of the SUVCW

Honor Union Veterans by

  • participating in the proper observance of our national holidays (especially Memorial Day)
  • seeking out and marking the graves of Civil War veterans
  • observing the care and upkeep of Civil war memorials

Preserve and perpetuate the GAR by

  • assisting in the preservation and making available for research, the documents and records pertaining to the Grand Army of the Republic
  • supplying scholarships, funding to the Lincoln Memorial and Tomb ceremonies and the Gettysburg Remembrance Day ceremony, and grants for Civil War memorial preservation
  • conducting meetings and encampments according to the tradition and rituals of the GAR

Patriotic education by

  • teaching patriotism and the duties of citizenship, the true history of our country, and the love and honor of our flag
  • conducting presentations in schools and communities

Membership in the SUVCW

Member (and Junior): A male descendant, 14 years of age (6 to 14 for Juniors), who:

  • is directly descended from a soldier, sailor, marine or member of the revenue cutter service (or directly descended from a brother, sister, half-brother, or half sister of such soldier, etc.) who was regularly mustered and served honorably in, was honorably discharged from, or died in the service of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service of the United States of America or in such state regiments called to active service and was subject to the orders of United States general officers, between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.
  • has never been convicted of any infamous or heinous crime
  • has, or whose ancestor through whom membership is claimed, has never voluntarily borne arms against the government of the United States

Associate: Men who do not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership may become Associates if they:

  • demonstrate a genuine interest in the Civil War
  • can subscribe to the purpose and objects of the SUVCW

Although an Associate is not required to meet the lineage requirement of a Member, he is still subject to the second and third provisions of hereditary eligibility.

Contact Information

For further information about the SUVCW or for additional information regarding eligibility and/or applying for membership please visit their website at www.suvcw.org or contact them directly at the address below.

Sons of Veterans of the Civil War
P.O. Box 1865
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105
(717) 232-7000