Department of New York
Department & National Encampments held in New York
Prepared by Jerome and Lorraine Orton
1884 Division Encampment, Kingston
The first New York Department Encampment was held Tuesday, May 6, 1884 at City Hall, Kingston, New York. The following is from The Kingston Daily Freeman, Wednesday, May 7, 1884. “The Division Encampment of the Sons of Veterans of the United States, Department of New York, held in the City Hall, called together a fine looking body of young men dressed in neat blue uniforms and had the day been a pleasant one we think they would have generally enjoyed their visit to this city as not much more could have been done by Tappen Camp No. 1 of this city and also by our citizens generally for their proper entertainment. The City Hall furnished them a fine place in which to meet and the young men by their gentlemanly and martial bearing proved they were worthy of what was done for their pleasure. The business meeting was called to order in one of the lower rooms of the hall about 10 o’clock. Col. James E. Purdy was the chairman. The report of the committee on credentials showed that various camps were represented as follows: Tappen Camp No. 1 by alternate representative William R. Healy; Sumner Camp No. 7 by alternate representative Charles B. Schlagefer and past captain Alex Rain; Hecker Camp No. 8 by regular representative______; Joe Hooker Camp by regular representative R. Tobias; Ellsworth Camp No. 10 by regular representative William L. Walsh; Kilpatrick Camp No. 11 by alternate representative S.M. Bowers and past captain H.M. Hapgood; Lymerson Camp No. 14 by regular representative S.A. Waterman; Veteran Camp No. 5 by regular representative G. A. Bender and past captain S.A. Waterman; Phil Kearney Camp No. 19 by regular representative George Sefts; Poney Farnum Camp, No. 17 by alternate M.J. Downing; A.H. VanDegraft Camp No. 18 by Post Captain I.B. Stanton.
After the transaction of the necessary routine business an election of officers for the ensuing term as held in which resulted as follows; Colonel, I.B. Stanton of A. H. Degraft Camp No. 18 of Amsterdam; Lt. Col. Mortimer J. Downing of Sumner Camp No. 7 of New York City; Major, Charles S. McBride of Tappen Camp No. 1 of this city; Chaplain, S.M. Bowers of Kilpatrick Camp No. 11; Surgeon, C.W. Crispell of Tappen Camp No. 1 of this city. The Division Council selected is as follows; Lee Johnson of Camp 14; S.M. Bowerd of Camp 13; William L. Walsh of Camp 13; Henry Pfistor of Camp 8; C.E. Holmes of Camp 15; H.M. Hapgood of Camp 11. The business was lively and quite interesting and much business was done in a short space of time.
At 2 o’clock in the afternoon the Division Encampment adjourned in the large hall upstairs, which is, as is well known, a very pleasant place, but of course yesterday was storming and the grand view of the Catskills, etc. was shut out by the rain and clouds. In the large room a fine collation had been prepared by the lady friends of Tappen Camp and Pratt Post GAR for the boys and those whom they wished to entertain, after serving the report. When the collation had received the attention it deserved, Lt. O’Reilly of Tappen Camp and son of alderman O’Reilly of the city made a welcoming speech to the division encampment to which Post Col. James E. Purdy responded. Col R.W. Anderson, the Commander of Pratt Post and organizer of the first camp of Sons of Veterans in the State of New York, then spoke of that which had led to the organization of the Sons of Veterans and gave much information for their instruction and guidance. Addresses were then made by Col. I. B. Stanton, Lt. Col. Johnson of Cohoes, Dept. GAR Surgeon, C.W. Crispell of Tappen Camp; Lt. Col. M.J. Downing, Major Charles R. McBride of Tappen Camp, Lt. Col. Tobias, A.D.C. Commander-in-Chief of the New York Department and Lt. Col. V. Hamburger of the Advisory Board from the GAR. Adjutant W.M. Elmondorg of Pratt Post, GAR, then relate some of his experiences while in the service in a very entertaining manner, after which they newly elected were installed.
After the installation of officers, the Sons of Veterans formed a line for review and after congratulations were exchanged, Tappen Camp No. 1 escorted the New York delegates to the steamer James W. Baldwin. At the steamer’s dock there were numerous cheers given and received by both parties and its hoped the representatives were pleased with their visit to our city.
In the evening Tappen Camp gave a campfire which was attended by the fife and drum corps and many members of the Pratt Post besides a large number of friends of the Sons of Veterans. Despite the rain the second annual convention maybe said to have been a success. Much regret was expressed the Lt. Col. Charles R. Westbrook was obligated to be absent on the occasion.
The reception committee consisted of Charles O’Reilly, chairman; Charles B. Westbradt, Charles L. McBride, Willey B. Healy and Lewis M. Short, did their work very Acceptably and much success of the affair is due to their untiring effort“.
1884 Division Council Special Meeting, New York City
A special meeting of the Division Council was held in New York City at the village House, on Tuesday, December 16, 1884 at 8 P.M. Located at the corner of Bank and Hudson Streets. I.B. Stanton resigned as colonel of the division on November 14, 1884. This was due to business activity. Charles M. Cott, commander of the Second Grand Division directed the division council to meet and elect a new division commander. S.A. Waterman, quartermaster, resigned after the meeting. There appears to have been some concern of a $63.49 deficiency. Lt. Col. M.J. Downing was elected. Others elected were: Lt. Col. C.L. McBride; Major S.M. Bowers; Chaplain, C.W. Crispell. C.E. Holmes was appointed adjutant and A. Rains as quartermaster.
1885 Division Encampment, Cohoes
The 2nd Division Encampment took place May 18, 1885 in Cohoes at the Lyon Post No. 43, GAR Hall. It was at 64 Remsen St. The commander was M.J. Downing, Lt. Commander, Charles L. McBride and Vice Commander was S.M. Bowers. One of the first orders of business was to send a telegram to U.S. Grant was as follows: “The New York Division, Sons of Veterans in State Encampment assembled, extends to you their utmost sympathy in your severe illness and trust that you may be speedily restored to permanent health”. Following a one hour collation provided by Lymerson Camp #4, the Division Council recommended and it was adopted that legal means be taken to collect the money (over $50) due from I.B. Stanton. A fine of $1 was established for non attendance at Memorial Day ceremonies without suitable excuse. The following were elected: Commander, George J. Foster; Lt. Commander, Charles T. Rain and Vice Commander, E.A. Brocklow.
The proceedings contain the Division Orders of the Commander. Commander Downing’s Order #1 begins, “Having been duly elected at a special meeting of the Division Council held on December 16, 1884 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of I.B. Stanton…”
1886 Division Encampment, New York City
The 3rd Division Encampment took place May 3-4, 1886 in New York City. In the New York Times, May 5, 1886, the following article was printed. “The State Sons of Veterans. The officers and delegates of the New York Division, Sons of Veterans closed their annual meeting last evening with an installation of officers and reception at Wendel’s Assembly Rooms, at West 44th St. The large ballroom was decorated with flowers and flags. The new officers installed were: Colonel, Charles T. Rain; Lt. Col., Burnett J. Doran; Major, E.F. Fellows; Division Chaplain, S.T. Coles. The installation exercises were conducted by Gen. Walter S. Payne, Ohio, Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Veterans. Afterwards there was a great deal of dancing to the music Cappa’s Seventh Regiment Band. The attendance at the reception was large, the Grand Army of the Republic men turning out in force. Among the guests were Col. R.M. Reed of Philadelphia; Gen. George Penniman; the commanders of most of the Grand Army posts of this city and 40 delegates of the Sons of Veterans from various places in the state.”
1887 Division Encampment, Rochester
The 4th Division Encampment took place June 6-7, 1887 in Rochester. The following is from the Rochester and Democrat, Tuesday June 7, 1887. “The annual encampment of the Sons of Veterans of this state commenced yesterday afternoon in the New Osburn House Hall, with about 100 representatives in attendance. The encampment was opened according to the prescribed form after which the committee on credentials reported and members responded to roll call. The principal business of the afternoon was the reading of reports from Colonel Charles T. Rain and Adjutant General Smalling. The former reviewed the work of the year and congratulated the order upon its present condition and the substantial growth of the year. He suggests that provisions be made for a burial and memorial service. From the report of Adjutant Smalling it appears that camps have been instituted during the years at Woodhull, Dalton, New York, Syracuse, Buffalo, Machias, Webster, Dunkirk, Poughkeepsie, Albion, Elmira, Hunter, Olean, LeRoy, Brestau, Nyack, Warsaw, Syracuse, Norwich, Lockport, Wappingers Falls, Troy, Highland and Rosendale.
Two applications for charters are now in hand. The 23 new camps have a total of 210 members. The increase of members in the state during the year is 434, making the present membership 992. The receipts of the year have been $759.68 and expenses $600.24.
The election of officers is a feature of the encampment. The principal office is that of colonel and the canvas has already commenced. The three leading candidates are Henry H. Winchell of Utica, Michael Retel, M.D. of Buffalo and E.F. Fellows of Brockport. Among the Buffalo delegates is Dr. Jacob Goldberg, a young physician.
The present officers of the state encampment are: Colonel Charles T. Rain, Cohoes; Lt. Colonel, B.J. Doran, New York; Major, E.F. Fellows of Brockport; Chaplain, L.T. Cole, Port Leyden; Adjutant, Howard A. Smalling, Cohoes; Quartermaster, Harry J. Carpenter, Cohoes; Inspector, C.H. Hendee, Lowville; Judge Advocate, S. Benway, Utica; Medical Director, M. Retel, M.D., Buffalo; Chief of Staff, F.C. Stanbrough, Owego; Division Council, F.W. Kirwin, Charles Slaughter and O.F. Morse of New York.
The national division of the order was organized at Pittsburgh in 1880, through the instrumentality of Major A.P. Davis of Pittsburgh, General W.E. Ross of Baltimore and Colonel R.M. Reid of Philadelphia and GAR men. The object of the organization is to perpetuate the Grand Army of the Republic, to assist widows and orphans of soldiers of the late war and to decorate the graves of soldiers and children of soldiers. Any person whose father fought for the country in the late war and received an honorable discharge is eligible for membership. The organization has now, 3,300 members is constantly growing. Divisions have been formed in every northern state and in Missouri and Virginia. Walter S. Payne of Fosteria, Ohio is commander-in-chief of the national division. The New York division is the most prosperous one. It was organized in 1882 and Colonel J.R. Purdy of Cohoes was its first commander.
The local committee of arrangements consists of C.A. Glidden, D.F. Seltz, T.D. Brath and F.J. Hawes and in addition to the reception Tuesday evening an excursion to the lake is in order for Wednesday night. Stark Camp of Brockport will arrive in body today.
From the June 8, 1897 edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “Much routine business was yesterday transacted at the sessions of the New York State Division Encampment of the Sons of Veterans at the New Osburn House. In the forenoon reports of division officers were read, showing the order to be in flourishing condition throughout the state. Nominations for officers were also made in the morning. The chief contest was over the position of colonel and three nominations were made, E.F. Fellows of Brockport; Michael Retel of Buffalo and H.H. Winchell of Utica. On the third ballot Mr. Retel withdrew in favor of Mr. Fellows and the later was elected. He is a popular merchant of Brockport, about 30 years of age. The election of officers took place in the afternoon with the following results: Colonel, E.F. Fellows, Brockport; Lt. Col., Michael Retel, Buffalo; Major, H.A. Smalling, Cohoes; Delegates to national encampment, C.H. Mason, Lansingburg; Alternate, Charles L. McBride, Kingston; representative delegate, E.W. Hatch, Buffalo; Alternate, W. Lacey, Dunkirk; Division Council, W.R. Mudford, Syracuse; Jacob Goldberg, M.D., Buffalo and Joseph Hydron, Lansingburg.
In the evening the newly elected officers were installed by Colonel R.M. Reed of Philadelphia, who is on the staff of the commander-in-chief. Colonel Reed, at the conclusion of the ceremonies of installation, delivered an able address, giving the young men much excellent advice. Resolution thanking Mr. Almy of the New Osburn House, for the courtesies shown and Mr. Bauer, the efficient sergeant-at-arms, were adopted. The encampment then adjourned without date. The next encampment will be held in Schenectady.
Parties were given last night in honor of the visiting Sons of Veterans by C.A. Glidden Camp at Germania Hall and Pack’s Dancing Academy. Both were largely attended and greatly enjoyed. The committee of arrangements consisted of C.A. Glidden, C.F. Wagner, C.F. Seitz, C. Crump, J. Mahoney, A. Crouch, G. Hatch and A. Erbelding“.
1888 Division Encampment, Schenectady
The 5th Division Encampment took place May 21-23, 1888 in Schenectady. Meetings were held at the A. Walton Camp, Sons of Veterans headquarters. The following officers presided. Colonel, Ernest Fellows; Lt. Colonel, M. Retel and Major Howard A. Smalling. It was reported that there were 66 camps and 1,400 members.
1889 Division Encampment, Peekskill
The 6th Division Encampment took place July 9-10, 1889 in Peekskill at the YMCA Hall. The presiding officers were Colonel E.W. Hatch and Sergeant Edward Trenchard.
1890 Division Encampment, Syracuse
The 7th Division Encampment was held in Syracuse, June 17-19, 1890. Merriam Camp gave a reception for Charles Griffin, Secretary of State of Indiana and Commander-in-Chief, Sons of Veterans at the Alhambra. At least 400 delegates were expected. Headquarters were at the Globe Hotel. Wednesday afternoon a parade was held. All the delegates and camps were in line. The first regiment, Sons of Veterans, which consisted of 7 camps from northern New York State. The regiment is made up of about 300 members who arrived on the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad. The June 20, 1890 edition of the Syracuse Herald and the following story: “The Sons of Veterans still hold the fort in Syracuse. Yesterday was the second day of the encampment and at 8 o’clock in the morning the delegates met in the Alhambra. Col. Addington made his annual report. Division M. J. Severance, Jr., reported that sixty new camps had been organized during the last year and that the membership had increased nearly 3,000 and quartermaster A.B. Kierman was unable to make an exact report of the finances of the division until the division council had finished their work in auditing the bills. The receipts were about $1,300 and the expenses were about $1,100.
The election of officers will take place this morning at 11 o’clock.
At 1 P.M. the report of the Division Council was made. At 3 o’clock the grand parade took place. There were about 700 uniformed Sons of Veterans in line. Music was furnished by Penn and Lee’s Band and several drum corps.
Last evening occurred the grand ball at the Alhambra given in honor of Colonel Addington and staff. The hall was beautifully decorated with flags and banners and had about 700 couples present.
Following were the committees: Reception, John Milligan, George Schattle, E.M. Benell, D.G. Wyckoff, LE. Fuller, LeRoy Oliver, Samuel Grant, Duncan W. Peck, George Stelle, John Mudord Munroe, William R. Mudford, Edward Smith, N.V. Clark, John VanZandt, Charles Miller, A.G. Courtney, Jr., Mark Manning, William Rooney, Gus Van Schoick, Grant Crampton, George Land, C.F, Miller. Arrangements: H.M. Ford, William R. Mudford, Gus VanSchoick, C.C. DePuy, George H. Hubbs, Gus Orith, Charles M. Smith, H.C. Brunnett, F.H. Barnum, Charles H. Knapp, Dexter B. Hotaling, William F. Hoffman, Charles A. Stebbins, Thomas W. Towe, William H. Perry, J.B. Van Auken, Claude Allen, A.S. Eastman, George O. White, Wesley Evans, John Hoffman, Joseph Liebman, George O. Hart, Samuel Phelps, Harry C. Ostrander, John Flick, W.F. Hook, James S. Smith, James M. Scott and Edward Dutche.
This morning the first order of business will be the nomination and election of officers. The encampment will probably close tonight”.
1891 Division Encampment, Binghamton
The 8th Division Encampment was held June 23-25, 1891 in Binghamton. Hotel Bennett was headquarters. The delegates assembled in Bennett Hall on Water Street and welcomed Gen. LeLand J. Webb, Commander-in-Chief and Col. William H. Wyker, Division Commander. Both men gave speeches extolling the virtues of the GAR and Sons. CinC Webb said that he received a letter from the commander of the Department of Georgia, GAR. There were 45,000 unmarked Union graves within 60 miles of him and only 250 comrades to mark the graves and he needed help! The response was overwhelming. The Sons helped decorate the graves of ten thousand graves of unknown comrades in Beaufort, South Carolina area. There were nearly 250 voting delegates. Many members rode electric cars to the state hospital and Ross Park and other area sites.
1892 Division Encampment, Amsterdam
The 9th Division Encampment was held June 14-16, 1892 in Amsterdam. Meetings were held in Association Hall. A drama, “The Veteran’s Son, was presented. Rev. G.B. Fairhead of Utica editor of the “Grand Army Journal”, was present. In the window of Joseph Vincent’s barbershop in the Hotel Warner block, there were large paintings of Generals Grant and Sheridan and President Lincoln. John E. Mason, of Rome, judge advocate, drafted a bill for the incorporation of the division under the laws of New York State which was introduced in the assembly and passed by that body. The bill was passed by the senate and the governor signed the bill making it law. A resolution was passed that instructed delegates to the national encampment to ask the body to restore to his former rank, Col. George A. Addington, who was recently court-martialed and suspended. Past Colonel Wyker of Goshen received his gold cross of the order. A grand parade was held which included among many others, officers of the SV and GAR, about 35 various camps, posts, bands and drum corps. A baseball game between the YMCA and S of V was held in Guy Park where the Y won 14 to 1. The Ladies Aid Society, (Auxiliary to Sons) held their first division encampment.
1893 Division Encampment, Clayton
The 10th Division Encampment took place in June 20-22 in Clayton.
1894 Division Encampment, Middleport
The 11th Division Encampment was held in Middleport, June 19-21, 1894. Headquarters was established at the firemen’s building. Business sessions and the campfire were held in the Opera House which was torn down in the early 1980’s.
Ladies of the Universalist and Methodist Episcopal Churches and the W.J. Hinchey and Co. served ice cream. Businesses and residences were decorated with flags and bunting. Daniel Butterfield addressed the encampment on June 19th. County Clerk, James Compton spoke at the campfire. Other organizations present were the Lockport Union School Cadets and the 29th Separate Company of Militia. The parade, in which about 200 Sons of Veterans members marched, went through the principal streets of the village ending in front of Hotel Rich. Over 80 camps were represented. There were excursions to Niagara Falls and Lewiston.
1895 Division Encampment, Syracuse
The 12th Division Encampment was held July 204, 1895 in Syracuse. Meetings were held at the Alhambra and headquarters were at the Empire House. There were about 170 camps. The concert saw 500 people at the Alhamra. The treasury had a $400 balance. Lewis Macy of Pulaski was reelected division commander. Commander-in-Chief W.E. Bundy of Cincinnati installed the newly elected officers. Past Commander-in-Chief George Marks was presented with a gold watch with the following inscription: “To General G.W. Marks by his friends of the New York Division of the Sons of Veterans, in token of their great regard. Twelfth annual encampment, July 2,3 and 4, 1895”. A four division parade on July 4 started at Clinton Square and snaked its way around the streets of downtown Syracuse.
1896 Division Encampment, Waverly
The 13th Division Encampment was held in Waverly, NY, June 23-25, 1896. Headquarters were at the Tioga. The Ladies Aid Society was headquartered at the New Warford. Business sessions for the Sons was the Opera House and the LAS used the GAR Hall. Mayor E.G. Tracy spoke at the campfire. A three division parade was shortened due to rain. On Wednesday evening the LAS provided a reception at the GAR Hall. Afterwards a grand military ball was held at the opera house. Membership was reported to be about 3,500 and the balance of $500 to $600 in property. Medal of Honor receiptant, John Tribe of Halsey Valley was present. He was a member of Co. G, 5th New York Cavalry and was born in Tioga, NY. He received the Medal of Honor on June 11, 1895 for action on August 25, 1862 at Waterloo Bridge, VA, where he voluntarily assisted in the bringing and destruction of the bridge under heavy fire of the enemy.
1897 Division Encampment, Auburn
The 14th Division Encampment was held in Auburn, June 21-24, 1897. General A.A. Diven Camp #77 was the first to arrive. They set up 23 tents at the rear of Burt’s Woods and carried out drill sessions. The camp was given a tour of Auburn Prison and attended church at the First Baptist Church. Osborne House was the Son’s headquarters and Genesee Opera House was where the business sessions were held. Nearly 2,500 people attended the public campfire. City Judge James W. Hart, a member of the Sons, presided and Mayor Orlando Lewis addressed the guests. Dabinett and White Military Band played music. Up to 200 members were present at the second day. The LAS reported 16 local societies and 420 members. The LAS had a reception in the parlors of Avery House which was their headquarters. City Judge Hart was marshal and presented a gallant appearance in his saddle as the parade made a winding route from City Hall and back. Mrs. Tomer, president of the LAS and her staff brought up the rear riding in carriages. Mrs. Tomer was presented roses and a Dresden China chocolate pitcher by her friends. Col. A.G. Courtney was presented the silver cross of the order. In the evening after elections delegates were entertained with a clam bake and drinks.
1898 Division Encampment, Peekskill
The 15th Division Encampment was held June 28-30, 1898 in Peekskill. Many of the delegates arrived via steam boats from Haverstraw, Yonkers, Dobbs Ferry and Watervliet. Meetings were held in Crytic Hall. On Tuesday evening a grand parade was held. A grand stand was erected in front of City Hall where the parade was reviewed. The line of march was about 90 minutes through the streets of Peekskill. The Franciscan Convent was illuminated and decorated and many children were outside the convent watching the parade. A huge tent was erected at Oakside School where the Woman’s Relief Corps waited on more than 500 people. Many officers of the various organizations spoke. Afterwards, many delegates went home via the steam boats. On Wednesday evening, about 400 people took a moon light trip on the steamer Chrystenah to the Poughkeepsie Bridge. Professor Thornell’s orchestra played. The price for the general public was fifty cents. The excursion ended about 1 A.M. The LAS held their 7th annual encampment at the GAR Hall and were headquartered at the Eagle Hotel. Resolutions included that the LAS held Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty (F, C and L) as dear as life itself; thanks given to DeLancy Cole Camp #78, the WRC and the citizens of Peekskill be thanked for their hard work and the GAR be thanked for the use of their hall for their meetings.
Outgoing division president Mrs. Lida E. Tomer of Auxiliary No. 1 of Rochester was given a diamond badge. The Saturday June 25, 1898 edition of the Highland Democrat had this in its article about the encampment. “The first society of the Sons of Veterans, of which there is any record, was instituted in the City of Albany, in the later part of 1879, and was known as the Post System. In 1880 the first state organization was perfected in this state and in 1886 a National Department was instituted. John J. Dowling, of Albany, N.Y. was the first Commander-in-Chief. In 1881, Major A.P. Davis, of Pittsburgh, PA, a veteran of the war of the rebellion formed a society of Sons of Veterans, which he termed the Camp System. Both of these organizations became popular. The principles of each were identical, although their laws of government were entirely dissimilar. The posts were patterned closely after the parent organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, while the camps were organized more on a military basis. After many fruitless attempts the two orders were consolidated in 1890, adopting the title of camps for all subordinate lodges and remodeling the entire organization” DeLancy Cole Camp #7 was organized August 8, 1887 as a post camp. It was named in honor of DeLancy Cole of Peekskill who enlisted in the Harris Light, 2nd NY Cavalry in 1862. He was captured and died in a southern prison along with thousands of his fellow soldiers and lies in an unmarked grave. The camp reported 77 members.
1899 Division Encampment, Utica
The 16th Division Encampment was held June 27-28, 1899 in Utica. Two hundred members were present for the opening session at Music Hall. The Sons and LAS were quartered at the Butterfield. At the first business session a resolution was introduced that all printing of whatever nature done for the Sons of Veterans shall appear the union label of the International Typographical Union. Upwards of 100 members of the LAS had meetings in the GAR Hall. The Sons approved $200 for delegate expenses to the commander-in-chief. Three hundred members marched in the parade.
1900 Division Encampment, Brooklyn
The 17th division encampment was held June 26-28, 1900 in Brooklyn. Meetings were held at the YMCA, 504 Fulton St. The opening session had about 200 members present. None of the guests speakers showed up in the morning. The LAS had their meetings in the lecture room of the YMCA. There was a trip to Rockaway Beach, the new iron pier being at their disposal all day.
1901 Division Encampment, Newburgh
The 18th Division Encampment was held June 24-26, 1901 in Newburgh. Meetings were held in Stewart’s Hall. Upon the arrival of the division commander and president, the local camp rendered a rifle salute from Washington’s headquarters. Delegates stayed at the Palatine, The United State Hotel, The Deli House and the Clinton Hotel. Mayor Wilson addressed a joint opening. Governor Odell gave a brief address at the campfire, the first time a governor attended a Sons of Veterans encampment. Guests went to West Point on the steamer Mary Powell and returned on the steamer Ramsdel. The steamship Mary Powell, 1861-1920, was the best known American side wheeler of the 19th century, known as the “Queen of the Hudson”. The annual parade was plagued by extreme heat. Four hundred sixty delegates were registered. J.C. Sawyer of Matteawan was recommended by camp 78 of Peekskill to receive his rights as Past Commander of the post system. The LAS conducted its 10th annual encampment.
1902 Division Encampment, Fulton
The 19th department encampment was held June 17-19, 1902 in Fulton. An open meeting for all members and the public was held with Major J.A. Foster welcoming everyone. A parade to Oswego Falls Fair Grounds where entertainment was held for everyone. Price of admission was 15 cents. On Wednesday evening a grand military ball was held in the K.O.T.M. Hall. The LAS met at the GAR Hall. Receptions were held at both the GAR Hall and S of V Hall. The GAR hall was located over Lahser’s Book Store where all veterans of the Civil War were invited at 1 PM on June 18.
1903 Division Encampment, Seneca Falls
The 20th division encampment was held June 23-25 in Seneca Falls. The Masonic Temple was site of the meetings. There was no debt and there was a balance of $642. A public meeting was held Tuesday evening. General Henry T. Noyes could not attend due to ill health. The weather improved on Wednesday and a great parade took place. Local police, the Seneca Falls Drum Corps and the Waterloo Coronet Band took part. Nearly 300 delegates from 24 camps marched in uniform. The rain held off until the parade was over. A moonlight excursion, without a moon, took place at the Cayuga Lake Park Pavilion.
1904 Division Encampment, Newark
The 21st division encampment was held June 28-30, 1904 in Newark.
1905 Division Encampment, Watertown
The 22nd division encampment was held June 14-16, 1905 in Watertown. About 250 Sons and auxiliary members were present at Washington Hall for the opening the encampment. May C.P. Bingham spoke and Huff’s Orchestra provided music. General Bradley Winslow spoke as well as Commander-in-Chief Duston of Dwight , IL. For the sixth year, PDP Adeline G. Moore, WRC, of Brooklyn, awarded a gold badge to the S of V member who recruited the largest number of new members. This year the award went to T.C. Cazeau of Rochester. She in turn received a silver loving cup, suitably engraved. It was reported there were 3,200 members in the NY Division. The LAS met in the Music Hall. Nellie E. Wiley of Watertown received a gold badge with diamonds for recruiting 39 new members from Mrs. Moore. In the evening a banquet was held at Rothstock’s. Toasts were given to the Sons of Veterans, Sons of Veteran’s Reserve, Past Division Commander, Past Presidents of the Auxiliary and the GAR. Heat prevented many from parading and only 100 were in line. They took a winding path around central Watertown. After the parade, many boarded a train for Sackett’s Harbor. In the evening a military ball was held at the armory. Bragger’s Orchestra provided music. Dancing was from 9 to 2. Ladies of the Maccabees provided ice cream and cake to the 100 couples who attended. At the final session, $60 was contributed for a memento for E.C. Parkinson, a veteran and a son of a veteran of Rochester. He was the oldest member of the Sons in New York. The auxiliary had about 75 members present for the final session.
1906 Division Encampment, Rochester
The 23rd division Encampment was held June 26-28, 1906 in Rochester.
1907 Division Encampment, Elmira
The 24th Division Encampment was July 1-3, 1907 in Elmira. It was reported that there were about 4,000 sons and 2,000 auxiliary members. Nearly 300 delegates represented 120 camps and 45 auxiliaries. The opening session was at the state armory. Mayor Brickway welcomed the guests. The Sons met in the drill hall and women in the parlors. A public campfire was held at the armory and the Masonic Quartet sang. On Tuesday afternoon a trip was taken to Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake. Upon their return a bean bake was held at Roricks’s Glen. Some attended an opera.
1908 Division Encampment, Buffalo
The 25th division encampment was held June 16-18, 1908 in Buffalo. Nearly 7,000 veterans and guests gathered in Convention Hall for the opening session. A portrait of Lincoln was presented by Sarah J. Ehrmann of the Ladies of the GAR. After her presentation, Dept. Commander Swift, said, “Comrade, salute!” and 3,000 veterans gave their gesture of respect. Councilman Burt promised the portrait would hang in city hall next to President McKinley. Everyone was waiting for the beloved Corporal James Tanner, Past Commander-in-Chief of the GAR to speak. Civil War veterans were dying at 150 a day and there only 250,000 alive now. The GAR was headquartered a the Iroquois Hotel. Over 2,700 delegates registered the first day. At the silver anniversary Banquet of the Sons of Veterans, Lt. Gov. Lewis Stuyvesant Chandler spoke briefly. He said in part, “Your society was founded to perpetuate the memory of our sires who fought for our flag and its object is truly a noble one. To the veterans of the Civil War we owe a debt we can never repay. They have been the backbone of our country and the state in the days of war and later in the days of peace. New York’s sons by the thousands have fallen on the battlefield and we may count it one of the greatest achievements of our Empire State to have given he sons without stint for her country’. Henry H. Lewis spoke about colored veterans like himself and what they did during the Civil War and during the Revolution. The Sons met at the YMCA. The Ladies of the GAR met at the GAR Hall in Convention Hall, the Daughters of Veterans in the parlor of Convention hall and WRC in Central Presbyterian Church.
1909 Division Encampment, Corning
The 26th Division Encampment was held June 8-10, 1909 in Corning.
1910 Division Encampment, Cooperstown
The 27th Division encampment was held June 22-24, 1910 in Cooperstown. Between 25-300 Sons and Auxiliary registered. The village was decorated with flag. Many rented private rooms in the village and hotels. The Sons met at Fireman’s Hall. There were 125 camps and 4,645 members. The treasury had a balance of over $900. The auxiliary met at the O-te-sa-ga’s ballroom. In the evening a pubic meeting was held at Fireman’s Hall. Mayor John H. King extended the freedom of the village to the delegates. Ada Mohr of the WRC offered a gold badge to the camp recruiting the most members. The Daughters gave a flag to the Sons. Conner’s Orchestra played the music. On Thursday afternoon the delegates rode the steamer Mohgean and cruised around Otsego Lake. In the evening a banquet was held in the O-te-sa-ga.
1911 Division Encampment, Penn Yan
The 28th Division Encampment was held June 13-15, 1911 in Penn Yan. There were 188 delegates meeting in Sampson’s Theater and the Auxiliary met at Red Men’s Hall. It was reported there were 150 camps and 6,500 members in the state. Mrs. Ada Mohr gave her usual gold badge for the member recruiting the most new members. On Tuesday evening, Auxiliary Vice President, Mr. E. L. Horton hosted a reception at her home on Clinton St. There were 75 voting members of the Auxiliary present. It was reported there were new auxiliaries in Pike, Glens Falls, Theresa, Nunda and Potsdam. The Auxiliary also received a gold badge from Mrs. Mohr. On Wednesday morning, a public ceremony was held by the auxiliary in front of the court house. M. Winton Palmer, school superintendent gave a speech and thanked the organizations for the American flag. Later in the day, a ride was given on Keuka Lake on steamer Penn Yan. One stop was at Grove Springs. The Penn Yan Band went with them. In the evening there was band concert in Court House Park followed by a banquet in Red Men’s Hall. Over 200 people attended. Three members ran for department commander, Edwin Sanford of Albany, William Klein of Syracuse and Stephen Ryan of Norwich. Edwin Sanford was elected after 3 ballots. The office of secretary was made permanent and the salary set at $300. Many private homes were rented to delegates. A large “Welcome” banner was raised above Main Street. Mayor Bordwell welcomed the guests.
1912 Division Encampment, Ithaca
The 29th Division Encampment took place on June 18-20, 1912 in Ithaca. Charles H. Cary, secretary of the camp in Livonia walked to Ithaca, a distance of 101 miles in a little over 3 days, “Just for the fun of it”. The Sons and Auxiliary headquartered at the Hotel Ithaca. Batavia put in a bid for the next department encampment. This city claims the first man enlisting in the Union army. Charles F. Rand, who was the owner of a medal granted by Congress which stated that he was the first man whose enlistment was received in Washington. The city also claims being the home of General Emory Upton, author of Upton’s Military Tactics. The Auxiliary met in the First Methodist Church. On Tuesday evening, June 18, a campfire was held in the First Methodist Church. Coleman’s Orchestra played. City Attorney McAllister spoke. Membership was reported to be 5,830. On Wednesday afternoon, delegates toured Cornell University. The banquet in the evening featured GAR Commander Archie C. Ryder of Three Mile Bay Post 47. Major D.W. Burdick of Ithaca was among the speakers. Milton Gibbs noted that Ithaca’s Sydney Post GAR had John Barnard as commander for four years. He placed the first flag on the summit of Lookout Mountain. Major R.R. Riddell of Albany was the last speaker. He had a medal placed on him by President Lincoln for bravery on the field of battle. (Note by J. Orton. This was the Medal of Honor. He was a lieutenant in Co. I, 61st NYSV and the MOH was awarded for capturing the flag of the 6th AL Cavalry at Sailors Creek, VA on April 6, 1865). Coleman’s Orchestra played during the banquet at the Methodist Church. William H. Klein of Syracuse, defeated Milton Gibbs of Rochester for office of department commander, 123 to 99.
1913 Department Encampment, Batavia
The 30th Department Encampment was held June 24-25, 1913 in Batavia. The Sons met at the Methodist Episcopal Church auditorium and the Auxiliary met in the chapel. The evening before the opening session, a program was held at the ME Church welcoming the delegates to Batavia. Two hundred fifty six sons were registered, the largest at any encampment up to that time and nearly 100 Auxiliary members were present at the first business session. There were 7,000 Sons of Veterans reported in the state. A public banquet was held at 7 PM and about 250 attended. Frances M. Fox of Rochester was a special guest as she was the national president of he Auxiliary to the Sons of Veterans. Mayor Wiard welcomed everyone to Batavia. Upton Camp of Batavia Drum Corps paraded all around the encampment sites. Stewart Warner of Lilly Post 66, GAR spoke about large bronze tablets bearing Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Comrade Warner was from Syracuse. He was patriotic instructor of Onondaga County and chairman of the Association of Patriotic Instructors. His association is trying to put a plaque in every school house in the county. He offered one to the camp in NY Department which had the greatest percentage of membership increase during the coming year. The YMCA gave badge wearing members free use of their facilities.
1914 Department Encampment
The 31st Department Encampment was held June 18-20, 1914.. Bert Bently of Glens Falls won the Ada G. Mohr Medal for recruiting the most new members, 218! PDC Klein of Syracuse offered to continue his practice of giving a medal for the second highest. There was a banquet in the armory and a trip to Lake George. During the last evening, a grand parade and reception was held for over 1,000. Mrs. Charles Cowan san, “An Ode to Lincoln”, composed by Lelia Shipman Tromblee of Glens Falls. This was the first public performance. The program ended by the drill team of the auxiliary presenting, “Our County, America”.
1915 Department Encampment, Albany
The 32nd Department Encampment took place June 23-24, 1915 in Albany. This was the first time all 5 allied orders and the GAR held their encampments together. This was the first time in 27 years the GAR held the encampment in Albany and at that time the capitol was in an incomplete condition. The Sons and Auxiliary were headquartered at the Ten Eyck Hotel, across the street from the capitol. The Ladies of the GAR held their meetings in the Senate Chambers. The Woman’s Relief Corps assembled at the First Lutheran Church. This congregation of the Lutheran Church is the oldest one in the United States. GAR headquarters were in the blue room of the Ten Eyck Hotel. A resolution was passed to hold all future department encampment with the GAR. The Daughters of Veterans organized a new tent, Margaret E. Dander Veer Tent No. 28 in honor of the late wife of Dr. Albert Vander Veer. Gov. Whitman was given an associate membership in Steinwahr Post 192, GAR, New York City. He received a gold badge. Justice Giegerich and Jacob Ruppert of New York are associate post members. A huge American flag hung at the intersection of Broadway and State Streets. Proctor’s Theater showed a movie on the Battle of Gettysburg. Proctor’s Theater is still in business in 2011. A parade was held in downtown Albany.
1916 Department Encampment, Utica
The 33rd Division Encampment was held June 27-29, 1916 Utica.
1917 Department Encampment, Saratoga Springs
The 34th Department Encampment was held June 26-28, 1917 in Saratoga Springs. Solomon Russell of nearby Salem, Washington County presided for the GAR. The GAR headquarter at the United States Hotel. Governor Charles S. Whitman was a speaker at the campfire. The GAR elected 47 delegates to the national encampment. The Sons voted $250 to be used for the next bond issue of the government. The delegates worried about the war in Europe. There were 143 Sons delegates that met in Fraternal Hall. The Ada G. Mohr Medal went to George L. Cartwright for securing 68 new members. The gold badge from PDC William H. Klein for second place went to C.S. DeWitt of Wayland. The Auxiliary gave $20 to the Red Cross. The Daughters met at Bethesda Church, which still stand in 2011.The Auxiliary gave a reception in honor of Burt J. Bentley of Ilion, department commander, at Miss Ryan’s Academy. The Woman’s Relief Corps, assembled at the First Methodist Church and gave a flag to the church. The Ladies of the GAR met in Canfield Casino in Congress Park and is still in use in 2011.
The parade went from City Hall, which still stands in 2011, south to Convention Hall, a distance of less than a mile.
1918 Department Encampment, Ithaca
The 35th Department Encampment was held June 25-27, 1918 in Ithaca. U.S. Grant Post of Brooklyn arrived via the Delaware and Lackawana Railroad and were met by Sidney and James E. Mix Posts GAR. They were escorted to the Hotel Ithaca via a parade with the BSA and Star Crescent Bands. This post had many famous members; Slocum, Howard, Admiral Melville and George Tail, who was the last man to see the face of U.S. Grant as he stood guard at his casket when it finally closed. Dr. Lewis Pitcher was elected GAR department commander. The June 25 edition of the Ithaca Daily News had this short biography about Dr. Pilcher. “Comrade Comrade Lewis Pilcher of Grant Post is looked forward to as the new commander. Dr. Pilcher was in hospital service between ‘61 and ‘65 and after the war, when was graduated as a physician, he was a surgeon in the Navy for a number of years. He then went into private practice and has become one of the first surgeons of the country. He was made a fellow of the American Surgical Society some years ago. This year, this society has re-elected him president. The early as well as later career of Comrade Pilcher was unusually brilliant and his services in his every walk of life have been of rare usefulness. He was born July 28, 1845. At the age of 13 he entered the University of Michigan from which he was graduated in 1862, a month before attaining the age of 17, the youngest person ever to graduate from that institution. He studied for the medical profession until February 1864, when he enlisted in the Army as a hospital steward and served until September 1865, when he mustered out, the war being ended, after a service of 1 year and eight months. First assigned to the 2nd regiment, United State Colored Cavalry, he served in Virginia for about 2 months. There then being an urgent call for capable men for hospital service in the West, he was transferred to the Department of Missouri and place on duty at the United State General Hospital at Springfield, Missouri, where he remained until was mustered out. Resuming his medical studies, he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1866”. Emily J. Tompkins was elected president of the Ladies of the GAR. They sold $30,000 of liberty bonds. She was the daughter of Daniel E. Jerman, past commander of GAR Post #30, New York. The WRC presented a flag to the New York State Cadet Corps of Ithaca at Foster Hall. On Wednesday morning,, June 20, the grand parade was held. Mrs. L.B. Prisk of New York presented each veteran a boutonniere. One highlight was A.H. Stafford of GAR Post 285, Jamestown. He was the leader of the “Sheepskin Band”, a one person drum solo. He served with Co. B, 112th NY and with Dewey in Manila. Gov. Whitman addressed the campfire. He began his speech by saying, “If we cannot beat them in this war, then our heroic dead died in vain.” The Baptist Church served chicken dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Sons met at the First Methodist Church. The Ladies of the Gar at the West State Street Elks Club. The Daughters met at the Episcopal Parish House on North Cayuga Street and the Sons Auxiliary met at the North Aurora Street First Methodist Church.
1919 Department Encampment, Elmira
The 36th Department Encampment took place June 24-26, 1919 in Elmira. The Sons meetings were held in the Odd Fellows Temple. There were about 350 delegates. There were 134 camps and 5,684 members. A reception and dance was held at the Masonic Temple by the Auxiliary. Albert J. Clark of Utica was elected Dept. Senior vice Commander. He was overseas with the YMCA. Retiring department commander Cazeau was presented $250. Zoe Williams of Rochester and Mr. Turk of Schenectady both recruited the most members, 22 each. Mrs. Mohr said will have another badge made. Retiring Commander Cazeau presented a flag to Pierce Camp of Rochester for recruiting. There were about 200 auxiliary members present. Claudia Clarke of Schenectady received a special flag for organizing the first auxiliary during the year. Governor Alfred E. Smith addressed the 2000 guests and delegates at the campfire in the state armory. PCinC Corporal James Tanner received an ovation almost as great at the governor. The GAR was headed by Dr. Lewis Pilcher of Brooklyn. Many of the veterans were taken to Sullivan’s Monument. Resolutions passed by the GAR were for monthly pensions of $50 for veterans and at least $30 for widows and the state legislature to appropriate a sum of money to erect a suitable memorial to the hero of New Orleans and Mobile Bay, Admiral Farragut in Woodlawn Cemetery in Brooklyn. Col. Joseph E. Edwell of Buffalo was elected department commander. The D of V had 82 registered delegates.
1920 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 37th Department Encampment was held in June 22-24, 1920 in Syracuse. The Sons were headquartered in the Yates Hotel. The report for June 30, 1920 shoed 118 camps and 5,058 members. There were 16 camps and 626 members dropped during the year. At their opening session, former mayor Walter R. Stone made an address. Their outing was to South Bay. They approved a resolution in support of ousting of five socialists members of the New York State Assembly. The Ladies of the GAR met in the auditorium of the YMCA. Anna L. French of Auburn, Dept. President, received a diamond studded gold badge. The WRC met at the 4th Presbyterian Church and were headquartered at the Onondaga Hotel. Alfred Stacy of Elbridge was elected GAR Dept. Commander by the 503 registered guests. The parade started at St. Mary’s Circle (now Columbus Circle), went along the streets of downtown and ended up at the NYS Armory. United States Senator James W. Wadsworth, Jr., spoke to the gathering of over 2,000. Most of the 500 veterans were over 70. The public library had a special exhibit of Lincoln and Civil War photographs on display. Thomas P. Suite of NYC and secretary of the Star Spangled Banner Association was pleased with a resolution that condemned the lack of respect shown to the song. It was the plan of the association to incorporate the Star Spangled Banner Association with a Citizens Corps for the purpose of perpetuating their work.
1921 Department Encampment, Binghamton
The 38th Department Encampment was held in Binghamton, June 23-25, 1921. The GAR and the WRC were headquartered in the Hotel Bennett. The Sons were headquartered in Hotel Crandall and meetings were at the Odd Fellows Temple. The Ada G. Mohr gold badge was won by H.L. Johnson of Utica who recruited 43 members. Mayor Thomas Wilson welcomed the guests at an assembly at the armory. The grand parade in the evening started at the armory and worked its back after twisting through the streets of the city. The campfire afterwards featured many speakers including Governor Nathan L. Miller. One of the resolutions that was adopted directed that all Civil War veterans employed by the government as laborers for 15 years or more and reach the age of 70 be placed on the retired list. The Daughters of Veterans had 114 registered delegates. Tent 17 of Ithaca won the silver loving cup for the tent raising the most funds for the organization during the year. Maude Lee of Tent 24, presented a $10 gold piece to Margaret Slocum of Tent 12 for the organization fund of the tent.
1922 Department Encampment, Utica
The 39th Department Encampment was held June 6-8, 1922 in Utica. Hotel Utica was headquarters for all the organizations. About 1,800 delegates registered. The GAR was headquarter in the English Room. A four division parade was held after a grand dinner at which Commander-in-Chief Lewis S. Pilcher, MD, of Brooklyn spoke. Two hundred thirty seven GAR members marched in the parade. Mayor Douglas and Governor Miller reviewed the parade from the mayor’s home. Afterwards a campfire was held at the state armory where Governor Nathan L. Miller spoke. A dinner was held in honor of Frederick R. Meres, commander of Mitchell Post of New York. He was former editor of the Mt. Kisco New. He recited a poem he composed, “The Battle of Gettysburg”. The election of GAR Dept. Commander was 78 votes for Capt. LaFayette Ames and 228 for Calvin Brainard. The Daughters met at the Thorn Memorial Chapel. They presented the GAR a check for $1,150 which resulted in the Department Commander Julius Isaacs giving Dept. President Countryman a kiss approved by 2,500.
The Sons of Veterans met at the Labor Temple. Membership was reported at 4,912. A memorial service was held for 4 great members of the order who died during the year. PCinC Bartow S. Weeks, PDC Franz Sigel, PDC George Addington and PGDG Raphael Tobias.
1923 Department Encampment, Buffalo
The 40th Department Encampment was held May 22-24, 1923 in Buffalo. A special train took the delegates to Niagara Falls before the encampment was officially opened. A large American flag flew from the top of Hotel Statler where the GAR was headquartered. It was rumored that this would be the last meeting of the GAR. Thomas J. McConkey of Brooklyn, the department commander said, “There are stronger ties binding the GAR men together than in any other organizations and it would be a shame to let these gatherings died. I hope those who came here from the larger cities of the state will urge their chambers of commerce to extend invitations for our next encampment, as we have received none from any town this year’. The retiring department commander, Calvin Brainard, received a polished and engraved shell case from Verdun Battlefield by Mrs. Sarah J. Ehrman, was elected to the good will delegation of 87 Americans that visited the devastated war area. Some of the notables attending were: James W. Newton from San Francisco, William McKinley of Poughkeepsie, first cousin to the late president William McKinley Mark D. Cheney of Jamestown, who could still wear his 5th cavalry uniform; General Horatio Gates Gibson, 96, the oldest living USMA graduate and the last surviving officer of the Mexican War and Felix McConnell of Lowville, who was General Grant’s orderly. The Sons of Veterans’ resolutions included one to the governor to request a member of the organizations be on the board of directors of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home at Bath. The second was to change the name of the organization from the Sons of Veterans to the Sons of Veterans of the GAR. Charles Hauptman of Dobbs Ferry received the Ada Mohr gold badge for recruiting the most new members.
1924 Department Encampment, Schenectady
The 41st Department Encampment was held June 10-12, 1924 in Schenectady. In the Monday, June 9, 1924 edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the following article was printed with a photograph of Theodore C. Cazeau. “Action on a proposal to change the name of the Sons of Veterans’ organization to the Sons of the Grand Army of the Republic and revision of age requirements which would make lineal descendants of war veterans eligible for membership at 16 years instead of 18, are two of the most important matters for discussion and action before the state convention of the GAR and Sons of Veterans at Schenectady, tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday. About 75 members of the GAR, and allied auxiliaries, the Woman’s Relief Corps, Ladies of the GAR and Daughters of Veterans of Rochester will leave this evening for Schenectady for the three day session. Junior Vice Commander, Walter S. Beilby of Rochester, will advance to the rank of senior vice commander at the convention. Commander Theodore C. Cazeau, of Captain Henry Lomb Camp, SOV, this city has received notification that he has been one of the 5 men chosen as a committee by the commander-in-chief to plan for the erection of a building as a memorial to the Grand Army of the Republic in Washington, D.C. Final decision of the proposal will be reported to the national convention of the GR to be held in Boston in August”. The Auxiliary reported 4,1124 members and 40 auxiliaries.
1925 Department Encampment, Saratoga Springs
The 42nd Department Encampment took place June 16-18, 1925 in Saratoga Springs. The encampment’s opening was delayed so more delegates could arrive and allow those already in town to visit sites of interest including Grant’s Cottage on Mt. McGregor. About 150 Sons delegates were registered. Meetings were held at the Bethesda Episcopal Parish House on Washington St. Headquarters were at the Worden Hotel. The Sons and Auxiliary had a memorial service at the 1st Baptist Church. The Sons received a check for $700 from the Auxiliary. The Ada G. Mohr badge was won by William Cruickhank of Granville for recruiting 16 members. The first camp in the year that was organized was Gibson Camp of Pulteney and the prize was a ballot box given by Ida B. Lange. Cole Camp of Peekskill received $10 in gold for he largest numerical increase with 22 members. Camp 154 of Albany received a parade flag from Theodore Cazeau for a 42% increase in membership. The memorial service was held at the First Baptist Church. PDC’s Diven, Hatch and Hedges died during the year. Col. J.A. Moss, USA, retired, director of the US Flag Association spoke. The WRC reported 10,770 members. The Daughters reported a gain of 9 new tents and presented the GAR a check for $1,500. The Auxiliary had 148 voting members. A public ceremony was held in Congress Park where the Auxiliary presented the city a flag. Two hundred members of the GAR paraded north on Broadway from the United States Hotel to City Hall and back and then south Convention Hall. The Oneonta VFW played at the entrance to Congress Hall and the 105th Infantry Band led the veterans into the hall. There were 350 delegates at the opening session in the ballroom of the United States Hotel.
1926 Department Encampment, Poughkeepsie
The 43rd Department Encampment took place June 15-17, 1926 in Poughkeepsie. Walter Beilby and his wife Mattie D. Beilby were department commander and president. Headquarters were at the Hotel Campbell and meetings were held at Vasser Brothers Institute. The opening session had 150 delegates representing 117 camps. A resolution was passed to petition the state legislature to make it compulsory for all municipal and public buildings to fly their flag at half mast on the death of a GAR member. GAR Dept. Commander, Duncan James McMillian, headed the GAR. About 265 GAR members registered. The Poughkeepsie Evening Journal had a very interesting article about Commander McMillian. He was born June 2, 1846 at Gemini Fontes, his father’s home, about 12 miles from Pulaski, TN. He was the 5th child of Rev. Edward McMillian and his wife Mary Ann. At age 16 along with his father as chaplain, he joined the 32nd Il. Vols. Two brothers were also veterans. His father died at Marietta, Georgia, following the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. He also belonged to the 7th IL Mounted Infantry. He took part in the Grand Review, his corps being the ranking corps marked first. President Lincoln bowed to the 7th IL as well as raising his hat. He resumed his college studies in 1865 after declining a commission. He graduated from Blackburn University in 1870 with a A.B. and S.T. B. degrees. He received an honorary D.D. from Washington and Jefferson University. He raised 33 schools and three academies in Utah and founded the College of Montana and became its president. He was very active in the Presbyterian Church. He was a member of James B. McKean Post #1 GAR, Salt Lake City, UT in 1880.” Note by J. Orton, James B. McKean was the first department commander of the GAR in NYS and was from Saratoga Springs and commanded the 77th NYSV. He died in SLC in 1879 while serving as Utah territorial judge.) “He help helped form the Department of Montana, GAR and was commander of George H. Thomas Post #4“. The 1st Presbyterian Church was site of the memorial service. The GAR was headquartered in the Nelson House. GAR Dept. Chaplain, Dr. William E. Kimball, died several days before the encampment. Past CinC James Tanner was present. He was the only living person who was at the death bed of President Lincoln. One GAR delegate was Afro-American. John W. Hoffman, 83, of Ward B. Burnett Post #144 of Ossining. He served on the USS Vanderbilt as a sailor before the mast and a gunner under Captain Pickering. He joined the Navy at 21. He took part in the Battle of Fort Fisher. Another members was Col. William P. Griffith, destined to become department commander. He became at chiropractor at 75 and practiced for 7 years. He was a newsman saying, “Bit I have served as editor, manager, publisher and in other capacities on many papers including, the Pittsburgh Dispatch, New York Herald, World, Journal, Telegram, Mail, Express, News, Tribune, Evening Sun, Brooklyn Eagle, Press Times and Citizen. I was closely associated with Joseph Pulitzer on the Word. And besides, I worked for the Press News Association, The Grand Army Gazetteer and the National Guardsman and The Soldiers’ Journal. I value nothing more than my membership in the Free Masons’” He was special deputy clerk in the supreme court, second district. The LaFayette Post American Legion hosted a luncheon for Horsfall Post 90, GAR and Schenectady Chapter, Ladies of the GAR. Before 3,500 people at armory, Col. McMillian and other spoke massed flags. He received a check for $335. The LGAR gave the GAR $933, the WRC gave $500 and the Auxiliary gave $1,300. The Veterans of Foreign Wars were meeting at the same time but it was not a joint encampment was some thought. The Auxiliary met at the Washington Street Methodist Church. The WRC had 265 delegates. The WRC gave a room at the US Base Hospital at Tupper Lake. The WRC maintain their veterans’ home at Oxford. The current superintendent is L.J. Hutchinson, a veteran of the Spanish-American War. The June 16, 1926 edition of the Poughkeepsie Evening Star had a history of the home. The Sons elected W.J.A. Rooney of Brooklyn, commander. He is a member of the state tax commission. There were 116 Sons registered. It was reported that 1,600 our of the 5,000 members were veterans and there were 117 camps in NYS.
1927 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 44th department encampment took place June 709, 1927 in Syracuse. Mayor Hanna issued a proclamation for the encampment asking the city of Syracuse to do everything within their power to make the encampment a success. John VanDuyn, MD, of Syracuse, head the GAR. His staff presented him a gold watch and chain. He served in the Civil War, Spanish-American War and the First World War. The 15 members of Post 90 of Schenectady hired the House of Providence Fife and Drum Corps to escort them around Syracuse. Medal of Honor recipient, Tom Collins of Middleport was in attendance. He received the Medal of Honor for service while serving in Co. H, 143rd NYSV. The honor was bestowed August 14, 1896 for capturing a regimental flag of the enemy at Resaca, GA. O.H. Hosmer, commander of Post 425 in Massena said this was his first and last encampment. To much standing around especially with his leg amputated above the knee. Pierre Zeno, an Afro-American and commander of William Lloyd Garrison Post in Brooklyn said his father died at 98 and his mother at 100. He was 84. The grand parade twisted around the streets of downtown ending at the state armory. Dept. Commander William J. Rooney of Brooklyn, SUVCW, was confined to a wheelchair.
1928 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 45th department encampment was held June 12-14, 1928 in Rochester. A memorial service was held at soldiers’ and sailors’ monument at Washington Square with the GAR and allied orders before the official opening. A parade was held afterwards with a float representing Betsy Ross. A reception was held at Hotel Seneca. The Sons held their meeting in the supervisor’s room of the Court House. The Sons adopted a resolution by PDC Cazeau which requested a state appropriation to enable the adjutant general to collect records of the soldier and sailor dead buried in cemeteries in NYS. The Auxiliary passed a resolution to give Suye Narita $35 for work at Grant’s Cottage. Rain again appeared at the time of the parade prior to the campfire. Mrs. Gertrude Walbridge of the Ladies of the GAR presented GAR Dept. Commander Henry Lilly a gift of $500 and C.T. Peck gave him a badge. Mrs. Georgiana E. Gabriel of the DUVCW gave $809 to the GAR fund. Mark L. Scoville Post, GAR, of Mt. Morris, had its only member present, 82 year old George M. Shull. Horsfall Post GAR, Schenectady had 15 members attending and they brought their 105th Infantry Fife and Drum Corps. They entertained, Mrs. Minnie H Steiner, Dept. President of the ASUVCW. Her father, Irving Eaton, was to become the last Civil War veteran in Schenectady County. Judson Cole, a SUVCW member, carried in the parade a standard which had been carried in every state and national encampment since the Department of New York, GAR, was founded in 1867. George B. Fairchild, sold survivor of 33 charter members of Ross Post, was wounded on Darby Town Road, near Richmond said this: “A rebel bullet went through there October 27, 1864, but I’m plenty alive now”.
1929 Department Encampment, Utica
The 46th department encampment was held June 11-13, 1929 in Utica. The GAR was headquartered in the Hotel Utica. Which has been beautifully restored and open in 2011. Over 1,000 members of the allied orders registered. One member, Hezekih Eaker, Sr. of Little Falls was 96 and the great, great, great grandfather of 10 children. He served with Co. F., 152nd NYSV. He was said to be the oldest veteran in NYS. Charles H. McDowell of New Hartford, enlisted when he was 15 in the 117th NYSV. He was commander of Beacon Post GAR in Rome. The GAR assured the public this was not their last encampment. The new department commander was Rev. Martin V. Stone of Jamestown. For 50 years he worked among the lumbermen along the Alleghany River Basin. The June 10, 1929 edition of the Utica Observer Dispatch had a small but great biography on Rev. Stone. When he was 16, his father, a justice of the peace, prevented him from joining in 1862. Two years later he ran away and joined Co. A, 112th NYSV after being drafted for the NYS Militia. He was listed as a deserter. “That fellow” (commander of the militia company), has never caught me yet! But all these years I’ve expected him to show up any time.” He took part in 7 major battles and 32 skirmishes. “Nothing is actually finished by bloodshed”. There were at least four veterans mentioned in the newspaper. John H Thomas of Brooklyn who was captured by the Confederate Army at the Battle of Appomattox Court House and immediately took his captor prisoner. This being the POW with the least amount of time; Peter Zeno, commander of William Lloyd garrison Post 267, Brooklyn. It is said that is he is the only colored post commander in the nation. He was chief bugler of his regiment and still knew his bugle calls and challenged anyone to compete against him; William Murrell of Corning, also colored. He saw Lincoln on many occasions; Charles H. McDowell of New Hartford. He was 15 when he enlisted in the 117th NYSV. He lost a leg at Petersburg. The WRC met at the chapel of the Westminster Church. Mayor Fred J. Rath was among the speakers at the WRC opening session. The Ladies of the GAR met at Tabernacle Baptist Church. The Daughters met at the Labor Temple. Reports of Oxford and Bath Veterans’ Homes were given. PDP Ada Mohr of the WRC gave out her usual gold badges for membership. The Grace Church Parish House was he site of the Sons meeting. The Auxiliary mad about 350 present. The gave $500 to the Sons. On Tuesday afternoon, a joint memorial service was held at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Oneida Square. In the evening a reception was held at the State Armory. Col. Earle W. Tanner, USA, was grand marshal of the 4 division parade on Wednesday that had over 2,000 participants. Theodore Butterfield Roosevelt, a great grandson of Maj. Gen. Daniel Butterfield, drove a specially made coach drawn by 4 large black horses. Department Commander of the GAR, William P. Griffiths and Utica’s oldest veterans, Rev. George B. Fairbanks, were some of the passengers.
1930 Department Encampment, Jamestown
The 47th Department Encampment was held June 4-6, 1930 in Jamestown. Rev. Martin V. Stone, presided for the GAR. Headquarters were in the Hotel Jamestown. An article in the May 30, 1930 issue of the Jamestown Morning Post listed all 611 members of James M. Brown GAR Post #285 since it was chartered and all the commanders and the surviving 26 members. 1,275 badges were ordered from Somers Badge Company of Newark, N.J. The WRC held a fellowship dinner for 200 for $5 and the proceeds going to a need family. The WRC met at the Fenton History Center which still operates in 2011. Plans were being made to replace for the second time a plaque in Lincoln Park honoring the 112th NYSV and erect a flag pole. The grand parade started at West 4th Street and when in in front of the Hotel Jamestown, the GAR members were waiting. The bank struck up, “Marching Thru Georgia” and the 42 aged veterans marched in columns of four headed by the Department Commander and Commander-in-Chief Foster of Worcester, MA. Thirty-seven GAR members rode in automobiles due to infirmities. In places spectators were 10 deep. The parade ended at the armory where the campfire took place. The Sons met in the Elks Club. Commander William Rusch of Post 252 Brooklyn has been commander for 34 years. Colonel Samuel C. Pierce is the only member of Thomas Post No. 4 of Rochester. Richard H. Griffin of Sherman is the only survivor and commander of Post #295, a position he has held for 18 years. Hotel Samuels displayed a collection of nearly 50 prints on generals and naval commanders of the Civil War. Richards O’Donnell is the owner of the prints. The Sons reported 97 camps and 4,155 members.
1931 Department Encampment, Binghamton
The 48th department encampment was held June 9-11, 1931 in Binghamton. The campfire was held on Wednesday evening, June 10, at the Central High School auditorium. The Daughters presented the GAR a $500 check. Dept. Commander George Taylor received a $200 gift. Congressman Clarke spoke. His father was a member of the 144th NYSV. The charter of Post #1 was turned in during the year along with 26 others. Post #1 was chartered October 9, 1866. A resolution was adopted from the previous year: “Resolved that the per capita tax or dues of all members shall be annulled after June 30, 1930.” Four GAR members and their wives were living at the WRC Home in Oxford. It was reported that Bernice Case had been taking care of the headquarters office in Albany for the past 27 years. (She would have another 17 years to go make a total of 44 years as secretary to the NY Dept. GAR). The Sons reported 96 camps and 3,952 members. The WRC reported 154 corps and 8,631 members.
1932 Department Encampment, Albany
The 49th department encampment was held June 7-9, 1932 in Albany. There were 60 veterans at the TenEyck Hotel. One members, Henry J. Kearny, 82, of Jersey City, N.J. He was only 12 when he enlisted in the USN as a messenger boy about Admiral Farragut’s flagship. He took part in the Battles of Mobile Bay and New Orleans. The campfire was held at the 10th Ave. Armory. There was a 4 division parade starting at City Hall, across the street from the Capitol. The Allied Orders were the official escorts. The Sons reported 88 camps and 3,639 members.
1933 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 50th department encampment was held June 7-9, 1933 in Syracuse. Only 52 veterans were able to attend. Seven were from Onondaga County and all were over 85. The parade started at the armory and ended at the First Baptist Church where the campfire was held in the auditorium of the Mizpath (home for single women). This building stands abandoned in 2011. A tattered flag which 256 men from Crown Point marched under in the Civil War was carried by the Sons. The Sons and Woman’s Relief Corps were holding their 50th department encampments. William Allen Dyer of Syracuse was Department Commander of the SUVCW. He was re-reelected, only the 2nd time up to this date this had been done. The Sons reported 83 camps and 3,168 members. The pubic library received a Gettysburg Address Plaque from the Woman’s Relief Corps. The plaque is now at the Onondaga County Veteran’s Cemetery in 2011.
1934 Department Encampment, Albany
The 51st department encampment was held June 6-8, 1934 in Albany. Forty-eight members of the GAR were present. The DUVCW held their 31st father-daughter luncheon with 40 GAR members. The first year it was noted that over 1,000 fathers attended. The Rev. George B. Fairchild of Utica, the 100 year old chaplain of the GAR sang, “The Sword of Bunker Hill”. George Howard sang, “Daughters of Blue”. Dept. Commander John Maxwell of Buffalo was grand marshal of the parade. He was assisted by Mithias C. Kloss of SUV camp #154 of Albany. The parade started Thursday at 7 PM at the Ten Eyck, snaked around the streets of Albany and ended at Chancellors Hall, the auditorium of the state education building on State Street across the street of the NYS Capitol. The state education building has the longest row of free standing Corinthian columns in the world. Shredded telephone books were showered upon the veterans as they left the hotel. The 10th infantry band played martial music. Over 300 members of the Sons and Auxiliary marched. The WRC’s Lincoln Junior Club also marched. The youngest members being 9 year old Hazel Lawrence of Albany. Dr. Alexander C. Flick, state historian, was the main speaker at the campfire. The GAR dedicated the 68th department encampment to the memory of General Philip Sheridan. The equestrian statue was rededicated on Thursday afternoon. The ceremony was sponsored by camp 200 and camp 154, SUVCW. Charles m. Winchester was master of ceremonies. He was the last survivor of a committee that arranged for the dedication of the memorial. The GAR passed a resolution designating the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as their “legal heirs”. This resolution seeks to assure recognition of members of the SUVCW as administrators of any funds appropriated by municipalities for decorations or marking grave of Civil War veterans. Seith Flint, 88, of Worcester came to the encampment. He was General Grant’s bugler at Appomattox. The bugle he used is a prized possession that he will donate to the government. He enlisted in the 5th US Cavalry in 1862 at age 15 under the name Charles M. Seaver. He walked from Berne to Albany to enlist. The Auxiliary dedicated two marble benches that flank the Soldiers’ Monument in Washington Park. The Sons reported a gain of 221 members, the most in the past seven years. The Sons and Auxiliary held their memorial service at the Albany Institute of Art and History on State Street.
1935 Department Encampment, Buffalo
The 52nd department encampment was held June 1935 in Buffalo. Alfred E. Stacey of Elbridge was commander-in-chief. One of his goals was to get a federal pension for the 3,000 remaining Confederate veterans. This would cause a great deal of bitterness with GAR. Abel J. Barlow, 95, of Oneonta and Martin Burney, 88, of Little Falls were attending. They were also sons of Civil War veterans. Mr. Barlow said in an interview, “I will never forget the time President Lincoln reviewed the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan”, Mr. Barlow chuckled, “The president was on horseback and not a graceful horseman like McClellan. His stovepipe hat and the tails of his coat bobbed up and down but say, he certainly looked the army over. That was the last time I saw Lincoln alive. There were seven of our family in the Union army, my father, three brothers and two brothers-in-law. I never saw any of them during the war, though. Now I am the last survivor”. PDC Calvin Vincent was a guard outside Ford’s Theater and later a guard at Lincoln’s bier. A resolution by the GAR opposed any memorial to Robert E. Lee. Robert Rownd, of Ripley, was elected Dept. Commander but illness prevented him from being present. It was said that Emanuel Josepf, 100, of Buffalo, was the oldest veteran in NYS. At the campfire, John W. Green of Baldwin, NY, addressed the assembly. He was Department Commander of the United Spanish American War Veterans. The Sons met in the Chinese Room of the Statler Hotel. The Sons protested the annual presentation of a sword in Lee’s memory by the United Daughters of the Confederacy at West Point. The Daughters of Union Veterans resigned from the national and department Federation of Patriotic Organizations.
1936 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 53rd Department Encampment was June 8-10, 1936 in Syracuse. Less than 50 members of the GAR gathered in Syracuse under the leadership of Robert Rownd. All but two were 90 or more in age. The parade in the evening started at the armory and twisted its way around the Solders’ and Sailors’ Memorial to Central High School. The campfire followed in the auditorium. The American Legion, VFW, DAV, SAWV, JWV and other organizations took part. Col. Conrad H. Lanza was parade marshal. There were about 900 women in the four allied womens’ organizations. These ladies conducted a reception for Dept. Commander Rownd and his staff in the ballroom of the Hotel Onondaga. The Auxiliary and Sons were headquartered in the Hotel Syracuse (standing 2011). The Sons were to discuss a resolution to investigate communism in the county and one against issuing a postage stamp in honor of Confederate Veterans.
1937 Department Encampment, Albany
The 54th department encampment was held June 8-10, 1937 in Albany. Only 21 veterans were registered. The oldest delegate of the WRC was Ada G. Mohr of Brooklyn. She was attended the last 53 encampments and will be 80 on June 15. The parade started at State and Lodge Streets and wound its way back to Chancellor’s Hall in the NYS Education Building. The grand marshal was Roscoe Adams of the 10th Infantry Band. The program had speakers and a massing of the colors.
1938 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 55th Department Encampment was held June 14-16, 1938 in Rochester. Let there be no mistake, this was NOT going to be the GAR’s last encampment. They refused the SUVCW’s request to chair the encampment committee. “They are children. We still have to take care of them“, said Thomas Stritch, the new department commander. Twenty-seven aged veterans, headquartered in the Hotel Seneca, rode in an hour long parade that featured 25 marching units, fife and drum corps, bands, veteran and civic organizations. The campfire has held in convention hall and Senator Hanley spoke. Department Commander Bauer was brought to tears when the Joseph Bauer Garrison, Army-Navy Union named for him presented him a flag. The Daughters of Union Veterans presented a Gettysburg plaque to the Sagamore Hotel. The Sons new department commander was Willard B. Stephen of Buffalo, said to be the first grandson of a Grand Army of the Republic member to be department commander of the Sons. In a side note, there was an article in the June 16, 1938 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle about 100 year old George H. Ehle of Trumansburg. He was the last of 90 Trumansburg’s Civil War veterans. He met Lincoln in 1862 in the White House and was called, “boy”. He carried a dispatch to Lincoln from General Burnside during the Battle of Spotsylvania. He saw both Lee and Grant at Appomattox Court House. On the advice of his physician, he and his wife, who is 87, are not going to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. He was born in Ithaca but has lived in Trumansburg for 21 years.
1939 Department Encampment, Ithaca
The 56th department encampment was held June 6-8, 1939 in Ithaca. Thirteen veterans, all over 90, rode in automobile accompanied by 11 bands and over 1,300 marchers in a four division parade. Fifteen hundred people attended the 2 hour campfire following the parade. The 5 department heads gave gifts of money to the GAR and the three national presidents attending gave their greetings. Nine-five year old John W. Hayes spoke about how he had never forgotten how he hurt his mother. He joined the 14th NYSV following an argument with his father. Twice his mother was told he was dead and once that a comrade had seen his grave. John E. Banks of Pawling was the youngest veterans at the encampment at 88. He served in Col. L, 4th NY Heavy Artillery, enlisting in 1864 at age 13. He refused to be a drummer because he wanted to carry a rifle. The dean of the veterans was Henry Lilly of Rochester, 99. He was in the US Army, 14th Infantry. Thomas A. Stritch of Brooklyn was re-elected department commander. Mrs. Rhoda Denny Ross, national president of the Woman’s Relief Corps, had interesting story. She was the widow of Brig. Gen. Harvey J. Moss, who died in 1938. He was in the Spanish-American War, The Mexican Border Campaign and WW I. her father, Henry L. Moss, lost the sight in one eye so he could not enlist in the Union Army. He was appointed by Lincoln to be in charge of a train that ran food to the troops in the South. The Sons elected Clarence A. Maple, Department Commander. He was ill at home in Brooklyn. The Sons were in favor of getting rid of the password and secrecy.
1940 Department Encampment, Niagara Falls
The 57th Department Encampment took place June 11-13, 1940 at Niagara Falls. Nearly 900 members of all 6 organizations attended. The GAR was headquartered at the Hotel Niagara. This was the first time all delegates to the GAR encampment were photographed together. They were: Henry Lilly, Rochester, 99; Frank E. Cooley, Rensselaer, 93; Thomas H. Strich, Brooklyn, 93; Thomas Barker, Bellmore, 95; Robert G. Sumner, Brooklyn, 97; George Howard, no age given; James O’Connor, New York, 93; Edwin Morris, Elmira, 93; Erving Eaton, Schenectady, 97 and James A. Hard, Rochester, 99. Robert Rownd, 95, of Ripley arrived late, making the total GAR members 11. So in fact, the photograph was taken a bit to early. The Daughters gave Department Commander Thomas Strich $170. The Federated Patriotic Societies said that anyone who does not respect the flag and salute it should leave the county.
1941 Department Encampment, Lake Placid
The 58th Department Encampment was held June 17-19, 1941 in Lake Placid. Seven members of the GAR were present and had a combined age of 672. Department Commander Henry Lily, 100, and his wife took the bus from Rochester to Lake Placid. This was before the time of the intrastate highways. The others were: Edwin Morris, 94 of Elmira; George W. Howard, 96 of Buffalo; John W. Hays of Albany; Robert M. Rownd, 95 of Ripley; Frank Cooley, 94 of Albany and Robert Stritch, 95 of New York City. The Auxiliary was celebrating its 50th department encampment. They voted to give money to the Lake Placid Skating Fund to pay for skates for under privileged children. The Federate Patriotic Society formally protested against foreign made flags. A parade was held Wednesday evening ending a the Olympic Stadium. After which a GAR campfire was held at the Stadium. Many local organizations took part. Various luncheons and receptions were held in many hotel in the village such as the Marcy, Belmont, St. Mortiz and the Grand View which was headquarters of the organizations. During the encampment all 7 members of the Grand Army of the Republic visited the famous John Brown Homestead and had their photograph taken with Lyman Eps of Lake Placid. An Afro-American man who is to have been the last living person to personally know John Brown.
1942 Department Encampment, Utica
The 59th Department Encampment was held June 16-18, 1942 in Utica. Ninety-five year old Department Commander Edwin Morris of Elmira was one of the first of nearly 1,000 guests to arrive in Utica despite have a heart problem. Mayor Corrou welcomed everyone and said it was a pleasure to meet the seven Civil War veterans who ranged in age 91 to 101. The oldest was James A. Hard of Rochester. One WRC members was Mrs. Emma Hilliker of Jamacia , N.Y. She was from England and had crossed the Atlantic 16 times to visit her home of Hottingham. When England declared war on Germany she was given only 2 ½ hours to get on the last ship leaving the country for the United States. She said her grandson in service had so much in common with her husband. This was her 30th WRC convention. The DUVCW were celebrating their golden encampment. The Sons had 60 delegates at the opening session. The Sons went on record as recommending that anyone, through cessation of work in essential war industry or otherwise, have his statue changed from that of a deferred classification, should be re-examined and re-classified by his draft board. The Auxiliary gave a framed scroll to Grace Episcopal Church with the name of 42 men of the parish who were in service.
1943 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 60th Department Encampment was held June 20-24, 1943 in Syracuse. This was the 50th Department Encampment for the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic. The GAR was headquartered at the Hotel Onondaga. A reception in honor of Department Commander James A. Hard, 101, by the Allied Orders was held at the Hotel Onondaga. He saw Lincoln twice, once when he visited his unit, the 32nd NYSV and when he visited the White House after the war. There were 16 known survivors of the Civil War at this time. The four besides Commander Hard who made the encampment were: John W. Hayes 99, of Brookview who was elected Department Commander; Frank E. Cooley, 96 of Rensselaer; John E. Banks, 97, of Pawling and Robert M. Rownd, 98 of Ripley. They were asked if they voted for Lincoln. Mr. Hayes replied, “No, I didn’t because I would have to swear I was 21 and I couldn’t do it.” “Neither could I” replied Mr. Rownd, “but I voted anyway under a “resolution’ that any soldier who was old enough to fight was old enough to vote’. The four comrades laughed.
1944 Department Encampment, Utica
The 61st Department Encampment was held June 13-15, 1944 in Utica. The encampment had as many 1,000 attending. Four veterans were able to attend. They were: Department Commander, John W. Hayes, Frank E. Cooley, Robert Rownd and Daniel Harris. The state GAR secretary was Josephine Case of Albany. The GAR was guests of the Kiwanis Club for a luncheon meeting. The WRC gave $100 to Rhodes General Hospital to help with a PA system and an illuminated table model globe to Children’s Hospital Home. The DUCW gave an additional $350 to their initial $850 to help establish a scholarship at Syracuse University. It was accepted by Dean Finia Crawford. The Sons met at the Hamilton. CinC C. LeRoy Stoudt of the SUVCW attended the encampment. The Sons received a gift of $408 from the Auxiliary.
1945 Department Encampment, Utica
The 62nd Department Encampment was held June 13-14, 1945 in Utica. Only 3 Civil War veterans were able to attend. They were: John W. Hayes, who was elected department commander; retiring department commander Frank E. Cooley and Robert Rownd. It was reported there were 10 Civil War veterans in NYS, six of them GAR members and four were not. War regulations prohibited large gatherings. At the campfire, the Field Music Band of the Utica Citizens Corps played military music. The Jewish War Veterans presented an American flag to the GAR. Justice Henry Kimball of the Supreme Court was guest speaker at the campfire. The Sons met in the Hamilton Hotel. The DUVCW raised more than $900 for emergency kits for the ARC. The WRC announced they were raising $100,000 for its blood plasma program and the NY Department had raised its share-$3,000. A victory dinner was held over 200.
1947 Department Encampment, Lake Placid
The 64th Department Encampment was held June 26-28, 1947 in Lake Placid. The campfire was held in the Lake Placid High School. GAR Dept. Commander James A. Hard responded to Willis Wells, Town of Elba Supervisor. There was an ice show and entertainment at the Olympic arena.
1948 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 65th Department Encampment was held June 9-11, 1948 in Rochester. This was the LAST AND FINAL time the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of New York, would hold an department encampment. It was their 82nd department encampment. Only Dept. Commander, James A. Hard, 106, was able to attend. Robert Rownd, Commander-in-Chief, 104, of Ripley, NY, was unable to attend. A highlight of the encampment was a parade of military, veterans and patriotic organizations. The hour long parade ended in Highland Park where a pageant, “So Proudly We Hail” was held. At the end of the pageant, Mr. Hard presented the records of the GAR to the Rochester Public Library. At the 82nd and last encampment, the roll call was read by Josephine Case of Albany, GAR secretary. Commander Hard spoke of great disappointment of not having his close friend, Robert Rownd, present. He spoke of his days in the Union Army and how he read about Lincoln’s call for volunteers. How lucky he was never to have received a scratch. He visited the meetings of all five allied orders. He expressed his wish that the allied organizations carry on in harmony. Councilman Gregory F. Mills said that wearing a red carnation would be the official symbol of tribute to Commander James A. Hard and his former comrades. The SUV gave 50 year medals to Edwin A. Barber of Syracuse and Ed VanVoost of Troy. Three PDC’s were present who had 50 years of membership. They were, A.G. Courtney, DDS of Syracuse; Rudolph Genther and Rev. William Hallock, both of Rochester.
1949 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 66th Department Encampment took place June 22-24, 1949 in Syracuse. Nearly 1,000 members of the Allied Orders gathered at the Hotel Syracuse. The Sons and he Auxiliary had a joint dinner in the Hotel Syracuse. The Sons passed a resolution that condemned communism that was introduced by Arthur J. Abbott of Oneida and Fred E. Cowell of Rochester. This was the first year meeting without the GAR.
1950 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 67th Department Encampment took place June 21-23, 1950 in Rochester. There were 51 members present. James A. Hard, 108, the oldest Civil War veteran in the nation and resident of Rochester was invited to attend. Headquarters of the Sons and Auxiliary was at the Hotel Seneca. Mr. Wall, manager of the Hotel Ten Eyck in Albany would like the allied orders to meet at his hotel next year. He was a grandson of a Union veteran. Comrade Norton also spoke. He was on the Board of Directors of the Oxford Home and a Spanish-American War veteran. He said there were 140 daughters of Civil War veterans and 43 Spanish-American War veterans living at the facility. The Spanish War veterans would be holding their annual encampment this year in Saratoga Springs. James A. Hard would be 109 on July 15 and the Sons were going to send him a tin of cigars. The Auxiliary gave $516 to the Sons. Six brothers were awarded 50 year badges at the banquet. Mayor Samuel B. Dicker addressed the members. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. George V. burns, Department Chaplain, gave the invocation at the memorial service and the benediction was given by Rev. William A. Hallock, PDC.
1951 Department Encampment, Buffalo
The 68th Department Encampment was held June 25-27, 1951 in Buffalo at the Hotel LaFayette. WW II veterans Milton Armstrong was elected department commander. He had been a SUV member for 14 years. His grandfather,________, died when his privateer ship sank off the coast of Maryland in 1863. Commander-in-Chief C. Leon Heald of Keene , N.H. was present. Mrs. Ethel S. Howe was elected Department President of the WRC. Her husband, Fred Howe, was department commander of the SUVCW and was elected commander-in-chief in 1956. The Auxiliary gave $100 to the Cerebral Palsy Association.
1952 Department Encampment, Albany
The 69th Department Encampment was held June 8-11, 1952 in Albany. The Allied Orders met at the Ten Eyck Hotel except the WRC which met at the DeWitt Clinton. Mayor Corning gave an address in the morning to the WRC. The Auxiliary presented $100 to the Cerebral Palsy Association and to the Sons. The WRC presented a flag to Hackett Junior High School. Mrs. Margaret Donohue, 88, chaplain and a widow of a Civil War veteran attended the meetings of the Ladies of the GAR. She lived at 74 Jay St., Troy and had been a member since 1911. She said, “I put wreaths on the monument to soldiers and sailors in Troy and take care of sick members of the GAR”. She is said to have never missed a meeting of Col. C.L. MacArthur Circle, LGAR. Mrs. Francis Abbott, 94 of 1811 7th St., Troy, could not attend the meetings. He late husband was also in the war. James A. Hard, 111, the last Civil War veteran in NYS was unable to attend the encampment.
1953 Department Encampment, Elmira
The 70th Department Encampment was held June 25-27, 1953 in Elmira. This encampment was saddened by the death of the last Civil War veteran and GAR member in NYS. James A. Hard had died the previous March 12, 1953 at age 111 years, 7 months and 26 days. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
1954 Department Encampment, Albany
The 71st Department Encampment was held June 14-16, 1954 in Albany. Headquarters were at the Hotel Ten Eyck. Department Commander, John Kernan of Camp 154, Albany, was in the VA Hospital so Sr. Vice Commander Marshall Hope of Oneida acted in his place. William Bruckel, MD, was elected commander.
1955 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 72nd Department Encampment was held June 23-25, 1955 in Rochester. Abut 200 members of the Allied Orders attended. Mayor Barry declared June 22-25, “GAR Days” in Rochester. The LGAR and WRC were headquartered in the Hotel Seneca, the DUVCW at the Powers Hotel and the Sons and Auxiliary at the Sheraton. There were two older SUV members present. PDC Rev. A. Hallock, 48 Austin St., a past and present chaplain was 87. He was once national chaplain. He joined the order in 1883. PDC Walter S. Beilby was 86 and was a 57 year member. The SUV went on record as wanting to establish a Civil War museum in Washington that would be the national headquarters of the organization. The Woman’s Relief Corps had an open house prior to the official opening of the encampment. The Cerebral Palsy Association received $200 from the Auxiliary and $150 from the WRC. The DUVCW gave $175 to the Day Care Center for Handicapped Children.
1956 Department Encampment, Lake Placid
The 73rd Department Encampment was held June 20-23, 1956 in Lake Placid. There was only 1 GAR and one Union veterans still alive in the United States. He was Albert Woolson, 109, of Duluth, MN. He was born in Antwerp, NY, February 11, 1847. He would live only another 43 days until August 2, 1956.
1957 Department Encampment
The 74th Department Encampment was held June 19-22, 1957. Truman Vincent was elected department commander. His father, Calvin Vincent was GAR Department Commander in 1931. Anita Stephan was elected department president of the Auxiliary. Her husband, Willard, was department commander in 1938. A petition by the Sons and Auxiliary was sent to the City of Albany and the Board of Education to name the new high school, “Abraham Lincoln Public School.” Resolutions were approved to keep Mt. McGregor a veterans’ rest camp. Also, that appropriations be made for the restoration of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in New York City. Mayor Corning made a welcoming address. The oldest member of the Sons attending was Col. James G. Huston of Cold Springs, an 1885 graduate of the USMA. He recalled taking Crazy Horse prisoner and later becoming a friend. He was the son of James G. Huston, secretary to General Grant during the war. He recalled being bounced on the knee of President Grant while visiting the White House.
1958 Department Encampment, Utica
The 75th Department Encampment was held June 20-21, 1958 in Utica.
1959 Department Encampment, Elmira
The 76th Department Encampment was held June 24-27, 1959 in Elmira.
1960 Department Encampment, Binghamton
The 77th Department Encampment was held June 8-11, 1960 in Binghamton.
1961 Department Encampment, Utica
The 78th Department Encampment was held June 14-17, 1961 in Utica. The organizations were headquartered in the Hotel Hamilton. Activities ended with a clambake at Dulan’s Restaurant.
1962 Department Encampment, Manhattan
The 79th Department Encampment was held June 27-30, 1962 in Manhattan. This is only the 2nd time that an encampment has ever been held in New York City and the only one on Manhattan Island..
1964 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 80th Department Encampment was held June 26-29, 1963 at the Powers Hotel in Rochester. A resolution was approved commending US Senator Kenneth Keating in regards for recognition of November 19 and the Gettysburg Address. Department Commander, Elwlyn Heidenreich reported that he presented a sword to Cadet Miskimin of the US Merchant Marine Academy at King Point. Cadet Miskimin is from Queens Village. The secretary reported 31 camps and 485 members. The balance was $2,629.67. The Auxiliary gave the Sons $424.
1964 Department Encampment, Utica
The 81st Department Encampment was held June 24-27, 1964 in Utica.
1965 Department Encampment, Elmira
The 82nd Department Encampment was held June 23-26, 1965 in Elmira.
1966 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 83rd Department Encampment was held June 26-29, 1966 in Rochester.
1967 Department Encampment, Glens Falls
The 84th Department Encampment took place June 26-28, 1967 in Glens Falls at the Queensbury Hotel. Department Commander, Raymond Hightree, was the last “real son” to preside at an encampment. A resolution was passed that requested the plaque in the Capitol that marked the spot where the remains of U.S. Grant reposed on August 4-5, 1885, be raised about 3 feet off the floor. A trophy was given to camp #6 for gaining the most members. O’Rourke Camp #6 merged with Glidden, Pierce and Lomb Camps to form Abraham Lincoln Camp #6. There were 32 camps and 356 members. The voting strength was 35. The Auxiliary gave the Sons $543.87 and the Sons in return gave them a gift of $200.
1968 Department Encampment, Utica
The 85th Department Encampment was held June 26-28 in Utica. The Hotel Utica was headquarters. Representative Samuel Straton of Amsterdam spoke at the dinner. He spoke about the Vietnam War. The national president of the Daughters of Union Veterans was in attendance. She was from Newton, KS and she had so far visited 27 states and hoped to complete work on the national headquarters of the DUVCW in Springfield, IL. The Sons and Auxiliary gave $150 to the Muscular Dystrophy Fund.
1969 Department Encampment, Elmira
The 86th Department Encampment took place June 25-27, 1969 in Elmira at the Mark Twain Hotel. Commander-in-Chief Frank Heacock was present. The grave registrar report 16,950 graves registered. Police Chief DeMar accepted $50 for Glove House for Homeless Boys. Registration was 42. There were 31 delegates. The order was sadden on Sept. 2, 1968 with the death of PCinC U.S. Grant III. Many members attended his funeral in Clinton, NY. He is buried on the grounds of Hamilton College. There were 296 members and 19 camps. The Auxiliary gave the Sons $551.
1970 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 87th Department Encampment was held June 24-27, 1970 in Syracuse.
1971 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 88th Department Encampment was held June 23-26, 1971 in Syracuse.
1972 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 89th Department Encampment was held June 19-21, 1972 in Rochester at the Flag Ship Hotel. It was reported that PDC Truman Vincent had died September 12, 1971. PDC DeVene Williamson said that the rifles he obtained from the Herkimer Camp when its charter was turned in were loaned to D.G. Caywood Camp #146, Ovid. There were 28 members present. There were 19 camps and 259 members. The Auxiliary gave the Sons $641.
1973 Department Encampment, Glens Fall
The 90th department encampment was held June 28-30, 1973 in Glens Falls at the Queensbury Hotel. This year the Department Commander and Department Auxiliary President were Earl and Beatrice Terry of Ovid. They had a reception at the Wagon House Hotel in Ovid. They also went to Germany to visit their son who was stationed there. Larry Isaacs was elected for a one year term to finish his father’s term of office as secretary-treasurer after 21 yeas. The age for membership was lowered to 14 and associates could only be 1/3 of a camp’s membership. Per Capita tax was 75 cents per quarter per member. The Sons gave $50 to the Cystic Fibrous Foundation. Membership was 19 camps and 242 members. The Auxiliary’s donation was $550. Many members took a boat ride on Lake George.
1974 Department Encampment, Binghamton
The 91st Department Encampment was held June 23-25, 1974 in Binghamton.
1975 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 92nd Department was held June 22-25, 1975 in Syracuse. LaFayette Camp #140 turned in its charter and its remaining funds. The camp asked that its name and number never be used again and the remaining members have life memberships purchased from these funds. The encampment approved this request. The camp turned in over $32,000!
1976 Department Encampment, Glens Falls
The 93rd Department Encampment took place June 27-30, 1976 in Glens Falls at the Queensbury Hotel. Some type of old badges from Brother Grover Scott of Camp #6 were given to members as souvenirs. It was voted to continue the descriptive book of the PDC’s. In 2011 it is in the possession of Jerome Orton. Jerome Orton reported he took the Sons and Auxiliary plaque off the flag pole at Mt. McGregor before it was lost as the flag pole was in poor condition. It is now on display at the Wilton Heritage Society Museum. Henry Dreher of Lake Luzerne was obligated as a member of Camp #154. There were 29 members present. There were 16 camps and 229 members.
1977 Department Encampment, Buffalo
The 94th Department Encampment was held June 12-15. 1977 in Buffalo.
1978 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 95th Department encampment was held June 25-28 , 1978 in Syracuse at the Hotel Syracuse. PDC Marshall Hope took a bus from Oneida to Syracuse. He had not been to an encampment in many years. He came with a $200 savings bond from 1943 from his former camp. Over the years it became with $555.52. It was voted to pay his per capita tax for the rest of his life
1979 Department Encampment, Olean
The 96th Department Encampment was held June 24-27, 1979 at Olean’s Castle Inn. A re-enactment was held on the grounds of St. Bonaventure College before the opening of the encampment. Brothers Harold Goodman and George Shadman were presented war service medals. The members voted not to spend over $150 to purchase a suitable plaque for Suye Narita Gambino for her many years as caretaker of the Grant Cottage on Mt. McGregor. The Auxiliary help with the cost. PDC DeVene Williamson he could purchase a plaque made in Florida made out of cypress wood. It was voted to do this and present the plaque at a department dinner. Larry Isaacs was elected secretary-treasurer for 3 years. A resolution to restore May 30, the official Memorial Day was approved. PDC Cecil Baer said he could obtain plastic GAR markers for $4 and bronze markers for $8. It was reported that PDC Clarence Maples died during the year. Balance was $29,827.33 and there were 16 camps and 241 members.
1980 Department Encampment, Utica
The 97th Department Encampment was held June 22-25, 1980 at Utica in the Sheraton Inn. Thirty-one delegates were present. General Sniper Camp #66 of Syracuse received its charter during the year. PDP Bead Terry and PCinC Dick Greenwalt were married June 21 at the Ovid Federated Church. There were 27 members present. There were 17 camps and 246 members and a balance of $27,916.38
1981 Department Encampment, Niagara Falls
The 98th Department Encampment was took place June 21-24, 1981 in Niagara Falls at John’s Niagara Hotel. Larry Isaacs resigned as secretary-treasurer. In fact, he did not show up. This ended 53 years that the Isaacs family had been secretary-treasurer. PDC Donald Roberts was elected to be the new secretary-treasurer. The most new member trophy went to H.C. Berry Camp #89. The members went to Niagara Falls, Canada for luncheon. The Sons Congressional Charter prohibits official meetings being conducted outside the United States. There were 27 members present. There were 18 camps and 234 members with a balance of $27,772.71
1982 Department Encampment, Oneonta
The 99th Department Encampment was held June 20-23, 1982 in Oneonta.
1983 Department Encampment, Endicott
The 100th Department Encampment was held June 16-19, 1983 in Endicott at the Lodge. Commander-in-Chief Richard Schlenker was present. Fifty specially made centennial badges were produced. Camp #59 received the membership trophy. PDD Walter Owens, Sr., camp #154 was restored to his past rank. Jerome Orton explained that a new national award would be established. The Marshall Hope Award. Walter Cooken- Ham announced that the Utica Citizens Corps would be 175 years old. On November 12, 1982, H.C. Camp #89 changed its name to Col. Lewis Payne Camp #89. There were 38 registered members. Membership was 237 with a balance of $25,980.87. The Woman’s Relief Corps, Aux. to the GAR was holding its 100th department convention. Luella Lane of Franklinville was department president.
1984 Department Encampment, Albany
The 101st Department Encampment was held June 17-19, 1984 in Albany. There were 24 registered members. The issue of who owns the GAR Hall in Halsey Valley came up again! The Dept. Secretary said the deed was in the name of S.F Smith Auxiliary #11, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The members were concerned about the historical artifacts and records of the Sons and GAR. A committee went to the Sons of the American Revolution headquarters in Schenectady. A veteran’s organizations rents rooms to organizations. It was determined that although the price was right, the building was too far away for most members.
1985 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 102nd Department Encampment was held June 27-30, 1985 in Syracuse. This would be the last meeting of the allied orders in the Hotel Syracuse. A grand old hotel, this structure stands almost empty in 2011.
1986 Department Encampment, Henrietta
The 103rd Department Encampment was held June 15-18, 1986 in Henrietta.
1987 Department Encampment, Amherst
The 104th Department Encampment was held June 14-17, 1987 in Amherst.
1988 Department Encampment, New Hartford
The 105th Department Encampment was held June 19-22, 1988 in New Hartford. PCinC Rippey spoke at the campfire about Civil War medicine. The encampment was not in favor of letting the Mormon Church have access to our records. The Sons gave the Auxiliary a love token of $250. There were 14 members present and 3 registered but absent.
1989 Department Encampment, Olean
The 106th Department Encampment was held June 25-28, 1989 in Olean at the Park Inn. On Sunday after the campfire was held at 8 P.M. The guest speaker was Allegany County Historian, Craig Braack, who spoke about Andersonville Prison and the causes of the Civil War. Department Commander, Donald Roberts was not able to be present due to a recent surgery and SVC James Russell presided. Delegate Danny Wheeler spoke about the GAR and read the poem, “Bigelow Pain”. Commander-in-Chief Clark Mellor and Auxiliary National President Catherine Zapatha were present. PDC DeVene Williamson brought some 146th NYSV badges for all to see. The Clark Cup was presented to camp #41. The Kernan Cup went to camp #41. There were 16 members present.
1990 Department Encampment, Cortland
The 107th Department Encampment was held June 29-July 1, 1990 in Cortland. Charles Corfman, Commander-in-Chief, was present. At the campfire, Don Laird, Jr., Superintendent of Fort Ontario Historic Site, spoke and sang Civil War era songs. The commander’s recommendation to ban alcohol from meetings was approved. The Clark Cup for the most new members went to Danny Wheeler, Camp #41. The Kernan Cup went to camp #41, Ithaca. A resolution to restore Memorial Day to May 30 was approved. There were 21 members present.
1991 Department Encampment, Salina
The 108th Department Encampment was held June 28-30, 1991 at the Days Inn, Salina. Commander-in-Chief George Long was present. Walt Shepard of the Syracuse New Times spoke about the Underground Railroad. PDD Al Morey spoke about the activities at the Cypress Hill Cemetery on Long Island. Doug Smith spoke about the fact that the department should give out a re-enactors award based on authenticity of a New York unit. The encampment approved but to cost no more than $100. The Clark Cup was awarded to Jerome Orton for most new members. The Kernan Cup for the most new members under 40 was awarded to camp #26. There were 19 members present.
1992 Department Encampment, Batavia
The 109th Department Encampment was held June 26-28, 1992 in Batavia at the Sheraton. The campfire was held with state and national officers were introduced. Brian Gosling, vice president of the NYS Military Heritage Museum spoke about the museum and presented an excellent slide show. Robert Eck played he bagpipes and Arthur Kirmss played the guitar an sang Civil War songs. Dough Smith gave his report about the 125th anniversary of the GAR in NYS and the ceremony that was held at the capitol and the NYS Military Heritage Museum on Washington Ave. in Albany. The encampment voted 13 to 5 with one abstention to pay $500 to become a charter member of the NYS Military Heritage Museum. One hundred dollars was a down payment and the secretary was empowered to pay more if the budget allows. The re-enactor’s award was given to the 148th NYSV. It was noted to that the plaque cost no more than $100. On June 28, the encampment went to downtown Batavia and placed a wreath at the statue of Major General Upton. The Clark Cup was awarded to Robert Eck for most new members and the Kernan Cup for most new members under 40 went to camp #26 in NYC. There were 23 members and one guest, PCinC Richard Greenwalt of Alliance, Ohio.
1993 Department Encampment, Ithaca
The 110th Department Encampment was held June 18-20, 1993 in Ithaca at the Sheraton. The City of Ithaca declared June 18-20, 1993 as Grand Army of the Republic Days in Ithaca. Commander-in-Chief Elmer Atkinson of Philadelphia was present. PCinC Harry Gibbons of Buffalo died May 20, 1993. The campfire was held on the Evening of June 18. The guest speaker was George Apgard who spoke on various military awards, including the Medal of Honor. Service awards were presented to PDC DeVene Williamson, PDC Judson French, PDC Bertram Isaacs, PCinC Norman Furman and PCinC Joseph S. Rippey. The GAR monument book has made a profit of $1,013.15. Douglas Harding, camp 26, said that there was movement to changed the Confederate monuments before the 1996 Olympic Games. It is felt by some that the world community would not look favorably upon the Confederate history of the United States. The 148th received the re-enactors award. Dough Smith received the Clark trophy for recruiting 11 new members. The encampment approved a motion that the secretary-treasurer have the authority to appoint an assistant. Danny Wheeler was elected department commander for the third time. This is a first for the department. There were 30 registered members.
1994 Department Encampment, Syracuse
The 111th Department Encampment was held June 10-12 in 1994 in Syracuse. The campfire was entertained by the Oliver Tilden Singers of Camp 26! Afterwards, refreshments and a large collection of GAR articles were enjoyed by all. The General Archibald Gracie Camp No. 95, Sons of Confederate Veterans announced that it was establishing an award to be given annually to the NY Dept. SUVCW, to encourage participation between the two august bodies. The complete text can be found in the by-laws and in the 11th annual journal. The plaque is done in bronze and carved by Brother Arthur Kirmss of camp #26. It is a Confederate and Union soldier shaking hands with the words, “We drank from the same canteen”. The re-enactors award went to the 125th NYSV. The history book funds of $170 and $550 from the GAR book was presented to the department. SVC Doug Smith spoke about the Gregg Cavalry Shaft at Gettysburg. NYS needed $483 for its share and $10 more than that was pledged or raised by the Sons and other organizations. The memorial service honored the memory of PDC Judson French, James Ellenwood, Charles Murphy, Lt. Col. David Quinn (real son), Robert Darley (real son), PCC Phil Abbott and Martin Hunt. After the end of the encampment, members traveled to downtown Syracuse for a service at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Clinton Square.
1995 Department Encampment, Cortland
The 112th Department Encampment was held June 9-11, 1995 in Cortland at the Holiday Inn. PCinC Elmer Atkinson of Philadelphia was the national representative. Ruth Funck, NP, DUVCW from St. Louis was present. The guest speaker at the campfire was R.L. Murray of Wolcott. An author of numerous Civil War books including, The Redemption of the Harper Ferry Cowards, Cliff Henke, GAR Highway Officer said special law #442 in 1937 established the GAR Highway in NYS. The encampment voted to award the re-enactor’s award to the 14th NYSV. The encampment approved to increase the per capita tax by the department to $4 a year. Half going to the general fund and the balance to the Jr. Vice Commander for advertising. To begin at the next fiscal year. There were 25 members present. Rotation for the encampment would be as follows: 96 LGAR; 97 SUVCW; 98 DUVCW and 99 AUX. Then continue on. A pubic wreath laying ceremony was held a the Civil War Memorial at 4 P.M. and a tour of Cortland Cemetery has held. The memorial service honored, PDC DeVene Williamson, Richard Williamson, Ellery Dillon, Joseph LaRue, Adrian Faulker, Paul Harrington, Rex Davenport and David Laing. James Grismer received the Clark Cup and camp #26 the Kernan Cup.
1996 Department Encampment, Liverpool
The 113th Department Encampment was held June 7-8, 1996 in Liverpool at the Days Inn. Desmond G.I. Dutcher, a real son, from Oswego attend in many years and probably the last. His father, Hiram Dutcher, served with the 184th NYSV from Oswego. A re-enactors award was voted on by the encampment and it went to the 119th NYSV. The plaque was not to cost more than $90. The department commander received a gift of $75. A member of the year award was established and explained by PDC Danny Wheeler. A memorial service was held for Nathan Sherman, Clayton Smith, Walter Stanton, Robert Steiger and real son Lynford Voorheis. Brother Arthur Kirmss played the bagpipes and PCinC Rippey read a memorial to the GAR. The Clark Cup went to Alex Park of Camp 41 and the most new members award to camp #26. There were 340 members and the treasury reported $27,751.38.
1997 Department Encampment, Utica
The 114th Department Encampment was held June 13-14, 1997 in Utica. The re-enactor’s award while a worthy project had been found to be with faults. It was expensive and a number of units felt the award was given out unfairly. So the encampment voted to present certificates to units that portray New York units. It was was voted to make the department commander the chairman of the New York delegation at the upcoming national encampment, August 7-11 in Utica. After the installation of officers, numerous members went to the Solders’ and Sailors’ Monument at Oneida Square on Genesee St. for a ceremony. At the GAR memorial dinner, Douglas Preston, president of the Oneida County Historical Society was the speaker.
1998 Department Encampment, Ithaca
The 115th Department Encampment was held June 12-14, 1998 in Ithaca. The major of Ithaca spoke at the campfire and proclaimed June 12-13, GAR Days in Ithaca. Commander-in-Chief Richard Orr of Pittsburgh, PA attended. PCinC Kenneth Wheeler of Amherst, N.H. was also present. GAR Highway Officer Cliff Henke said he had 7,000 pamphlets printed in connection with the “I Love New York” program. These pamphlets were distributed all long US Rout 6, which is the GAR Highway in NYS from Port Jervis at the NY-NJ-PA border to the NY-border near Danbury, CN. Jerome Orton resigned as treasurer after 12 years. R. David Neiss of camp #146 was elected the new treasurer. William Mason reported he presented 104 BSA certificates. The status of Halsey Valley Camp #193 was discussed. Five members are needed to keep the charter active. The encampment presented $100 to the department commander. PDC Charles Doane had his rank restored. During the year, PCinC Norman Furman, Buffalo, died on November 11, 1997. PDC Richard Cuyler, Auburn, died on January 12, 1998. There were 33 delegates at the encampment. The Woman’s Relief Corps met in Cuba and held their 115th and last department encampment. They voted that any local corps that wished to keep their charters may do so. Lorraine Orton, Syracuse, was the last department president of the WRC.
1999 Department Encampment, Albany
The 116th Department Encampment was held June 4-6, 1999 in Albany at the Quality Inn with 22 delegates and three guests. CinC Andrew Johnson of Arlington, VA, SVCinC Alan Peterson of West Warick, RI were present. The national president of the Auxiliary was Betty Baker of Ovid, N.Y. Gail Butterfield of S. Paris, ME, NP of the DUVCW was present. Earl Allen spoke abut 170 graves stones being damaged in Port Lyden. Jim Russell spoke about camp #82’s charter being for sale in an antique store in Owego. Ninety-one year old Milton Armstrong was restored to the rank of PDC. The patriotic instructor’s award for camps was started. The Sons were in favor of having their own encampment and inviting the other orders to join them. The Department commander’s budget was increased to $390 from $250. Jerome Orton resigned as secretary after 13 years and William Rave became the new secretary.
2000 Department Encampment, Owego
The 117th Department Encampment was held June 3-4, 2000 in Owego. Mike Bennett of White Plains was elected Department Commander.
2001 Department Encampment, Newburgh-West Point
The 118th Department Encampment was held June 9-10, 2001 in Newburgh-West Point, N.Y. Commander-in-Chief, Edward J. Kreiser was present. He spoke abut legislation regarding Civil War cannons. The encampment approved $500 to be allocated for publication of a new monument book or insert. The encampment did not approve a memorial marker at Saratoga National Cemetery. One hundred dollars was approved for a patriotic instructor’s award. Three hundred dollars was allowed for work a the GAR in Halsey Valley. The Eagle Scout chairman presented 273 certificates during the year. The were 5 real sons as members. Two real sons died during the year. John Cardinal O’Connor died during the year, a member of camp #26. There were 38 members present and 6 guests. On Sunday the encampment took a tour of the United States Military Academy at West Point. While there, the annual memorial service was held at the Battle Monument. The view from the Battle Monument is said to be one of the 10 most photographed views in the nation. A limited edition print of the Battle Monument by Paul Martin was made available to the members.
2002 Department Encampment, Waterloo
The 119th Department Encampment was held June 8-9, 2002 in Waterloo. The charter was draped in memory of 77 year member PDC Bertram Isaacs. Commander-in-Chief George Powell of Philadelphia was present. He spoke about retention. PDC Richard Greenwalt of Ohio and PDC Joe Long of PA were guests. The auxiliary would like a Civil War memorial in LaFayette Park in Waterloo. There is not Civil War memorial in Waterloo, the birthplace of Memorial Day. A fund was established to help with the memorials. A fund was also established for the preservation of the Scythe Tree. A certificates of commendation will be sent to Mr. James Foste of NYC who helped save the miniature statue of J.C. Julius Langbein, a Medal of Honor recipient from Woodlawn Cemetery. Danny Wheeler was reimbursed $74.45 for purchase of the camp charter from Buford, N.Y. This is a one time payment and not to be used as a precedent for articles bought by members. PDC Mike Bennett made a motion that was passed to purchase 10 name bars and 1 PDC badge before next year’s encampment. The PDC badge was pinned on Mike Bennett by his wife, Gail. There were 26 members present.
2003 Department Encampment, Cortland
The 120th Department Encampment was held June 7-8, 2003 in Cortland. Commander-in-Chief Robert Grim of Ohio was present and gave a commemorative coin to everyone in attendance. He recognized 7 members for recruiting. Clarence C. Berry of Martin Newton Curtis Camp #142 recruited 24 new members. A letter was received by Guy-Thurman Camp, SCV to attend a memorial service for former slave Sexton John W. Jones on June 22, 2003 in Elmira. Mr. Jones kept a log of all Confederate soldiers who died at the infamous Elmira Prison Camp. The Archibald Gracie Camp #985 plaque was awarded to camp #6. Danny Wheeler received a special award for his work in the preservation of camp #193 and the GAR in Halsey Valley. The Joseph S. Rippey Award was established and the first recipient was PCinC Danny Wheeler. There were 28 voting delegates. A memorial service was held at the Civil War memorial downtown Cortland.
2004 Department Encampment, Tarrytown
The 121st Department Encampment was held June 5, 2004 in Tarrytown. Commander-in-Chief Kent Armstrong was present. There were 20 brothers who recruited at least 1 members. Steven Hall of Camp #77 recruited the most-seven. Eight brothers received certificates for service in WW II and the certificates were signed May 29, 2004 at the dedication of the new WW II memorial in Washington, D.C. by the commander-in-chief. Camp #137 was chartered with rank of June 6, 2004. Mike Bennett received the Joseph S. Rippey Award. Admiral Worden Camp # 150 received the Gracie Camp #985 SCV Award. Arthur P. Kirmss received the Oliver Norton-Gustov Schumann Musician’s Award. The Dept. Council agreed to fund the restoration of the commission of Gen. Murray, the co-founder of Memorial Day. The cost was $317.17. The following members received the following awards: R. Stuart Smith, Jr. and Jerome Orton, Meritorious Service Award; B.F. Stephenson Award for the most new members nationally, Clarence C. Berry of Camp #142; The Department of New York for the most new members nationally, 77. Camp #6 received the department graves registrar award. Earl Allen spoke about the $5 “Tax” that is added to the sale of cemetery plots that is used to help with the damage due to vandalism. There were 34 members and one guest. On Sunday, a grand memorial service was held the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery on US Route 9. The gate was locked when the members arrived and the service almost did not happen.
2005 Department Encampment, Glens Falls
The 122nd Department Encampment was held June 4-5, 2005 in Glens Falls at the Queensbury Hotel. PDC Todd Shillington was recognized by the national organization for his successful efforts in retrieving the Civil War cannon in Kendall, N.Y. This and other unselfish acts have earned him the SUVCW highest award, the Meritorious Service Award with Gold Star. Dept. Musician Bill Tojeck, took part in Echo Taps and explained what the event was about. The Oxford Veterans’ Home Officer was established. The graves registration officer reported that 12 of 14 boxes of registration cards have been put on our data base. The GAR Highway Officer reported that a draft of a new GAR Highway brochure will be made available shortly. The BAS certificates coordinator reported that nearly 375 certificates have been presented. A committee was established to mark the 125th department encampment in three years. The voting strength of the encampment was 33. The Kernan Cup went to camp #26. The Clark plaque went to brothers, Weinmann, Rave, Swartwood and Gibson. The memorial service was held on Sunday, June 5 at the Grant Cottage on Mt. McGregor where U.S. Grant died on July 23, 1885. The Wilton Heritage Society Museum was opened for the Allied Orders. The Department of Correctional Facilities provided transportation to the Grant Cottage Cottage. Everyone enjoyed their trip on the prison bus! PDC Joseph Pucciarelli had died that morning, June 5. Past Commander-in-Chief Don Roberts had died the previous October 12.
2006 Department Encampment, Glens Falls
The 123rd Department Encampment was held June 2-4, 2006 in Glens Falls. The memorial service took place at the Civil War memorial in Crandall Park.
2007 Department Encampment, Waterloo
The 124th Department Encampment was held June 1-3, 2007 in Waterloo. Sue Greenhagan, a member of the DUVCW gave a presentation on Elisha York at the campfire. She did her Master of Library Science on the letters written by Elisha York and his life. The memorial service took place in Seneca Falls at the Civil War memorial.
2008 Department Encampment, Waterloo
The 125th Department Encampment was held in Waterloo, June 6-8, 2008 at the Holiday Inn. A specially mind badge was made to commemorate the encampment, similar to the 100th department encampment badge. The memorial service has held at the National Civil War Memorial on Oak Island.
2009 Department Encampment, Binghamton
The 126th Department Encampment was held in Binghamton. On Sunday a memorial service was held at the grave of Col. David Ireland, 137th NYSV. Also buried in the cemetery is General Robinson, past commander-in-chief of the GAR and former Lt. Gov. of NYS.
2010 Department Encampment, Newark
The 127th Department Encampment was held in Newark, the first time in 106 years. The village gave proclamations to all the allied orders. It rained on Sunday so the memorial service was cancelled.
2011 Department Encampment, Colonie
The 128th Department Encampment was held May 13-15, 2011 in Colonie (Albany), New York. Jeffery Albanese was re-elected department commander. The General Grant March was made the official song of the the department encampments. Commander-in-Chief Brad Schall of Lincoln, CA was present. Virginia Twist of Ovid, NY, national president of the Aux. to SUVCW was also present. On Sunday the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth was held in rain in Mechanicville. This was a signature event of the SUVCW. It was a huge success and made the newspapers before and after the event.
2012 Department Encampment, Peekskill-West Point
The 129th Department Encampment was held May 2012 at Peekskill-West Point, NY. Jeffery Albanese was re-elected Department Commander. Only he and PCinC Danny Wheeler have been elected 3 times. A tour of the USMA concluded the encampment.
2013 Department Encampment, Ithaca
The 130th Department Encampment was held May 3-5, 2013 in Ithaca, New York. Seneca County Historian --------------spoke at the campfire. Robert Pugsley of Middlesex was elected Department Commander. The public memorial service was held at the GAR monument in City Cemetery.
2014 Department Encampment, Rochester
The 131st Department Encampment was held May 2-4, 2014 at the Holiday Inn-Airport, Rochester, N.Y. Ken Freshley, Senior Vice Commander-in Chief represented the national organization. George Weinmann was elected department commander. Jeff Albanese, PDC, was elected treasurer and Robert Pugsley was elected secretary. On Sunday a ceremony was held at the GAR plot in Mt. Hope Cemetery. A brief ceremony was held at the graves of PCinC Theodore Cazeau and PcinC Joseph Rippey. The grave of Susan B. Anthony had flowers placed on it.
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Last updated 09-Apr-2016