Sons of Union Veterans Feed

Phantom gunshot

Phantom Gunshot | Civil War Family from John Fulton on Vimeo.

Shopie Koerner hears a gunshot outside her home in Belleville, Illinois the night before Lincoln is shot in Washington DC. Coincidence?

Her husband, Gustav Koerner, was a journalist, lawyer, politician, judge, and statesman in Germany and Illinois, and a Colonel of the U.S. Army during the Civil War. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and served as a pall bearer for Lincoln's funeral.

Jack LeChien, from the The Koerner House Restoration Committee, tells the story. The house was built in 1849 and is currently being restored.

Saturday, June 6, 2015


Koerner House, June 6, 2015


Garry Ladd, Bob Mohrman, Dave Wildumuth, John Fulton, and John McKee presented a living history display at the Koerner House in Belleville, IL.

Koerner was a journalist, lawyer, politician, judge, and statesman in Illinois and Germany and a Colonel of the U.S. Army during the Civil War. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and served as a pall bearer for Lincoln's funeral.

The house was built in 1849 and is currently being restored.

Most of the artifacts presented here are from the 50 year collection of Robert Mohrman

- See more at:

Battle Hymn of the Republic - 33rd Illinois

Battle Hymn of the Republic from John Fulton on Vimeo.

The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band performed The Battle Hymn of the republic at the 59th Lincoln Tomb Observance at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. Saturday, April 11, 2015. The 33rd uses vintage istruments and traditional arrangments, true to the period of the Civil War. The event is sponsored by the S.U.V.C.W AND THE M.O.L.L.U.S.


Civil War veterans of waterloo, Illinois remembered


Photos by Civil War Family

WATERLOO, IL (KTVI) 04/09/15 – This week marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. A 16-year-old Waterloo Illinois boy is completing a Civil War project that ties the past with the present. 100 veterans from the war that divided this country are buried at 4 different cemeteries in Waterloo. Boy Scout Shane Douglas is making sure those veterans are not forgotten. Douglas said, “The hardest part is trying to make sure we know where all the graves are at.”

This is Douglas’ Eagle Scout project. He’s placing a brand new plaque on graves of veterans. He’s learned that a lot of history happened in his own backyard. The teen said, “There were some confederates stealing horses in this area and they caught them and they end up actually hanging them.”

99 of the graves hold the remains of Union veterans. Only one is a Confederate. That man moved here from Arkansas after the war. Waterloo’s Mayor Tom Smith has pitched in, helping raise funds to pay for the grave markers. Smith said, “This is a great history lesson couldn’t be any prouder for him.”

After 150 years of rain, snow and all kinds of weather. Some of the graves are damaged or unreadable. Under Shane’s leadership and with the help of many citizens he’s looked at local cemetery maps and genealogy information to find all the graves. Laura Douglas is Shane’s mother, “I’ve always been interested in genealogy and history and he’s taken after that it’s a big project for him.” Mike Douglas is the boy’s father, “Extremely proud of all the things he’s been able to accomplish in scouts not just this.” Shane said his goal is simple, “Increase awareness that we actually have civil war veterans that helped affect our nation’s history.”

Passing of Real Son Luke Perkins Martin, Jr

Luke Perkins Martin Jr, the son of Union Civil War veteran Luke Perkins Martin, Sr, died on January 25, 2015 at the age of 97 years. Brother Luke was a member of North Carolina Union Volunteers Camp No. 5. 

Luke’s father, Luke Martin, Sr., was born into slavery in 1837 and reportedly swam across three rivers in winter to get to New Bern and join what became the 35th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops (formerly the 1st North Carolina Colored Infantry). Private Martin saw action at the battles of Olustee, Florida and Honey Hill, South Carolina.

The younger Martin lived in the house his father built. He worked as a funeral service assistant for Oscar’s Mortuary, as he had since the business opened. He was also a master brick mason, like his father before him. Martin Jr. was the lead mason in the early 1950s for the restoration of historic Tryon Palace and fifty other historic buildings. He taught vocational classes for military veterans and students in several area schools.

In honor of Brother Martin’s passing, SUVCW Commander-in-Chief Tad Campbell has issued Special Order No. 3, which orders an official period of mourning for thirty days, during which time charters are to be draped and mourning ribbons are to be attached to the membership badge. Only an estimated seven real sons of Civil War Union veterans remain alive today. Click here (pdf) for a list of those eight men.


Messinger Cemetery Memorial Dedication




The mission of making sure that eight men who answered the call to patriotism and service of the United States was not forgotten Saturday as a crowd braved temperatures in the low 30s to celebrate their memories and legacy.

The event was the dedication ceremony for the Veterans Monument at Messinger Cemetery at 3450 Old Collinsville Road near Swansea.

The monument is in honor of the eight veterans buried in the cemetery:

John Messinger, who served in the Blackhawk War; Pvt. John Altman, Pvt. H.B. Bevirt, Pvt. William A. Isaacs, Cpl. Daniel J.M. Phillips, Cpl. George D. Rittenhouse and Pvt. William H. Rutherford, who served in Company 1, 117th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War; and F1C John E. Neill, who served in the U.S. Navy in World War I.

Continue reading "Messinger Cemetery Memorial Dedication" »

Gustav Koerner House

Members from the Col. Hecker Camp #443 (SUVCW) participated in a living history day at the Gustav Koerner House in Belleville, Illinois, on Saturday April 5, 2014.

Gustav Philipp Koerner, also spelled Gustave or Gustavus Koerner (20 November 1809 –  9 April 1896) was a revolutionary, journalist, lawyer, politician, judge, and statesman in Illinois and Germany and a Colonel of the U.S. Army who was a confessed enemy of slavery. He married on 17 June 1836 in Belleville Sophia Dorothea Engelmann (16 November 1815 – 1 March 1888),[5] they had 9 children.[6] He belonged to the co-founders and was one of the first members of the Grand Old Party; and he was a close confidant of Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd and had essential portion on his nomination and election for president in 1860.

The event was held to celebrate the City of Belleville's 200th anniversary. More living history event are scheduled throughout the year.

Koerner's House is currently under renovation by The Belleville Heritage Society.