Sons of Union Veterans - Civil War

The first movement toward the organization of Union soldiers in Missouri, for any purpose, occurred in the city of St. Louis in July 1865 under the title of "Volunteer Mutual Aid Society." Its principal object was to secure employment for honorably discharged Union soldiers and sailors. Up to April 1867, this organization had secured positions for 1,803 veterans. At this time the association dissolved, there being no pressing necessity for its further work.

In 1866 there were a number of Posts organized in the state in what became known as the Old Organization. The most active of these posts was organized in October of that year at Kirksville. In July, 1866, Gen. John McNeil of St. Louis was appointed provisional Commander.

On May 7, 1867, the Department was regularly organized and Gen. Carl Schurz was elected Commander. On May 14, 1868, the first regular Encampment was held and R.J. Rombauer elected Commander. At this time there were 109 posts in the state. From this date on, this organization began to decline, and finally disbanded as a department.

In 1879, Comrade J.C. Walkinshaw, then Commander of the Department of Kansas, undertook the work of organizing a Post in St. Louis and on the 8th of December, in the office of Gov. Fletcher, Comrade Walkenshaw, assisted by Comrades Potter and Pachall, mustered Comrades John Reed, Thomas B. Rodgers and S.O. Fish, and on later dates others were mustered. On January 8th, 1880, a Post was organized and chartered as Blair No. 1. The charter bears date December 1st, 1879, and contains the names of fifteen Comrades. Of this number, nine still remain as active members: T.B. Rodgers, J.B. Pachall, Arthur Dreifus, S.O. Fish, G.H. Stone, Geo. G. Chase and R. Mollincott. Blair Post has continued to maintain its position as first in rank and membership. The original posts, Nos. 2 and 3 surrendered their charters and McPherson No. 4, Kansas City, stands second in rank.

On April 24th, 1880, Gen. John S. Cavender of St. Louis was appointed Provisional Commander of the Department. After two years of hard work a sufficient number of posts were organized to form a Department.

-from "Grand Army of the Republic, and its Auxiliaries"
Published by the Western Veteran, 1895

This roster was prepared in 1895 and relied on local chapters to respond. Unfortunately the only response from Miller County came from the Samuel McClure Post #145 in Eldon.

  Samuel McClure, No. 145, Eldon
  Meets 1st and 3d Saturdays, at 10 a.m.
  Commander, I.N. Boyce                     Adjutant, J. Vetter
  G. J. Harvey       B  33   Mo    Inf      G. W. Holder          I     1    Mo     HG
  William Posten     B  42    "      "      H.A. Snyder           B    12    Ill    Inf
  Jesse Ashton       F  43    "      "      Darius Pierce         C   143    "      "
  Jacob B. Cotton    A  47    "      "      Edward Saunders       G   150    "      "
  James Raines       B  48    "      "      J. W. Temple          F   154    "      "
  T. W. Cotton       B  48    "      "      John C. Morrison      H     2    Ohio   "
  Joseph Crisp       F   9    "      "      Jefferson Schlott     D    25    "      "
  W.B. Jones         D   5    "  MtCav      Peter N. Schlott      K    76    "      "
  John H. Hess       E   5    "      "      H. H. Stockman        I    97    "      "
  M. Hoover          B   7    "      "      J. J. Whippo          B   171    "      "
  James Garrett      C  13    "      "      Richard Boyce         C   193    Penn   Inf
  T. G. McClure      G   4  MSM      "      I. N. Boyce           K     1    "      Cav
  T. W. Shelton      D   5    "      "      W. B. Finney          B     9    Tenn   "
  Lemuel G. Miller   D   5    "      "      J. A. Stevens         I    30    Iowa   Inf
  R. B. Snyder       D   6    "      "      E. M. Graham          C   144    NY     "
  Leroy Busick       B   8    "      "      John Vetter, Chaplain       5    USC    Cav
  Daniel Duncan      F   9  EMM             Jacob Bay             A    22    Ind    Inf
  D. H. Allen        C  42    "             J. B. Riffle          H   205    Penn   Inf
  John C. Vanpool    E  42    "             G. R. Weeks           D     5    Vt     "
  G. W. Kingery      D  48    "             Joseph R. Lawson      1     1    Ky     Cav

 Eldon GAR
Eldon G.A.R.

Among those who did not respond were the G.A.R. Posts at Iberia, Tuscumbia and Brumley.

 Iberia GAR
Iberia G.A.R.
Front Row L-R: Jim Berry, James Cross, Jerry Fallman, Epaminandos Deampird (E.D.) Hays,
Steven Deardeuff, Simon Deardeuff, John Ferguson, Thomas Marchant, Absolom Bear, John Carroll,
Back Row: Benjamin Fike, John E. Dickerson, George Teaverbaugh, Joe Crismon, William C. Thompson, John Brown.

Iberia's post was organized in 1890 under the name of Miles Carroll Post #111. Miles Carroll was a casualty of the Civil War, though not a soldier. While his sons were away from home fighting , bushwhackers rode through southern Miller County and viciously murdered Miles in the front yard of his home in full sight of his wife and daughters.

The Iberia G.A.R. post lasted until 1922 when they deeded the building (still standing) to the newly organized Fremont Watkins American Legion Post #105. The old Civil War soldiers reserved the right to use and access of the Hall.

Among the members of the Iberia G.A.R. were: Charles P. Myers, William A. Thompson, Thomas Marchant, A.L. Benage, Manessah Jones, John Ferguson, George Osborn, Absolem Bear, William Harrison Smith, John Wesley Smith, Simon Deardueff, Henry Carroll, John Carroll, Jeremiah C. Tallman, William R. Short, John E. Dickerson, Nicholas Long, William J. TEaverbaugh, Benjamin D. Roark, John W. Waite, Louis G. Forbes, C.W. Thomas, James W. Rowden, E.D. Hayes, John K. Bond and others.

The John Workman Post #191 was organized at Tuscumbia on August 16, 1884, by John S. Ferguson with 30 members. The first officers elected that year were: Wesley A. Hackney, commander; Theodore B. Robinson, senior vice chairman; James H. Todd, junior vice chairman, Ludwell Bacon, O.D.; A.J. Bridges, O.G.; J.B. Clark, Q.; W.G. Clark, adjutant; W.G. Martin, S.M.; George Martin, quartermaster; Henry McAnally, chaplain. Commander Hackney was succeeded by Ira T. Johnson, Theodore B. Robinson and W.G. Clark. Emly Golden, a Lt. Colonel in Col. McClurg's Osage Regiment of the war, was the oldest member. They held meetings at the courthouse, the Johnson and Marshall Hall, and the P.F. Hauenstein Hall.

 Brumley GAR
Brumley G.A.R.
A few individuals have been identified. We could use some help on the remainder.
Front row L-R: #1 J.M. Hawkins, #6 James Lewis Pemberton, #10 Mastin Wornell
Back Row: #3 Emanuel Lett, #7 Henry Clay Jackson

In 1889, there was an official roster listed for members of the Lt. William Hawkins Post #425 at Brumley. The Post was established in 1887 and they built a G.A.R. Hall which stood for many years in the middle of Brumley facing "C" Highway.

Some of the men who were members and veterans of the Union Army during the Civil War included: James M. Thornsberry, Silas Luttrell, Daniel Robinett, Harman L. Luttrell, E.M. Dyer, Jesse M. Witt, William F. Karr, Zebedee Spearman, W.T. Thornsberry, Sovreign Poppplewell, James Pemberton, Joshua D. Cochran, Mathian Meredith, Samuel Brown, William McDowell, A.H. Plemmons, Presley M. DeVore, Sanford Jeffries, E.M. Beard, M.J. Duncan, John G. Brown, John K. Wallis, W.R. Houser, Peter B. Lupardus, William A. Trusley and others.

In July of 1938, 73 years after the close of the Civil War, Squire John Ferguson of Iberia's G.A.R. Post and Isaac Boyce of Eldon's Post, attended the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania as guests of the U.S. government. Squire Ferguson was 99 years old and Isaac Boyce was 92. They were among 2500 veterans who attended the ceremonies.


The ladies of the Post's auxiliaries did respond with information. The Woman's Relief Corps (W.R.C.) at Brumley had the following information printed: NAME OF THE CORPS - William Hawkins Post #425; PRESIDENT - Cynthia F. Spearman (Mrs. Zebedee Spearman); SECRETARY - Alice Thompson (Mrs. L.C. Thompson); TIME OF MEETING - third Saturday at the G.A.R. Hall.

 Hawkins, Wornell, Jackson, Spearman
Cynthia Spearman, President, is shown in this veterans' gathering
with James Hawkins, Mastin Wornell and Henry Clay Jackson

Iberia's information included the following: NAME OF CORPS - Miles Carroll Post #111; PRESIDENT - Susan Deardueff (Mrs. Simon Deardueff); SECRETARY - Georgia W. Tallman (Mrs. Jeremiah C. Tallman); TIME OF MEETINGS - first and third Saturdays at the G.A.R. Hall.

Eldon's ladies responded with the following information: NAME OF CORPS - Samuel McClure Post #145; PRESIDENT - Almira Weeks (Mrs. George W. Weeks); SECRETARY - Nannie Temple (Mrs. J.W. Temple); TIME OF MEETINGS - first Saturday of each month at Graham's Hall.

Tuscumbia's auxiliary was not listed in the 1895 book, however they were very active in the area. To keep their treasury with a balance on hand, these ladies organized many social activities as a means for raising funds.

The Department organizations of the Woman's Relief Corps of Missouri, was organized at Kansas City, March 5, 1885, by Mrs. Lizzie Anderson of Topeka, Kansas, then the National Junior Vice President. The charter of the department bears date March 10, 1885. The following corps represented as charter members: No. 1, Cameron; No. 2, Carthage; No. 3, St. Louis, No. 4, St. Joseph; No. 5, Brookfield; No. 6, Avilla; No. 8, Joplin; No. 9, Grant City; Nos. 10 and 11, Kansas City. The membership at this time was about 300.

In ten years that followed, the Corps of the State expended over $18,000 in the relief of sick and needy comrades and their families. They turned over to the Posts over $3,700. In 1894 they sent $332.48 to the needy comrades of Nebraska. They contributed to many other charitable calls, such as to the maintenance of the National W.R.C. Home, to National Homes, to the Andersonville Prison Fund for flags and flowers for decoration in the Southern National Cemetery, Baltimore Monument Fund, etc.

It was through this organization that the State Soldiers' Home in St. James, Mo. was established for the "decrepit and homeless comrade and his wife".

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