Arizona Memorial to Union Troops
The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, located east of the Arizona state capitol, includes an impressive array of historical memorials. But a memorial dedicated to the Union soldiers who served in Arizona during the Civil War is conspicuously absent from the plaza. There’s nothing commemorating the California Column which secured Arizona for the Union in 1862. Nine Union soldiers were killed and seven were wounded during the campaign.
Please support our efforts to get a monument to the Union troops that served in Arizona erected on the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.
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. David Jackson is the Southwest Department’s current Graves Registration Officer and he works to locate and record local Union soldier graves.
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
- 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:
The Last Union Soldier Project
Beginning in 2003, the SUVCW embarked on the Last Soldier 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.
- JROTC Recognition presents recognition certificates to high school JROTC graduates.
- Arizona Stand Down each winter, helping homeless veterans with financial and volunteer support.
- Memorial Day Observation at Pioneer Military and Memorial Park in Phoenix.
- 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.