1: The holiday season has arrived and I would like to extend my best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year to all Brothers of the Sons and our Sisters in the Auxiliary and the allied orders. We are all fraternally related in our dedication to our country and our Civil War ancestors.
2. I had the honor of having a joint reception with the National President of the Ladies of the Grand Army, Irene Looker at Washington, C.H., Ohio, where the Ladies rededicated a Civil War monument. I would like to thank all those who attended and those that could not attend due to previous commitments.
3. The Remembrance Day celebration at Gettysburg was outstanding even though the Park was closed and the weather was cold. As usual, our SVR people did their usual efficient job in planning and executing the many facets of the celebration. The parade ended at the Woolson monument where the National Heads and the Pennsylvania Heads of the Sons and the Allied Orders conducted the wreath laying ceremony. The ceremony at the cyclorama was not held due to the building being closed. This gave us the honor, however, of attending the Confederate ceremonies at the Angle. This ceremony was very impressive and honored the Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the struggle to take Cemetery Hill. The Remembrance Day event was concluded with the annual Blue and Grey ball which was well attended.
4. Departments are requested to forward their encampment dates to me as soon as possible if you wish the Commander-in-Chief to attend. I am sure there will be conflicting dates but I will try to attend as many as possible.
5. As most of you know Past Commander-in-Chief Clark Mellor has been seriously ill and is now recuperating at home. Clark is a very courageous fellow and this illness will not keep him down. He would like to hear from his many friends. Send him a card and let him know that you are thinking of him during the holidays and wish him a speedy recovery.
6. As many of you may also be aware, Past Commander-in-Chief Eugene Russell celebrated his 90th birthday this past November 24th! I know that all Brothers will join me in extending our congratulations and best wishes to Brother Russell.
7. I had the honor of attending a ceremony in Detroit, Michigan on November 11 marking US Highway 12 as the "Iron Brigade" highway. Certificates of Merit were issued to the 24th Michigan Infantry, the Department of Michigan, SUVCW, the Michigan Order of the Loyal Legion and the Michigan Department of Transportation. It was a long drawn out fight to get the job done but these dedicated people prevailed.
8. A meeting was held with the Mayor of Harrisburg, Pa. on 11-3-95. An offer was made to the Sons to establish a National Headquarters there in a new National Civil War museum that is in the planning stage. Those attending were Past Commander-in-Chief Elmer Atkinson, Jr. Vice Commander-in-Chief Richard Orr, Pennsylvania Department Commander George Powell, Pennsylvania Dept. Sr. Vice Commander and Chair of the National Headquarters Committee Glenn Knight and myself. The discussions at this point look very promising. The offer was presented to the Council of Administration and approval was given to investigate the offer further.
9. I had the honor of issuing a Meritorious Service award to Brother William Freck of Ocean Grove, N.J. who has spent the past 50 years locating the burial sites of New Jersey Civil War Veterans and is credited with having located about 40% of those sites that are known. The Council of Administration has approved his wearing of a 1/2 inch gold star on his membership badge. To me this is true dedication to the purpose and goals of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Good luck Brother Freck and your many years of work is deeply appreciated by us all.
10. The following National Aide ribbons have been issued for recruiting 3 or more new members:
11. The following Brothers have been issued a Certificate of Merit for obtaining 5 or more new members:
12. The following Certificates of Merit were also issued:
13. One Certificate of Merit issued to individual not in the SUVCW
14. As I stated in the previous General Orders, we have created an additional two recruiting awards. The first one is the GAR Lapel Pin to be awarded to the Brother recruiting the highest number of new members within a Department (minimum of 7 new members to qualify). The second is a walnut plaque which will be awarded to the top recruiter within our Order based on total number of new members recruited.
15. A reminder to please submit to my attention the names of Brothers or individuals who are doing outstanding work to perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Union Soldiers and Sailors, so that they can be recognized for their efforts.
16. A national legal staff has been created consisting of attorneys within our Order who are appointed as National Aides to the National Counselor, the Hon. James B. Pahl, who will serve as chair. They will serve as consultants to Camps and Departments for such things as search for lost funds, possible legal actions, and interpretation of the Constitution and Regulations. As our organization grows, our Camps and Departments will encounter problems where legal advise is warranted. One National Counselor is not enough to handle all of these situations. We would like to have Assistants to the National Counselor from the various states. If any Brother is interested, he should contact me for further information. The National Aides will be issued updated copies of the C&R and will be briefed by Brother Pahl in the near future. The following Brothers have been appointed as National Aides to act as Assistants to the National Counselor: Thomas G. Ayer, Esq., Department of Indiana; Gregory D. Cox, Esq., Department of Ohio; Stephen R. Gribble, Esq., Department of Pennsylvania; Joseph Rippey, Esq., Department of New York; George Knell, Esq., Department of Ohio.
17. Camps or Departments that foresee being involved in legal actions or lawsuits are requested to report full particulars to the National Counselor. When requested our legal staff by their sound advice can prevent many problems.
18. In the last issue of the Banner we initiated a new member data form for those who wish to become involved at the National and Department level. We have had outstanding response from Brothers who have offered their expertise and time to the Order. We will run the form again in this issue.
19. I am again calling on Department Commanders to make recommendations from their Department for members to be appointed personal aides for regional reporting. The Banner is constantly looking for items of interest from our Camps and Departments and from our Allied Orders.
20. We are utilizing the Marshal Hope award for the best news story submitted to the Banner. The award will be a traveling award and issued each year. This award will be given at the 115th National Encampment.21. We are continuing to increase our membership. The gross increase for the last quarter was 210 new members and six new Camps. On the downside we lost 97 members. Retention of members is just as important as enlisting them. Our people must be made to feel wanted and part of the SUV family. This can be done through newsletters, good productive meetings and a feeling of comradery in our Camps. Rotating leadership in our Camps and Departments is a must.
23. We wish a speedy recovery to all our Brothers and to our Sisters in the Auxiliary and the Allied Orders who may be ill. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
By Order of:
David R. Medert
David F. Wallace