of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Department of Michigan
Curtenius Guard Camp #17
In 1866, Union Veterans of the Civil War organized into the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and became a social and political force that would control the destiny of the nation for more than six decades. Membership in the veterans' organization was restricted to individuals who had served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutter Service during the Civil War, thereby limiting the life span of the GAR. The GAR existed until 1956.
In 1881, the GAR formed the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (SV) to carry on its traditions and memory long after the GAR had ceased to exist. Membership was open to any man who could prove ancestry to a member of the GAR or to a veteran eligible for membership in the GAR.
Many GAR Posts sponsored Camps of the SV. In 1925, the SV name was changed to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), under which its Congressional Charter was issued on August 20, 1954. The SUVCW is legally recognized as the heir to, and representative of the GAR.
Today, the National Organization of the SUVCW, is a patriotic and educational organization, similar in function and operation to it parent organization, the GAR. It is headed by an annually elected Commander-in-Chief, oversees the operation of 26 Departments, each consisting of one or more states, a Department-at-Large, a National Membership-at-Large, and over 200 community based Camps. The SUVCW National Headquarters is located in the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The local organization of the SUVCW in Michigan's Ingham and Eaton Counties, is the Lansing/Suunfield Curtenius Guard Camp #17, which was chartered in 1983.