Saturday, March 31, 2012

Union Defender March 2012


1) Members discussed plans for the Pea Ridge 150th anniversary weekend.

NEXT MEETING: The April meeting of Phelps Camp will be held at the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Visitor Center on Tuesday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

DUES ARE DUE: Yes, it’s that time again! Dues are still $30 (the same as 2011). Please make your check or money order payable to “Phelps Camp No. 66, SUVCW” and mail to:

John Rutherford
1329 S. Meadowview Ave.
Springfield, MO 65804

With many more 150th anniversary events on the horizon, we need the men of Phelps Camp to “re-enlist” and help the public remember those who fought and died to save the Union.

PHELPS GROVE MARKER DEDICTION CEREMONY: The members of Phelps Camp are cordially invited to a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mary Whitney Phelps on Sunday, April 29. A new historical marker honoring the efforts of Mary Phelps to care for wounded Union soldiers, the body of General Nathaniel Lyon, and Civil War orphans, will be dedicated. The event will be held in Phelps Grove Park, at the corner of Brookside and Virginia in Springfield. Period craft demonstrations will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. that day, the Missouri State University Brass Quartet will play from 1:30-2 p.m. and the formal dedication ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Trinity Lutheran Church, 1 block west of the park. All camp members are encouraged to attend (wearing membership medals, of course), and volunteers are still needed for a color guard. Please contact Jeff Patrick ( ASAP if you have a musket and Union uniform and are able to attend.

PEA RIDGE ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND: On March 9, 10 and 11, members of Phelps Camp journeyed to Pea Ridge National Military Park to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the important battle. In addition to assisting with infantry and artillery living history demonstrations, Phelps Camp members conducted a special memorial program to honor the men of Phelps’ Regiment, Missouri Infantry.

On Saturday afternoon, camp members were joined by about 15 reenactors and 45 visitors on a hike from Elkhorn Tavern to the area where Colonel John Smith Phelps and his outnumbered regiment conducted a brave but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to hold the Union line against ferocious enemy attacks. After reading a brief account of the regiment’s role in the Battle of Pea Ridge, Jeff Patrick asked 21 of the reenactors present to read a short profile of each of the regiment’s casualties (killed or mortally wounded) in the battle. Kip Lindberg read the poem “When the Boys in Blue are Gone,” and a moment of silence ended the half-hour program. We were fortunate to be joined by a direct descendant of James Bedford Matney, a private in Company H, who died of his wounds a month after the battle. A number of reenactors told camp members that the program was very poignant and moving. The men of Phelps’ Regiment who made the ultimate sacrifice to save our Union were not forgotten on the anniversary of their first and only battle. Photos of the event will appear in next month’s newsletter.

PHELPS CAMP PURCHASES IMPORTANT HISTORICAL ARTIFACT: Phelps Camp recently purchased an important historical item on E-bay. The minute book of the Cape Girardeau chapter of the Sons of Veterans Auxiliary, covering the 1920-1929 time period, came up for auction, and the camp was the successful bidder, with the intention of donating it to an appropriate museum or archive. Although in less than perfect condition, the minute book is a rare find—in fact, relatively little survives to tell the story of the SUV and SUV Auxiliary in Missouri. The State Historical Society of Missouri’s research center in Rolla has expressed in interest in acquiring the book, so camp members will formally donate it to the SHS next month. One of the missions of the SUV is to preserve documents and memorabilia relating to the Union Army and Navy and associated veterans organizations, so hopefully Phelps Camp will have additional opportunities to acquire and donate other rare items.

CIVIL WAR COMMEMORATIVE “CHALLENGE COINS” AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE: The camp has purchased several SUVCW “Challenge Coins” for resale. Two designs are available—one for the Civil War 150th anniversary and one for the Grand Army of the Republic. Check out the designs: These are priced to move at only $10 each! Jeff Patrick will have them available at upcoming meetings.


April 29: Phelps Marker dedication, Phelps Grove Park, Springfield, 2 p.m.

CAN DO! We made another successful “run” to the recycling center, so please bring your cans to the next meeting so that we can rebuild our stock.

No comments:

Post a Comment