Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is a fraternal organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of heroes who fought and worked to save the Union. Organized in 1881 and chartered by Congress in 1954, we are the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic.

Joining the SUVCW

When you join the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, you enter a network of more than 6,000 men who form lifelong bonds, honor their heroic ancestors, and promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism in their communities. There are hereditary members, who trace their lineage to those who served honorably in the Civil War, and associate members, who do not have the requisite ancestry but wish to join the fraternity. Each is described in greater detail below.

Men and juniors interested in joining the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War should make every effort to connect with their local or nearest Camp or Department, as this will greatly accelerate the application process. Please visit our Departments page to find the one that is closest to you. We currently have 32 Departments, representing the whole of the United States of America, as well as one International Camp that exists in England. Click here to go to the Departments page in order to connect with someone close to you. The Brothers of the Order stand by to assist you and make your application process as easy as possible.

How to join the SUVCW

Hereditary membership is available to a male descendant, 14 years of age (6 to 14 for Juniors), who meets the following requirements:

You must directly descend from a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or member of the Revenue Cutter Service (or directly descend from a brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister of such Soldier, etc.) who was regularly mustered and served honorably in, was honorably discharged from, or died in the service of, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service of the United States of America or in such state regiments called to active service and was subject to the orders of United States general officers, between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.

You must never have been convicted of any infamous or heinous crime.
You, or the ancestor through whom membership is claimed, must never have voluntarily borne arms against the government of the United States.

Associate membership is available to men who do not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership. Associate membership is available to any man who demonstrates a genuine interest in the Civil War and can subscribe to the purpose and objects of the SUVCW.

Although an Associate is not required to meet the lineage requirement of a Member, he is still subject to the second and third provisions of hereditary eligibility. An Associate may vote and hold any office except those of Commander-in-Chief, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, National Secretary, National Treasurer and Commanding Officer of the Sons of Veterans Reserve. Associates may not exceed one-third of the total membership of the Camp at the time of election.

There are two (2) Local SUVCW camps in the WNY or Buffalo, NY area.


You can find them on Facebook at:

Chaplain Philos G Cook Camp #223, SUVCW

Sons of Union Veterans Civil War: Col John B Weber Camp 44


More Information on the SUVCW:

For membership goto the SUVCW website:

Camp Commander Rodney Parker, Chaplain PG Cook Camp – Rodney [dot] Parker [at] gmail [dot] com – (716) 876-9421





Visiting a Battlefield

We often ask our teachers about if they are interested in doing a battlefield tour as a class field trip.

We often do several tours to Gettysburg every year which we give an awesome battlefield tour of the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park.

We do a special program called “Western NY ay Gettysburg” as we visit the sites, memorials & markers of those men & regiments who fought from Western NY, who fought on those 3 days, in July 1863.

Having us along on your trip will make it extra special as we are your guides for the duration. We are your guide service.

You don’t often have the opportunity to visit a battlefield or historical site with a Civil War historian(s) as your guide(s).

We offer to assist you in making the arrangements, or we can make all the arrangements for you.

We are experienced, plus you will have one or two knowledgeable Civil War historians along to not only to be your guide(s), but we will be bringing with us a few items (no firearms),  uniforms, and other items from the museum for some “hands-on” history lesson.

This little show and  will opportunity will help with your students understanding of not only the battle, but with the general history and understanding about the conflict and how it may have been like to be a soldier during the War Between the States.

** As a side note – If your school is in Niagara County, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus or Allegany Counties (chances your school is associated with Boces), We can help write up a proposal for a Coser 403 to help you fund your trip

The opportunity to give a tour and be your guide would be our honor and privilege

Our fee is very reasonable, and cheaper than a National Park Service guide.

The time we tour the battlefield (a few hours or a few days); our historians as your tour guides, will make a world of difference with your students attitude towards history and their understanding what tragically happened on those few days in July 1863 and what a effect it had in our history.

differently something to think about when you are planning your next battlefield trip to Gettysburg

Added assistance for Preservation

Here is some added assistance for our Teachers and Educator in helping us spread the word about Civil War Preservation.

Below is a link to help you approach your schools administrators in helping them be aware of our combined efforts

How to Approach Your Administration

Thanks for your help and interest in Civil War Preservation

Help Save a Battlefield

The Echoes Through Time Learning Center & Civil War museum &  staff are very involved in the preservation of our Civil War battlefields & historical sites.

We donate monies often to the Civil War Trust, especially when opportunities come up, either with matching donations to battlefields/ sites or multiple dollar funds; 2 or 3 dollars they will donate to you dollar donation or greater opportunities.

Our teachers and schools can assist us in our efforts by promoting Civil War preservation of our battlefield & historical sites.

Listed below are a number of links associated with Civil War preservation – where you and your group can help a specific battlefield or find another area of interest for which you would like to raise funds.

  • Save a Battlefield

  • Donate to the Education Fund (Civil War Trust)

  • Donate to the Civil War Trust

  • Become a member of the Civil War Trust

  • For more information visit the Civil War Trust website at:

Student Opportunities

There are opportunities for students interested in Civil War history to come volunteer at our Learning Center. See the behind the scenes operations, learn museum studies, see relics up close, learn the stories behind our collection

  • There are student opportunities to volunteer there time at the Learning Center to qualify for their community service, by volunteering at the Learning Center

  • There are also a number of Civil War reenacting groups in our Buffalo area, that we can help with students continued Civil War interest

  • Take part in our Gettysburg battlefield monument cleanup! Our Echoes Through Time Learning Center has adopted a monument of the 154th NY Volunteers at the Gettysburg battlefield. Our staff goes to Gettysburg twice a year to clean up the area around the 154th NY Monument. We go down once in the Spring, and once in the fall. Those in Scouting get a merit badge from the park service. Our Cleanup only takes a few hours – but afterwards we do a battlefield tour, given by one of our  staff or directors. Your reward is helping to preserve a battlefield & getting a free tour of the battlefield – contact us for more information & check this site for dates


Teacher Opportunities

We are always looking for educators to help volunteer at our Learning Center – please contact us for more information

  • We encourage our educators & teachers to start a history club, or a Civil War history club – that we can help take a active part in molding their interest, especially getting the students a more hands-on study of the time period

  • Our Learning Center & museum are proud members of the Niagara Frontier Council for the Social Studies. We can use your help in getting the word out to your school districts

  • Our Echoes Through Time Learning C enter & Civil War Museum is Chartered as a certified museum by the NY State Board of Regents

  • We are also a 501(c)3, non profit organization

  • Come join our team of educators!

(3 of our board members /staff – are teachers or retired teachers from WNY)

Our Traveling Trunk

The Traveling Civil War History Trunk

We have something very unique for our teachers / educators to try to implement before they start their curriculum studies on the civil war era.

It is called our Traveling Civil War history trunk. This trunk is available for our local educators to use for one week at a time (Monday – Friday).

How it Works

  • 1st  – the teacher schedules a available date(s)

  • 2nd – make arrangements to picks the trunk from our learning center (please make arrangements at leased 30 day before use)

  • 3rd – use the trucks items for 1 week(s) time

  • 4th – return it to our learning center at the end of the week.

  • 5th – send us a picture using our Traveling Trunk


One of the best part of the Traveling Trunk idea for our teachers & educators is that- it is totally FREE. Yes, totally.

What’s so special about our Traveling Trunk?

The Traveling Civil War Trunk program provides reproduction Civil War artifacts, books, music and other various materials for teachers to utilize during their Civil War instruction.  The trunk helps creates interest in our American Civil War and in battlefield preservation by allowing students to have a hands-on experience; with soldier items of the time period.

This trunk has a variety of reproduction items related to the Civil War area; here are a few of the items from the trunk:

  • Kepi

  • Canteen

  • Minnie-ball

  • Haversack

  • Waist Belt

  • Ladies Bonnet

  • Uniform Coat

  • Civil War paper money

  • Assorted other soldier items

  • CD of Civil War period music

Also included are instructions & information on the items in the traveling Civil War Truck. Worksheet, Check off inventory list of items.

All we ask is that you make arrangements to come pick it up. You have use of the Trunk’s items for 1 week. And return it back to our learning center

The end results

We hope by you the educator will have a positive end result watching your students finding that connection of seeing those items being presented, having them hold them, wear them and appreciate history to a point where it sparks an interest.

We hope that you and your school will have us come to your school as a Classroom Visitor or let us arrange a battlefield tour for your class – having us as your battlefield tour guides to take their experience one step further.