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.

The Last Union Soldier Project

Beginning in 2003, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (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 Picacho Peak Camp #1, Arizona Camp-at-Large, proclaimed Private Parker Louis Gordon to be Arizona’s Last Union Civil War Soldier during a ceremony on November 19, 2005, at the Greenwood Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona.

After careful consideration it has been determined that Private William T. Scammahorn to be New Mexico’s Last Union Civil War Soldier.

Union Soldier Graves Registration

SUVCW National Graves Registration Database

Private Ambrose Skinner grave

An important activity of the SUVCW is to locate and register the graves of Union Civil War soldiers.  David Jackson is our department’s current Graves Registration Officer and he works to locate and record  local Union soldier graves.

We have identified the last Civil War veteran buried in Arizona, Private Parker Louis Gordon, and had a ceremony in 2007 at which we dedicated a new memorial marker to him at Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, Phoenix. Gordon was born September 1, 1847, and died December 5, 1946. He served as a private with the 154th Illinois Infantry Regiment.

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 military tombstone for this soldier at Greenwood Memorial Law Cemetery in Phoenix.

Members of the Department of the Southwest have identified burial locations and assisted in installing Government headstones for these Union Civil War soldiers:

Members of the Department of the Southwest have identified a burial location and claimed, but not yet installed a Government headstone for these Union Civil War soldiers as of May 2020:

Other Activities
  • 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.