Brad Schall of Lincoln, California was elected Commander-in-Chief at the 129th National Encampment of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Overland Park, Kansas on 14 August 2010. He is the fourth Californian to be elected Commander-in-Chief, the last being elected 44 years ago.
Commander-in-Chief Schall’s membership in the SUVCW is through his two great grandfathers, William Braden Schall, Sgt. 11th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry and Willis Reed, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry and a Sgt. in the 1st Illinois Light Artillery. Three great uncles, Capt. Absalom Schall, 11th Pennsylvania, Cpl. Thomas Jackson Schall, killed at the battle of Fair Oaks and Pvt. George G. Schall of the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry all served in the Union Army. William Braden Schall and Absalom Schall were members of the GAR. Twenty two other relatives fought for the Union.
Brad Schall is the oldest son of Donald Braden Schall, Sr and Anna Mae Schall. He has one brother and five sisters. He was born in Hutchinson, Kansas where his Nana Schall introduced him to the Civil War History of his family and the Joseph Hooker GAR Post. Among his prize possessions are his great grandparents’ GAR and Woman’s Relief Corps Encampment ribbons and badges. Both his Nana and great grandmother were members of the Woman’s Relief Corps. His brother William, son Braden and grandson Christopher are members of the SUVCW.
His Civil War interest goes back to childhood where he lived one block from the Lincoln Civil War Memorial in Hutchinson, Kansas. As a child, his family participated in Memorial Day services with descendants of members of the Joseph Hooker GAR Post 17, of which his great-grandfather had been a member. Brad’s family decorated the graves of their great-grandfather and other Civil War soldiers at East Side Cemetery in Hutchinson with flags and flowers.
Brad joined the Phil Sheridan SUVCW Camp in San Jose, California and during the next 15 years held almost every position in the Camps he belonged to and in the Department of California and Pacific. He started the General Alfred Pleasonton Camp #24 in 1999. At the national level he has served on the Memorials Committee, Chairman of the Memorials Grant Committee, E-Bay Committee, Chairman of the Fraternal Relations Committee, National Patriotic Instructor, Committee on Constitution and Regulations, Life Membership Committee Chairman, Sesquisenntial Committee, two terms on the Council of Administrations and has gone thought the Chairs to become Commander-in-Chief. He also served as Co–Chairman of the SUVCW Foundation. He actively participates with the General George Wright Camp #22 in Sacramento and the General Alfred Pleasanton Camp #24 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He retired in 2002 when he sold his meat brokerage business and moved to Lincoln, California. His business career was in the food industry starting at Safeway while in school, and 17 years at Quaker Oats Company in sales, sales management and sales promotion. He left Quaker Oats to spend ten years in the export/import business and then as general manager of a Con Agra Distribution Company in California. He went to the meat industry after that and finally ended his career by owning his own business for the last eight years.
Brad belongs to the California Historical Society, Kansas State Historical Society, Derry Pennsylvania Historical Society, Pennsylvania Genealogy Society, Ft. Larnard Old Guard, Friends of Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg Battlefield Association, Lincoln Forum, California Military Museum, Sacramento and San Francisco Civil War Roundtables, Co–Chairman of the Friends of Civil War Alcatraz, Volunteer NPS Docent at Alcatraz Island in San Francisco National Eagle Scout Association, Manger of Sun Eagles senior softball team, Fellowship of Christian Athletic and a U.S. Army Veteran.
However he is most proud of his family heritage, his wife Patti, five children, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
I dedicate my year of service to my two great grandfathers who served in the Civil War, my parents who taught me the love of country, respect for family members who came before me, the love of God and the exciting history of the American Civil War, and to my mentor Bob Lowe whom I wish were here to experience this great ride with me.