Sons of Union Veterans
At its 120th Annual National Encampment held in Springfield, Missouri in August, 2001, The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War elected George L. Powell the 115th Commander-in-Chief.
Commander-in-Chief Powell is the sixth member from Pennsylvania elected to this position in the past 20 years and the twenty-fifth since the Orders founding in 1881.
Commander-in-Chief Powell was born in Philadelphia, PA on March 19, 1948 and is the eldest son of George and Eileen Powell. Brother Powell?s interest in the Civil War began when he received a copy of Carl Sandburg?s Lincoln as a birthday present at the age of eight. Vacation trips to several battlefields during the Civil War Centennial as well as trips to the reenactments of First Bull Run and Antietam enkindled a love of American History that continues today. Although he knew he had an ancestor who fought in the Civil War he didn?t begin researching his ancestor until he was nearly 40 years old. Attending the first Open House program at the G.A.R. Civil War Museum and Library in January,1987 he met PCinC Bud Atkinson and several other Brothers of Anna M. Ross Camp #1 and the rest is, as they say, history. Basing his membership on his Maternal Great Great Grandfather Daniel Murphy, Corporal in Co. B of the 30th Massachusetts Vol. Infantry, he joined Camp 1 at its next meeting, being appointed the Camp Guard the same evening. Since then Bro. Powell has held most offices in the Camp including Commander in 1989. His interest in the Order increased and he was elected Pennsylvania Department Jr. Vice Commander at the 1991 Encampment in Chambersburg, Pa.
He progressed through the Department Offices serving terms as Commander in 1994 and 1995. His service at the National level includes seven years as the Credentials Chairman at the National Encampments, six years on the Military Affairs Committee as well as three years on the Council of Administration before his election as Jr. Vice Commander-in-Chief in 1999.
In addition to his work with the SUVCW, Bro. Powell served as a member of the Board of Directors of the G.A.R. Museum in Philadelphia for 10 years, nine as Vice President. He is a founding member of the 28th Pennsylvania Historical Association and Company C, 28th Penna. Vol. Infantry, an SVR reenactment group, where he served as the original Treasurer and Newsletter Editor.
He has served in many positions with the Boy Scouts of America in Philadelphia over the past 35 years and is a recipient of the District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver awards.
He is currently serving as a Lector and for more than 25 years as an Usher in his church.
Brother Powell could not be as active as he is without a loving wife and family who supports his varied interests and an understanding employer. He has been employed by the National Board of Medical Examiners in Philadelphia for the past 31 years and is currently a PC Systems Analyst.
For the past 32 years he and his very patient wife Sandy have lived in the Wissanoming section of Philadelphia finding time to raise three daughters, Susan, Theresa and Karen and he is a first time grandfather with daughter Susan and her husband Tom presenting him with Grandson #1, Matthew Thomas Schied on Christmas Eve, 2000.
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