SNOW REMOVAL… an early November snowstorm dumped 6-12” of snow in the Tri-City Area. Watervliet Department of Public Works went to work right away cleaning sidewalks and streets. Crews came through Wednesday morning in a Bobcat with a snowblower attachment, quickly removing those mounds of snow. (TCR photo by Amy Loshbough)
Coloma men members of organization seeking the grave of the last Civil War
Veteran buried in each Michigan county
Civil War soldier recognized with ceremony “The Last Civil War Soldier” buried in Cass County was recognized with a grave side dedication and ceremony September 28, 2019 in the Bly Cemetery, Marcellus. Everyone was invited to attend and experience a unique opportunity to step back in time to the 1860s as the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) dedicated the grave of the last Union Civil War Soldier to be buried in Cass County – Frank Small! The ceremony was led by Coloma resident Steven Williams, Commander of Camp 85 in Berrien County. Camp 85 has members all over Berrien County including two Coloma residents, Rodney Krieger and Steven Williams. The “Last Soldier” is a project begun by the National Organization of the SUVCW to mark every grave of the Last Union Civil War Soldier in every county in every state. The Department of Michigan, SUVCW has marked or identified the graves of the “Last Soldier” in many Michigan counties. Each grave is marked with a plaque or special marker designating that Union Soldier as being the last one to be buried in that county. The honor guard, who presented the colors and directed the firing of muskets in a salute, was provided by the Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR), the honor guard branch of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is a fraternal organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of veteran heroes who fought and worked to save the Union in the American Civil War. Organized in 1881 and chartered by Congress in 1954, SUVCW is the legal heir and successor to the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1866, Union Veterans of the Civil War organized into the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and became a social and political force that would control the destiny of the nation for more than six decades. Membership in the veterans’ organization was restricted to individuals who had served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutter Service during the Civil War, thereby limiting the life span of the GAR. The GAR existed until 1956. In 1881, the GAR formed the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (SV) to carry on its traditions and memory long after the GAR had ceased to exist. Membership was open to any man who could prove ancestry to a member of the GAR or to a veteran eligible for membership in the GAR. In later years, men who did not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership, but who demonstrated a genuine interest in the Civil War and could subscribe to the purpose and objectives of the SUVCW, were admitted as Associates. This practice continues today. Many GAR Posts sponsored Camps of the SV. In 1925 the SV name was changed to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), under which its federal charter was issued in 1954. The SUVCW is legally recognized as the heir to, and representative of, the GAR. Today, the National Organization of the SUVCW, headed by an annually elected Commander-in-Chief, oversees the operation of 26 departments, each consisting of one or more states, a Department-at-Large, a National Membership-at-Large, and over 200 community based camps. More than 6,360 men enjoy the benefits of membership in the only male organization dedicated to the principles of the GAR — Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty. It publishes “The BANNER” quarterly for its members. The SUVCW National Headquarters is located in the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For more on the National Organization, visit www.SUVCW.org. The SUVCW is one of five Allied Orders of the GAR. The other four Orders are: Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Sons of Veterans Reserve The Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) is the ceremonial uniformed military component of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). The National Military Department of the SVR consists of the General Staff and seven geo- graphical Military Districts across the nation. SVR Units participate in Civil War related ceremonies, parades, living history programs, and re-enactments.