Who we are…

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is a fraternal organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of veteran heroes who fought and worked to save the Union in the American Civil War. Organized Nationally in 1881 and chartered by Congress in 1954, SUVCW is the legal heir and successor to the Grand Army of the Republic.

The New York Department SUVCW is headed by an annually elected Commander, over 14 community based camps throughout the state of New York. More than 500 men enjoy  membership in the only male organization dedicated to the principles of the GAR — Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty. It publishes “The VOLUNTEER” issued thrice a year. The SUVCW state meetings aka encampments are held with the allied orders throughout the state of New York.

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Today we were pleased to welcome Michael who came nearly halfway around the world (10,000 miles) from Melbourne, Australia!🇦🇺 Michael is in the United States touring the nation visiting sites related to American Presidents and thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Grant Cottage. He was very impressed by all the original artifacts still in place. ... See MoreSee Less

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August 21, 1863: Confederate marauders under the command of William Quantrill burned Lawrence, Kansas, the deadliest terrorist attack in US history, until the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

Quantrill worked as a slave catcher in Missouri before a failed stint in the rebel army. He deserted after taking part in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in 1861. He raised a criminal gang of bushwhackers who counted among their number Jesse and Frank James. Dubbing themselves “Quantrill’s Raiders”, the gang conducted ambushes on Union units, committed robberies and terrorized civilians who stayed loyal to the United States. In August of 1862, the rebel government anointed Quantrill as their chosen champion in Missouri, giving him a commission under the Partisan Ranger Act.

Lawrence, Kansas was a bastion of abolitionists and had been burned during Bleeding Kansas in 1856 by pro slavery forces. The town’s loyalty to America put it firmly in Quantrill’s sights. He and 450 of his men descended on the town early in the morning of August 21, 1863. Over the course of the next four hours, the Confederates moved in small groups burning and looting the town. They killed every man and boy they came across which numbered 164 Americans murdered by the end of the attack. The conduct of Quantrill’s men were exactly what one would expect of those fighting to preserve the institution of slavery: they executed men who surrendered, two men were tied together and thrown into a burning building to roast alive, an ill man was executed in his bed, among other outrages.

Richard Cordley, the devout abolitionist pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, was on a list of men Quantrill intended to kill. Cordley was able to escape, much to Quantrill’s ire, and said to his congregation after the attack:

“My friends, Lawrence may seem dead, but she will rise again in a more glorious resurrection. Our ranks have been thinned by death, but let us ‘close-up’ and hold the ground. The conflict may not be ended, but the victory must be ours. We may perish but the principles for which we contend will live.”

In response to the Sacking of Lawrence, Union commander General Thomas Ewing issued General Order #11 which sought to deny bushwhackers safe haven in Missouri and punish those Confederate sympathizers that lived on the border.

General Order № 11.

Headquarters District of the Border,
Kansas City, August 25, 1863.

1. All persons living in Jackson, Cass, and Bates counties, Missouri, and in that part of Vernon included in this district, except those living within one mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman's Mills, Pleasant Hill, and Harrisonville, and except those in that part of Kaw Township, Jackson County, north of Brush Creek and west of Big Blue, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date hereof.

Those who within that time establish their loyalty to the satisfaction of the commanding officer of the military station near their present place of residence will receive from him a certificate stating the fact of their loyalty, and the names of the witnesses by whom it can be shown. All who receive such certificates will be permitted to remove to any military station in this district, or to any part of the State of Kansas, except the counties of the eastern border of the State. All others shall remove out of the district. Officers commanding companies and detachments serving in the counties named will see that this paragraph is promptly obeyed.

2. All grain and hay in the field or under shelter, in the district from which inhabitants are required to remove, within reach of military stations after the 9th day of September next, will be taken to such stations and turned over to the proper officers there and report of the amount so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the names of all loyal owners and amount of such product taken from them. All grain and hay found in such district after the 9th day of September next, not convenient to such stations, will be destroyed.

3. The provisions of General Order No. 10 from these headquarters will be at once vigorously executed by officers commanding in the parts of the district and at the station not subject to the operations of paragraph 1 of this order, and especially the towns of Independence, Westport and Kansas City.

4. Paragraph 3, General Order No. 10 is revoked as to all who have borne arms against the Government in the district since the 20th day of August, 1863.

By order of Brigadier General Ewing.
H. Hannahs, Adjt.-Gen'l.

Quantrill fled to Texas where his organization descended into a motley confederation of criminal gangs. Quantrill continued to serve the Confederacy, roaming up to his native Kentucky where on May 10, 1865, a month after Lee’s surrender, he was crippled in a Union ambush in Spencer County, Kentucky. He died a month later in a hospital in Louisville. Men who served with his raiders went on to be the foremost criminals in the Wild West.
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August 22 1862: General Benjamin Butler issued his General Orders #63 authorizing the enlistment of free men of color into the Union Army in New Orleans. The Confederate government had previously recruited black troops but had ordered their militia units disbanded before Union troops arrived.

By the fall the First, Second and Third Regiments of Louisiana Native Guard were organized with black officers on the company level. These units consisted of about 10% of the men who had made up the original Confederate unit with the rest being escaped slaves who made their way to New Orleans and welcomed the opportunity for vengeance on the people who treated them and their families like cattle.

They fought in various battles throughout Louisiana and helped ensure Union control of the Mississippi River. In 1863 the units were redesignated as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Corps d’Afrique. In 1864, the Corps were dissolved and reconstituted as the 73rd and 74th Regiments of the United States Colored Troops.
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Looking at this late-war photo and reading about camp life, is there anything that you would just love to have tasted from the 19th century? A very salty ham stew perhaps? Hardtack mixed with bacon grease? Johnny cakes? Desiccated vegetables crawling with vermin? 🙂 Better yet, what Civil War food have you liked and enjoyed? Where? Lastly, make sure you spot the strainer, BBQ fork and ring! ... See MoreSee Less

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GAR Monuments Around NYS

Soldiers Sailors and Marines of Genesee County, Batavia, NY

Major General Upton

In Memory of The Soldiers Sailors and Marines of Genesee County

(Left plaque inscription)

Battles ...

Capt. Charles R. Rand Memorial, Batavia NY

In Memory of Capt. Charles R. Rand

A native Batavian who once lived at No. 4 ...

Civil War Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial, Manhattan NY

Civil War Soldier's and Sailor's Memorial
89th St and Riverside


Photograph by Jeffrey Albanese

General Grant National Memorial, Manhattan NY

General Grant National Memorial
Riverside Dr at 122nd St
Manhattan, NY

Photograph by Jeffrey Albanese