Union Soldier Graves Registration
An important activity of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is to locate and register the graves of Union Civil War soldiers. The Southwest Department’s Graves Registration Officer works to locate and record local Union Army soldier graves.
In 2022 we erected a Union veterans memorial plaque in Citizen’s Cemetery, in Prescott. It was the first memorial plaque in Arizona for Union veterans of the Civil War.
In 2011 we identified the unmarked grave of a Civil War veteran and Buffalo Soldier, Private Ambrose Skinner, who served in the 36th United States Colored Infantry. Through an arduous 2-year period, Jan Huber, our previous Graves Registration Officer, identified the next of kin and worked with the Veteran’s Administration to secure and install a U.S. military headstone for Skinner at Greenwood Memorial Law Cemetery in Phoenix.
All of the Union soldier graves that have been identified and marked so far with U.S. military headstones because of the work of our Department’s members are listed below:
- Howard Edward Banes, 1845-1931, corporal, Company L, 3rd Colorado Cavalry (100 Days)
- Louis Becke, 1833-1901, sergeant, Company I, 32nd Indiana Infantry
- Robert Blair, 1831-1910, farrier, Company G, 1st California Cavalry
- Bernard Boyle, ND-1919, corporal, Company I, 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry
- Joseph Allen Bryant, 1842-81, sergeant, Company C, 42nd Illinois Infantry
- Bisente Corella, 1848-1918, bugler, Company K, 2nd California Cavalry
- Francis Duffee, 1826-1902, private, Company E, 1st Massachusetts Infantry.
- Julius Monroe Green, 1850-1907, Company D, 78th Illinois Infantry and Company E, 34th Illinois Infantry.
- Benjamin F. McElroy, 1845-1913, private, Company E, 197th Ohio Infantry (1 Year)
- James Owen McGovern, 1834-1916, private, Company D, 3rd California Infantry
- George V. Peterman, 1836-1903, private, Company G, 33rd Pennsylvania Infantry (3 Months)
- Jared Alexander Ryker, 1850-1936, private, Company H, 137th Indiana Infantry (100 Days, 1864)
- Ambrose Skinner, 1826-1922, private, Company E, 36th U.S. Colored Infantry
Members of the SUVCW Department of the Southwest have identified a burial location and claimed, but not yet installed, a military headstone for the following Union soldiers:
Arizonans Who Were Union Soldiers
New Mexicans Who Were Union Soldiers
The Last Union Veteran Project
Beginning in 2003, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) embarked on the Last Soldier Project, now the Last Union Veteran Project. The purpose of the project is to locate and appropriately mark the final resting place of the last Civil War Soldier buried in each county/parish and in each state of this great country.
Brothers of the Department’s Picacho Peak Camp proclaimed Private Parker Louis Gordon to be Arizona’s Last Union Civil War Soldier during a ceremony in on November 19, 2005, at the mausoleam at the Greenwood Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona. Gordon was born September 1, 1847, and died December 5, 1946. He served as a private with the 154th Illinois Infantry Regiment.
After careful consideration, it has been determined Private William T. Scammahorn to be New Mexico’s Last Union Civil War Soldier.
- Arizona’s last known living Union Veteran by county
- New Mexico’s last known living Union Veteran by county
Memorial Day Observations
The SUVCW Department of the Southwest participates in annual Memorial Day ceremonies held across Arizona. Some historical resources about the history of this holiday are provided below:
- The First National Memorial Day 1868 – A Decidedly Union Affair, Brother David Swanson
- Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Day proclamation, June 2, 1869
- JROTC/ROTC Recognition presents recognition certificates to high school and university graduates.
- GAR Research and Publication to uncover and distribute the history of the GAR in Arizona.
- Eagle Scout Recognition sends recognition certificates to new Eagle Scouts.
- School presentations to enrich the elementary and middle-school education of our youth on the meaning and importance of the Civil War.
- Reenactments of battles and skirmishes by some of our brothers with organized units, preserving our history.
- Historical presentations related to the Civil War at each of our meetings.
- Monuments preservation and establishment to ensure that the sacrifices of Union Soldiers in Arizona are not forgotten.
- Recruiting encourages eligible individuals to grow and strengthen our order.