History of the Gov. Crapo Camp
and the Sons of Union Veterans

A Brief History of the Camp

The current Gov. Crapo Camp No. 145, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, was chartered on October 14, 1992, by the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, with its Charter being presented by Department Commander, the Hon. James B. Pahl. The Camp was named in memory of the Gov. Crapo Post No. 145 of Flint, Grand Army of the Republic.

The GAR Post had been named in honor of Henry Howland Crapo, Governor of Michigan during the closing year of the Civil War. Our present Sons camp in Flint is the 3rd camp to be chartered in this city. The 1st was Lt. A.J. Babcock Camp No.1 (Oct. 1892 - June 1899) and the 2nd was J.H. Failing Camp No.3 (June 1929 - December 1931).

The Camp's original Charter Members are: L. Dean Lamphere, Jr., Lloyd D. Lamphere, Sr., Jay K. Thiebaut, Jr., Thomas Y. Thiebaut, Harry L. Lamphere, Carl E. Lamphere, Mark D. Lamphere, Lawrence D. Lamphere, David F. Wallace, Terrance L. McKinch, Richard Greene, Dennis C. Derr II, David M. Post, Paul D. Williams, Paul Bachmann, Darrel O. Hardenburg, Daniel V. Graves, Donald J. Smith, William R. Strutts, and Michael J. McCreedy.

The Camp has concentrated on several projects during over the years. The Camp has identified and marked, through appropriate ceremony, the graves of several Civil War veterans. The Camp continues to educate the community through participation in veterans and school programs, by offering research services at various community events, and through its continued observance of Memorial Day on May 30th of each year. The Camp continues its efforts to maintain Aventine Cemetery in downtown Flint where 35 Comrades of the Gov. Crapo Post No. 145 are buried. The cemetery is also part of the historic Camp Thomson site, a Civil War training camp for several regiments during the winter of 1861—1862.

In 1997, the Camp sponsored the adoption of a battle flag from the 4th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry, part of the Michigan Capitol Battle Flag Collection, in memory of Camp Brother John W. Campbell, a Real Son. The Camp was honored with a Special Tribute from the Eighty-Ninth Legislature of the State of Michigan at Lansing.

The Camp has had thirteen Commanders since its organization. All have served the Department of Michigan in elected or appointed positions. Several have also served the National Organization in elected or appointed positions: David F. Wallace, PDC 1992—1994 and 2003, Terrance L. McKinch 1994—1995, Richard Greene, PDC 1995—1996 and 2004, Daniel V. Graves 1996—1997, William R. Morris 1997—1998, David T. Wallace 1998—1999, Donald W. Shaw, PDC 1999—2000 and 2009, Max L. Newman 2000—2002, Dennis C. Derr II, PDC 2005—2006, Edgar J. Dowd 2007—2008, Robert W. May, 2010—2012, and L. Dean Lamphere, Jr. 2013—2016, and Lloyd D. Lamphere, Sr., 2016 to present.

About the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

In 1866, Union Veterans of the Civil War organized into the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and became a social and political force that would control the destiny of the nation for more than six decades. Membership in the veterans' organization was restricted to individuals who had served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutter Service during the Civil War, thereby limiting the life span of the GAR. The GAR existed until 1956.

In 1881 the GAR formed the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (SV) to carry on its traditions and memory long after the GAR had ceased to exist. Membership was open to any man who could prove ancestry to a member of the GAR or to a veteran eligible for membership in the GAR. In later years, men who did not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership, but who demonstrated a genuine interest in the Civil War and could subscribe to the purpose and objectives of the SUVCW, were admitted as Associates. This practice continues today.

Many GAR Posts sponsored Camps of the SV. In 1925 the SV name was changed to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), under which its federal charter was issued in 1954. The SUVCW is legally recognized as the heir and representative of the GAR.

Today, the National Organization of the SUVCW, headed by an annually elected Commander-in-Chief, oversees the operation of 26 Departments, each consisting of one or more states, a Department-at-Large, a National Membership-at-Large, and over 200 community based Camps. More than 6,360 men enjoy the benefits of membership in the only organization dedicated to the principles of the GAR - Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty. It publishes "The BANNER" quarterly for its members.

The Department of Michigan was organized on 24 June 1884. There are 24 Camps and over 500 members throughout the State.

The SUVCW is one of five Allied Orders of the GAR. The other four Orders are: Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War