Thursday, August 2, 2012

Union Defender July 2012

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE JULY MEETING? Sadly, the July meeting and Civil War weapons demonstration event at Kirk Singleton’s farm had to be postponed due to the ongoing drought and the possibility of accidentally setting fire to Kirk’s farm. We will attempt to reschedule the event this fall. 

NEXT MEETING:  Unfortunately, the drought continues, so we will not be able to conduct our “weapons demonstration” at the August meeting. Instead, we will meet at the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Visitor Center on Tuesday, August 7 at 7 p.m. We will discuss the usual camp business and view the new Battle of Shiloh DVD, produced for the Visitor Center at Shiloh National Military Park.

DUES ARE DUE:  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.
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CAMP DONATES RARE ARTIFACTS TO WILSON’S CREEK BATTLEFIELD:   The members of Phelps Camp recently voted to use camp funds to purchase a rare grouping of Civil War artifacts and donate those objects to Wilson’s Creek Battlefield. Here’s an excerpt from the press release issued by the battlefield:

“Phelps Camp No. 66, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War recently donated a collection of rare Civil War artifacts to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. A tintype photograph, two discharges, and family genealogical information, relating to Union soldier Thomas Jefferson O’Neal, were presented to battlefield Superintendent Hillmer.

Thomas O’Neal, a native of Marshall County, Tennessee, moved to Springfield, Missouri, in 1858 and became a blacksmith. He enlisted in Capt. Holland’s Company, Missouri Home Guard in June 1861. After his discharge that October, he enlisted in Phelps’ Regiment, Missouri Infantry. After his service in Phelps’ Regiment, O’Neal served in a third unit, the 6th Regiment, Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia. According to family information, he also participated in the Battle of Springfield on January 8, 1863, and was wounded in the battle. Following the Civil War, O’Neal married and engaged in ‘mercantile pursuits.’ He died in 1901 and is buried in the Springfield National Cemetery.

‘We are very grateful to the members of Phelps Camp for purchasing and donating these precious artifacts. Material relating to members of Phelps’ Regiment is extremely scarce, and these items will be added to our museum collection, preserved in our climate-controlled storage area, and made available to researchers,’ said Superintendent Hillmer.

CIVIL WAR COMMEMORATIVE “CHALLENGE COINS” AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE:  Yes, we still have some! 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 anniversary. Check out the designs: These are priced to move at only $10 each! Jeff Patrick will have them available at upcoming meetings.

August 10: Battle of Wilson’s Creek 151st anniversary ceremony, 10 a.m. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
September 22 (tentative): Headstone dedication ceremony in Elkland, Missouri (details TBA).

NEW ISSUE OF THE MISSOURI UNIONIST NOW AVAILABLE:   Check out the latest issue of the Department of Missouri’s newsletter at

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.