The meeting of the Council of Administration was called to order by Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) Danny L. Wheeler, followed by a beautiful invocation given by Past Commander-in-Chief (PC-in-C) Lowell V. Hammer.
Voting members of the Council of Administration (CoA) present were C-in-C Wheeler, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief (SVC-in-C) Krieser, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief (JVC-in-C) Powell, PC-in-C Andrew Johnson, National Secretary Todd Shillington, National Treasurer James Pahl, National Quartermaster Elmer Atkinson, PC-in-C, and CoA members David R. Medert, PC-in-C, Gary Gibson and Kent Armstrong. Non-voting CoA members present were PC-in-Cs Charles Corfman, Lowell Hammer, Keith Harrison, Al Loomis and Joeseph Rippey. Guests attending were Past Department Commanders Ron Gill, Glenn Knight, James Lyons, and Al Peterson. Also attending as a guest was Brother Jeff Gill.
The minutes of the CoA meeting of March 25, 2000 were read and approved.
A pocket watch illegally displaying the badge of the Order, which was surrendered by the Brother who commissioned its engraving, was displayed to CoA members. Members expressed gratefulness that the watch was surrendered, and hoped that by Brothers following proper emblem use approval procedures could avoid hard feelings in similar matters.
A motion made by the C-in-C to delay the reading of reports until the business session of the Encampment was carried.
C-in-C Wheeler asked for discussion on the topic of a donation to be made to the National Organization, Auxiliary to the SUVCW (ASUVCW), to go towards the restoration of the Woolson monument at Gettysburg. It was noted that Gettysburg NMP Superintendent John Latschar has stated that the monument would not be moved, and would be protected from construction site damage, when removal of the Cyclorama building and restoration of the immediate grounds takes place. A motion to donate $2,500 to the ASUVCW for the project was carried, with the funds to be deducted from the special projects line item of the general fund.
The first item of old business to be covered was the issue of the Gettysburg G.A.R. Hall, and the Order's dispute with H.G.A.C. Noting the agreement signed with H.G.A.C. on June 6, 2000, a motion to close the business on the issue was carried.
There was discussion on the subject of the Order's National Headquarters (HQ) took place, noting that the contracts with the National Civil War Museum (NCWM) in Harrisburg, having been reviewed by National Counselor Pahl, PC-in-C Orr, and C-in-C Wheeler, were signed and returned to the Museum. The date projected for the facility to be ready for occupation is the first week in December 2000. Also noted, that due to an increase in cost of the National Order's record storage, moving the records to the HQ will realize significant savings. It is hoped that the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Camp will assist with coordination of staffing the HQ. C-in-C Wheeler expressed his desire for the HQ to be open to the ASUVCW, and all of the Allied Orders. He also said that he hoped that all Brothers would be able to work at the HQ, should they wish to do so.
Brother Knight agreed to deliver a personal computer, owned by the Order, to National Quartermaster Atkinson, for use in the HQ. JVC-in-C Powell will deliver a printer owned by the Order, and in his possession, to the HQ. C-in-C Wheeler also offered the use of a computer that he owns personally. It was noted that the Order would provide mailing labels to the NCWM, so that they may mail advertisements to Members. Brothers not wishing to receive these mailings may follow procedures outlined in a future issue of The Banner, in order to have their names removed from the mailing list. The CoA then voted to close business on the National Headquarters.
C-in-C Wheeler noted that PC-in-C Harrison, by observing F, C, & L, did an excellent job in handling the situation in the Department of Rhode Island. Camp boundaries have been abolished, allowing a prospective Member to join any Camp he wishes. Also accomplished was SUVCW access to the National Guard Arsenal, where the Department Charter and G.A.R. artifacts have been stored. CoA voted to close business on the issues concerning the Department of Rhode Island.
C-in-C Wheeler expressed his disappointment in there having been only three issues of the Banner published during his term, and noted that it was not the fault of SVC-in-C Krieser. Options were discussed to ensure that four issues would be published in future years.
PC-in-C Johnson reported that after repeated inquiries on the subject of G.A.R. items in their possession, he had very recently received a response from Ms. Jennifer Jones at the Smithsonian. Ms. Jones said that the three donated flags are in fabulous condition. She also noted that the Smithsonian is about to begin a ten-year restoration and preservation effort for its entire flag collection.
Noting the lack of results on the matter, the C-in-C recommended that the incoming C-in-C appoint a new committee to publish a special issue of the Banner for informational and recruiting purposes.
In light of the Department of Kansas' withdrawing as co-host, the CoA affirmed faith in the Department of Missouri to host the National Encampment in the city of Springfield in 2001.
Brother Peterson addressed the CoA, informing them of the deteriorating health of Brother Fred Cauldwell. All present were saddened by the news.
Notice was given the CoA of requests by Ms. Rebecca Pratt. In order to be effective in recording Encampment business, she requested that those speaking in business sessions use microphones, and to identify themselves. The CoA also agreed to reimburse Ms. Pratt in the purchase of a microphone, to remain property of the Order in the custody of the Secretary, in order to produce better quality recordings of Encampment business.
Upon recognition by C-in-C Wheeler, the CoA literally applauded PC-in-C Harrison for his work as Proceedings Editor, recognizing the tremendous amount of work done in the past several months.
A motion made by JVC-in-C Powell that the Executive Director will advise the Fraternal Relations Committee members, concerning their responsibilities in contacting other organizations, was carried. The CoA agreed with James Lyons that the position of Executive Director would start on Sunday, August 20, 2000, with the CoA meeting scheduled for that date.
The motion to adjourn was carried.
Respectfully submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,
Todd A. Shillington