1. Having been elected and installed Commander-in-Chief by the assembled delegates at the 117th National Encampment at Harrisburg, PA on 9 August 1998, command is hereby assumed and headquarters established at the above address. All correspondence requiring the attention of the Commander-in-Chief should be sent to the above address.
2. All business correspondence should be addressed to: David Hann, National Secretary, 440 Clark Drive, Hammonton, NJ 08037.
3. All supply requisitions with payment should be sent to: Elmer F. Atkinson, National Quartermaster, 1016 Gorman St, Philadelphia, PA 19116.
4. All bills and requests for payment should be sent to the: Hon. James B. Pahl, National Treasurer, 445 W Maple St, Mason, MI 48854-1519.
5. All requests for Eagle Scout Certificates should besent to: Robert M. Petrovic, Eagle Scout Certificate Coordinator, 4729 Mehl Ave, St Louis, MO 63129-1626.
6. The confidence which my Brothers have shown in me is greatly appreciated. I express my thanks to those who supported me and especially to the Brothers of the Maryland Department. Special thanks also to the Department of Pennsylvania for hosting the encampment in true Pennsylvania style.
7. Our Order is truly founded on the principals of fraternity, charity and loyalty. Good men can and will disagree and those disagreements must be resolved. Once resolved, old issues should be laid away and we should all look to acting in fraternity, showing charity for the differences of others and loyalty to our nation and to the SUVCW. I pledge to execute the duties of this office always looking to these words. I ask all Brothers to do the same.
8. I expect to concentrate the efforts of the National Organization on our core programs: Graves Registration and marking, Civil War Monument registration and restoration, locating GAR and SUV records, and Commemorative Events celebrating the deeds of the Boys in Blue. Outstanding leaders have been appointed to head these programs at the national level. Each Department and each Camp needs to assure that their leadership is pro-active in these areas and, as much as possible, responsive to recommendations from national officers. I have asked the National Civil War Monuments Officer to take the lead in a consolidated national search for monuments, graves and GAR/SUV records. A critical element of this identification program is locating US Government donated gun tubes, often found as part of memorials, to assert our interest in their preservation in their existing locations.
9. The congratulations of the Commander-in-Chief and of the Order go to the following Camps and individuals who received the awards indicated at the Harrisburg Encampment:
10. Membership is growing but not at the rate that any of us would choose. Most recruitment begins at the Camp level. I ask each Brother to review the list of his relatives and friends for prospective members and to take action. Department Secretaries are advised that they are requested to certify to the National Secretary each member who recruits three or more new members. These Brothers will be appointed as National Aides for Recruitment and are entitled to wear the National ribbon behind their membership badges as a symbol of their good work. We also have a Junior Program which should be used to capture the interest of youthful descendants of the Boys in Blue. Departments should actively look for opportunities to form new Camps. Our best source of new members seems to be those who will join as Camp charter members. Our national advertising program generates a large number of inquiries but a relatively low level of recruitment. Many changes are being made to reinvigorate our advertising program. Each Department must be ready to respond immediately to people who show an interest in membership. A delay in response is an uncertain trumpet to which few will respond. I will ask the Council of Administration to consider changes to the C&R which will permit new member intake into the Member-at-Large Department at a standard membership fee. These new members would be offered to the Department in which they live with the standard membership fee paid to the accepting Camp. This change would allow the National Recruiting Program to offer immediate membership at a known fee. It would do much to capture those who now inquire but fall away waiting for our somewhat lengthy enrollment process to take its course. I ask the support of Department commanders in this attempt to solve one of our recruiting problems.
11. Only Camps can retain members. Too many recruits are lost each year for a variety of reasons but chiefly, I believe, because their Camp does not offer them interesting and perhaps challenging programs. The Camp that meets once a year cannot recruit or retain members. A rich variety of activity will attract and retain members.
12. All commanders of Departments through which the GAR Highway passes are asked to assure that the Department GAR Highway Officer communicates with the National GAR Highway Officer providing copies of information concerning the Highway and its condition. The GAR Highway is a national monument which needs our constant oversight to assure that it continues to be adequately marked.
13. I have informed all Senators who have not yet sponsored the Flag Protection Amendment resolution in the US Senate of our flag protection resolution passed at Harrisburg. The Legislation Committee is also now looking at Grantís Tomb National Monument Act and at legislation designed to return Memorial Day to 30 May. Committee chairman is James H. Friedline, 7500 Durwood Rd, Baltimore, MD 21222-1332 and email@example.com. I ask each Department commander to make contact with Brother Friedline who will suggest how grassroots contacts can influence these important bills.
14. No activity fulfills our ceremonial responsibility better than the annual Remembrance Day held this year on Saturday, 21 November 1998 at Gettysburg, PA. The march will begin at 1:00 PM followed by the traditional Woolson Monument ceremony. Chairman for this committee is Elmer F. Atkinson, 1016 Gorman St, Philadelphia, PA 19116-3719. I urge each department to have maximum representation in the parade and I ask that all Sons wear the membership badge on their outer clothing throughout the events of the day. There will be NO guest speaker this year in order to shorten the standing-in-ranks time.
15. Brothers are reminded that the Order has a number of funds to which tax-deductible contributions may be made; the GAR Memorial Fund, National Patriotic Instructors Fund, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chiefís Fund, the Permanent Fund and the General Fund. Look for a coupon notice in the BANNER to make your contributions painless. I urge each Brother to make a donation to one or all of the funds during the year.
16. My Commander-in-Chiefís calendar is designed to best serve the Order. Please extend your invitations as early as possible to assist me in making my itinerary. I will attend as many Department encampments and events as time and overlapping dates will permit.
17. The BANNER is your newsletter and it best accomplishes its mission if Camps, Departments and individual Brothers submit good articles to the Editor for publication. This issue of the BANNER contains national policy approved by the Harrisburg Encampment. Look to it for guidance on how to write to get published. Please also note that individual problems concerning the newsletter should be addressed to the Publisher, Danny Wheeler, 501 Willow Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
18. Information about the ill and bereaved should be brought to the attention of myself or the National Secretary in order that proper attention may be given to the needs of the member or his family.
19. Department Commanders are asked to bring problems to my attention by phone or by email as soon as they appear on the horizon. Most problems are solved at the Camp and the Department levels. If there is a serious potential that the problem cannot be solved at those levels, I wish to know about it as it develops.
20. Appointments of national officers and committees have been made and are announced in this edition of the BANNER. The Order thanks those Brothers who take on National duties often in addition to heavy Camp or Department responsibilities. Those not appointed to a National committee but who would like to be considered may write or email the Commander-in-Chief for consideration.
21. It is with extreme regret that I announce the death of Mrs. Daisy Anderson, widow of Robert Ball Anderson, on 23 September 1998 in Denver, Colorado. We believe that Mrs. Anderson was the last widow of a U S Civil War veteran. My representative and the Centennial Camp 100 are representing the Order.
22. The Council of Administration will meet on Sunday, 22 November 1998 at the Eisenhower Inn at 8:00 AM. All Council members are requested to attend. The exact location and time will be posted in that hotel. All Past Commanders-in-Chief and all sitting Department commanders are invited to attend and observe the inner workings of your National administration.
23. My congratulations to camp and department elected and appointed officers. The future of the SUVCW is largely in your hands. I wish you the most productive and harmonious year and urge each of you to call upon the Divine Author of our faith for the wisdom, courage and capacity to perform your duties.
By Order of
Andrew M. Johnson