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Department Dispatch

Spring 2009

Inside — PDC Robert McCormick…….….…2 Department Orders #3……………………..4 Department Encampment Registration form…….5 Map for Dept Encampment ………..6 Memoriam Ernst Frankenberg…………7 Camp News and Activities……………...8

Our 126th Year

Comments From Your Wisconsin Department Commander Greetings Brothers & Friends, Since our last issue of the Department Dispatch, we have had a lot going on in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Now, our busiest season is upon us! We had a very successful Mid-Winter Meeting in February, followed by Camp #1's Patriotic Luncheon. We were honored to have PDC Bob Petrovic, of the Nat'l Council of Administration, in attendance at both events. He and his wife Cher, made the trip up from Missouri to be with us. I was very pleased with the information our Department Officers and Camp Commanders shared with us, on what they have been doing for the "Good of the Order"!


Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

I have been honored to be able to install the 2009 Officers of Camps 4, 5 & 49. It is great to hear what is going on around the state, with the SUVCW. As always, it is great to be in our only GAR Hall, in Boscobel. Last weekend, I was able to join a number of others, from the Badger State, at the 53rd Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony. Thanks to PCinC Steve Michaels, SVC Tom Brown, JVC Kim Heltemes, Patriotic Instructor Alan Petite, Brother Bill Raftery (Camp #2), Brother Eric Graf (Camp #1) and my son Andrew (Junior Camp #4) for representing our Department in Springfield. This was my first time attending this ceremony, and I am planning to go again next year. Last night, I was at Camp #4's Annual Gibbon Celebration Dinner, honoring Major General John Gibbon, of the Iron Brigade. The keynote speaker was author, John Driscoll. He has written, "Rogue, A Biography of Civil War General Justus McKinstry", "The Baraboo Guards, A Novel of the American Civil War" and "The Civil War on Pensacola Bay, 1861-1862". He did a nice job talking about a number of topics, about Wisconsin in the War between the States. Our 126th Department Encampment will be held in Madison, at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, on June 6th. Harden Camp #2 has been working hard making arrangements and I anticipate an enjoyable and informative Encampment. The activities will be held at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum on the Square in downtown Madison, followed by a memorial service. You’ll have a chance to look behind the scenes at the museum and later, visit Camp Randall to see the restoration project begun on the cannons. Please see the Encampment Registration form and map on the insert page of this newsletter. I hope we can have an outstanding turn out! Yours in Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty,


Wisconsin Department Pioneers

Robert L. McCormick Lumberman, Banker, Captain of Industry, Department Commander

Robert Laird McCormick was born October 29, 1847, at Bald Eagle farm, Clinton County, Penn., the child of Alexander and Jane Hays Laird McCormick. Robert’s mother died when he was two years old. He attended Lock Haven’s graded school from 1954 to 1861. In April 1861, he went with Co. B, 11th PA Inf. to Harrisburg, but was sent home as he was too young for service. He was then sent to Saunder’s Military Institute in West Philadelphia, where he remained during the war. Meanwhile, Alexander McCormick, who was a real estate agent, reportedly served three years as a private, usually on detached service due to feeble health. After the Civil War, Robert studied law in Williamsport. He then worked in the P & E Railway Co. general office for several months before clerking at a general store in Tiffin, Ohio. In March 1868, he became a cashier for the Laird-Norton Company, his uncle’s lumber company in Winona, MN. McCormick married Anna Elizabeth Goodman (18501935) on September 11, 1870. They had two sons: William Laird (1876-1953) and Robert Allen McCormick (1885-?). A daughter, Blanche Amelia (1873), died in infancy.

In January 1884, in partnership with St. Paul multimillionaire Frederick Weyerhauser, he organized the Sawyer County Bank and served as its first president. In 1890, McCormick also organized the Northern Grain and Flouring Mills company at Ashland. Following the reorganization of Hayward’s Solomon Meredith GAR Post, L.P. Harvey Camp 96 was organized on February 2, 1891, with a charter membership of 19. A Camp had been organized there years earlier, but like the earlier GAR Post, was not successful. McCormick was considered the father of Camp 96 and assisted it materially in keeping its organization. Brother McCormick was appointed to the Committees on Ritual and Reports of Officers at the 1891 Dept. Encampment, held in LaCrosse. Later at the convention, he was elected to the Dept. Council. From the four candidates at the 1892 Dept. Encampment, held in Oshkosh, the 45-year old McCormick was elected Commander over 56 Camps. Despite the Financial Panic of 1893, efforts at growth continued. Camps at Kilbourn City (Wisconsin Dells) and Wausau were chartered and an attempt was made to re-establish a Camp at Menomonee, Michigan. Additionally, McCormick served on the Sawyer County Board of supervisors (1892 & 1902) and was President of (Continued on page 3)

In 1874, loosing his health from confinement in the office, he opened a profitable retail lumberyard at Waseca, while continuing to work in his uncle’s firm. He also held interests in the large stone quarries of W.B. Craig & Co. at Mankato, MN. He was elected mayor of Waseca and served in the Minnesota State Senate (1880-82). He remained there until 1882, when he and A.T. Hayward of Oshkosh erected a sawmill in the wilds of Sawyer County, Wisconsin. This was the start of the Northern Wisconsin Lumber Co. and the flourishing city of Hayward. Upon Sawyer County’s organization in 1883, Governor Rusk commissioned McCormick as County Treasurer, a position he served in for six years. PAGE 2


In Memoriam: Robert W. Wiesian Br. Bob Wiesian was an organizer, a diligent worker and a cheerful friend. He belonged to many organizations during his life and we were very fortunate that he chose to lend his time and talent to ours. Br. Bob joined the SUVCW on June 9, 1990, basing his membership on his great grandfather, Pvt. Joseph Menzel, Co. I, 35th Wis. Inf. Soon after, he was initiated at the 1990 National Encampment, held at Des Moines, Iowa. In 1992, he was appointed Dept. Patriotic Instructor and took over the position of Camp 1 Secretary/Treasurer; the latter position he held for the next six years. During that time, he retrieved records and historical property of the Camp and set the Camp’s finances in order. In 1993, he was elevated to the position of Dept. Chief of Staff, where he was responsible for raising needed funds. He held that position for four years before being elected Dept. Sr. Vice Co. Shortly after his election, he was forced to resign due to declining health. Along the way, Br. Bob served as our Department’s first Graves Registration Officer (1996-98), attended three Central Region Conferences and represented the Dept. at two Lincoln Tomb Ceremonies. He presented the Sons’ award at the annual Marquette University ROTC Recognition program (1995-97) and helped our Camp’s early recruiting efforts at the 84th Div. Open House (1995 & ‘96) and the 440th Open House (1996). His first Central Region Conference in 1992, in Lansing, inspired him to champion the placement of a plaque at Milwaukee’s Central Library, commemorating E.B. Wolcott GAR Post #1 meeting place. While his health would not allow him to continue to actively serve as a staff officer, he did continue to attend Camp meetings regularly for the next three years with the aid of a wheelchair and brothers who volunteered as chauffeurs. Br. Bob began kidney dialysis in 2002, outliving his contemporaries and beating all odds. He moved to the Wisconsin Lutheran Home in 2007, where he saw visitors regularly, including Camp 1’s Welfare Committee last Christmas. Bob passed away on April 15th. He was 86. (Continued from page 2)

the Wisconsin State Historical Society (1901-1904). He was also active in Republican politics and was a Wisconsin delegate to the 1900 Republican National convention in Philadelphia and at Chicago in 1908. As a result of his extensive business and political interests, Br. McCormick’s participation in the Sons of Veterans (SUVCW) virtually disappeared after he stepped down as Dept. Commander in 1893. By 1899, Hayward seemed to have lost interest in the Sons, as one of the members advised that he was too busy to write a sketch of the Camp for that’s year’s Dept. Encampment program. In 1908, PDC McCormick moved to Tacoma, Washington, becoming secretary of the Weyerhauser Timber Company and president of that state’s historical society and two banks. He was appointed Republican National Committeeman from Washington in June 1908. He was an eminent member of the Masons, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of the War of 1812, the Minnesota Club and trustee of the First Congregational Church of Hayward. PDC Robert McCormick died near Sacramento, presumably while on a business trip, on February 5, 1911 at age 64. He was transported back to Washington and buried in Old Tacoma Cemetery. Sources: Wisconsin Men of Progress by Andrew Jackson Aikens & Lewis A. Proctor; Evening Wisconsin Co., 1897 Milwaukee Sentinel, February 7, 1911 Press Forward the Good Work, The History of the Wisconsin Dept. SUVCW (Vol. 1) by PCinC Stephen A. Michaels; July 1997 Tacoma Daily Ledger, February 6, 1911 Tacoma: Its History & Its Builders, a Half Century of Activity by Herbert Hunt; S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1916 Washington West of the Cascades by Herbert Hunt; S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1917 Research assistance from Denise Ottoson PAGE 3

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Department Orders # 3 Series 2008-09 Bruce C. Laine, Wisconsin Department Commander 421 S. Sherman St. Eagle, WI 53119 262-594-2081 1) The 126th Wisconsin Department Encampment on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at the Veterans Museum in Madison. Please see the registration form in the Department Dispatch or on the Department website on the “What’s New?” page. 2) All Camps need to update their By-Laws to allow for Junior Associates and forward them to me for approval. 3)

During this Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, Camp Patriotic Instructors need to have at least one Patriotic Presentation at their Camp Meetings about President Lincoln during this year.


Thank you to the Department Officers and Camp Commanders who provided reports for the Mid-Winter Meeting. The work you and your Camps are doing for the “good of the order” is impressive.


Thanks to Camp #1 for holding their Annual Member Orientation. They did another stellar job presenting another informative workshop.

6) Camp Commanders need to poll their members, to determine if the Department Dispatch can be distributed in an electronic format, instead of U.S. Mail. 7) Department Officers and Camp Commanders need to complete a written report, of their activities over the past year, and submit them to me, by Wednesday, May 27. This will give us time to make copies for distribution at the Department Encampment. Ordered this 26th day of April, 2009 Yours In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty, Bruce C. Laine Department Commander Attest: Gary W. Young

Department Secretary

News Dispatches and Notices Veterans can salute during the national anthem Veterans and active-duty service members not in uniform can now render the hand salute during the playing of our national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect recently. The legislative change was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009. The new provision improves upon a littleknown change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag. But it did not address PAGE 4

salutes during the national anthem. Last year's provision also applied to members of the armed forces while not in uniform.

Help by Subscribing Electronically Here’s a problem we are trying to deal with at the Camp and Department level: it costs a lot of money to copy and send our newsletters. The corporate benefactor who was copying our newsletters at cost is no longer able to do so. This means expenditures of another $450 per year for Dept. newsletters and about $300 more for the Camp’s. Postage (Continued on page 6)


Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Grand Army of the Republic Department of Wisconsin 126th Annual Encampment Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum 30 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI

Hosted by:

Col. Henry Harnden Camp #2

Restored Civil War Cannon and GAR Arch located at Camp Randall Memorial Park, Madison WI A tour of the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum Archives will be held during the Lunch Hour. After the Encampment, a Memorial Service will be held at the Soldiers Rest in Forest Hill Cemetery to honor the Civil War heroes buried there, which also includes a tour of Camp Randall Memorial Park with its Historic Cannons that are being restored with a fund raising effort.

Tentative Schedule June 6, 2009 8:00 AM Doors Open 8:30 AM Final Registration 8:45 AM Opening Ceremony 12:00 AM Lunch & Museum Archives Tour 1:00 PM Encampment Resumes 4:30 PM Conclusion of Encampment 4:45 PM Memorial Service & Camp Randall Tour

Remove lower portion and mail to address shown

SUVCW Department of Wisconsin 126th Encampment Registration Registration must be received by Monday, June 1st. The Registration Fee is $13.00 per person (including lunch). A box lunch will be provided. If no lunch is needed, subtract $8.00 from the Registration Fee. Fill out the information on the right, and send it with the registration fee to: Bill Raftery 6724 Shamrock Glen Cr. Middleton, WI 53562 Make checks payable to: Col. Henry Harnden Camp #2 SUVCW

Name: Address: City, State: Zip Code: Affiliation::



From North: Take Interstate 90/East to exit 135. Go South on Highway 151/East Washington Ave. Take a right on Webster, left on Dayton, and a right on Carroll. The State Street—Capitol parking ramp is on your left. From East: Take Interstate 94/West to Wisconsin Highway 30W. Go South on Highway 151/East Washington Ave. to State Capitol exit. Take right on Webster, left on Dayton, right on Carroll. The State Street—Capitol parking ramp is on your left. From South: Take Interstate 90/West to Highway 12/18W, exit 142A to Madison then exit on John Nolen Drive exit 263. Take left on Broom Street, right on Johnson Street, right on Carroll. The State Street—Capitol parking ramp is on your right. From West: Take US Highway18/East to Highway 151 North. Take Highway 12/East. Take Rimrock Road exit. Turn left onto Rimrock Road, turn left onto John Nolen, left onto Broom Street, right on Johnson Street, right onto Carroll. The State Street—Capitol parking ramp is on right. Hotel Accommodations: There are numerous hotels in the greater Madison area, here are two: The Super 8 Madison ( (608) 258-8882 is located at 1602 W. Beltline, the first exit west of Park Street. Their normal rooms rates are $79.95 per night, but they have agreed to give a 10% discount to those attending the 126th Dept. of WI SUVCW encampment. The Inn on the Park ( (608) 285-8000 is located on the Square at the corner of Carroll and Main Street near the Veteran’s Museum, their rooms range from $143 to $214 per night.

In Memoriam: Ernst A. von Frankenberg Br. Ernst A. von Frankenberg, 82, a member of the SVR since 1962, passed away in his sleep Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. Many of Br. Ernst's comtemporaries have gone before him, so that very few are left that can recount his contributions to the SVR and SUVCW. The following was written in a 1998 recommendation for his SVR Meritorious Service Award: Br. Ernst served as an Associate Member of the Wis. Civil War Centennial Commission (1958-1966) and represented the state, the SVR and SUVCW at several commemorative battlefield events. He was commissioned at the Gettysburg Centennial in 1963 and given command of the 4th Military District, which did not exist up until that time. So he founded the 2nd Wis. Vol. Inf. Assoc. and ensured that every member was also a member of the SVR. He organized and equipped Cushing's Battery. In addition to these Wis. units, he also recruited Co. C, 34th IL Vol. Inf., Co. D, 12th IL Inf., Co. C, 5th U.S. Cav., and Battery I, 1st MO LA for the 4th MD. After he was promoted to colonel in 1973, he served on the Nat. Military Affairs Committee and worked to ensure greater authenticity of SVR troops throughout the country. In May 1977, Col. von Frankenberg organized the 4th MD Headquarters Company for those SVR members not assigned to existing units. In addition to his post as 4th MD Commander, he served as Chief of Cavalry on the SVR Re-enactment staff. Using his extensive experience with horses and the U.S. Cavalry during the Korean War (he was also a WWII vet), and his knowledge of the Civil War, he set up programs for that service branch at the SVR's National Encampments. Col. von Frankenberg also provided artillery intruction at special schools. He created a system of recognition for the men in his district who distinguished themselves in the line of duty. He had several SVR award metals cast at his own expense and presented them to those deserving in public ceremonies. Attempting to establish a closer relationship with the SUVCW locally and build a stronger order in the state, Col. von Frankenberg organized Alonzo Cushing Camp PAGE 7

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#4 in his hometown of West Bend in 1988. The Camp was made up of local SVR members of various units. In 1989, Col. von Frankenberg served as SVR Deputy Commander under BG Chester Shriver, the man who initiated him into the SVR 27 years earlier. Col. von Frankenberg inspired a generation of men interested in re-enacting and the SVR. Several are still members of his Camp and associated SVR units. For many years, he led SVR members in the annual Memorial Day parade in West Bend. During the 1998 Wisconsin Sesquicentennial, Br. von Frankenberg drove an authentic horsedrawn limber and cannon across the state for 2 weeks, as part of "Wagons Across Wisconsin." A stops, he spoke about Civil War artillery and accepted donations to replace Union soliders' headstones. For several years after, he continued to display his artillery collection (7 or 8 actual Civil War cannon) and artifacts, in the name of the Sons and SVR. Rather than choosing retirement in the SVR at the grade of Colonel, he chose to remain an active member with the rank of private in the 4th MD Headquarters Company. In 1999, Alonzo Cushing Camp 4 split into two Camps: MG John Gibbon Camp #4 and Alonzo Cushing Camp #5 which were each chartered that year. While he attended both chartering ceremonies and was revered in both organizations, he remained an honorary member of MG John Gibbon Camp #4 in Waukesha, Wis., until his death. Many in both Camps attributed their interest, enthusiasm and membership to Br. Ernst and the passion he brought to the Sons and re-enacting. Br. Ernst von Frankenberg was recognized by PCinC Kent Armstrong with an SUVCW 40-year service certificate in 2003. Funeral services in remembrance of Br. Ernst were held on Friday, Jan. 9 at the Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home, West Bend. Burial with military honors took place on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Newark Cemetery.


(News Dispatches and Notices—continued from page 4)

rates are also going up soon. And our dues structure does not cover the full cost of newsletter production. The Dept. Council is asking all Brothers who have Internet access to consider subscribing to newsletters electronically. Instead of receiving a newsletter in the mail, you would receive an e-mail when a new edition is ready to be downloaded from our Web site. The advantage? The online editions are in full color, you’ll help save a lot of trees, and we can continue to keep dues rates down. To join the many who already have electronic subscriptions, please send an e-mail to PDC Kent Peterson at and let him know you want to receive your newsletter electronically.

Wisconsin’s Civil War Battle Flags The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is excited to announce a new Website to highlight Wisconsin’s Civil War Battle Flags at Starting with ten important Wisconsin regiments, the Website will expand in the months and years to come. Visitors can learn the history of each regiment and view color photographs of its conserved battle flags. The Website also includes information about the history of the flags and the efforts to conserve them. You’ll find a description of the flag currently on display in the galleries, as well as a schedule for future rotations.

Camp News & Activities C.K. Pier Badger Camp #1 - Milwaukee

Five Sons and Auxiliary members came to February’s Member Orientation session to learn all about our organizations. PDC Fred Murphy (photo at right) conducted sessions on proper badge wear, and customs & courtesies of the Sons, while PNP Danielle Michaels (above) talked about the Auxiliary and how our organizations work together to achieve our goals. Other topics included Sons’ history, values and mission of the organization and benefits of membership. This year’s attendees were DC Bruce Laine (Camp 4), Andrew Laine (Camp 4), Sr. Lynn Share (Aux. 4 and 5), Todd Wilbur (Camp 1) and Brian Craig (Camp 1).

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Above—after the Mid-Winter Meeting, Camp 1 and Auxiliary 4 held a very successful Patriotic Luncheon and again attracted a crowd of more than 100 guests from southeastern Wisconsin’s hereditary and patriotic societies. Nearly everyone who purchased tickets walked away with one of the many fine raffle prizes contributed by event sponsors. Keynote Speaker Steven K. Rogstad’s presentation on “Lincoln and Wisconsin” described the 16th president’s visits to this state. The talk was very informative and well-received. Rogstad is secretary of the governor’s Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

MG John Gibbon Camp #4– Waukesha Camp #4 held it’s Annual Gibbon Celebration Dinner, to honor Major General John Gibbon’s birthday (April 20). The dinner was at the Seven Seas Restaurant in Hartland. At right, following their tradition, the Camp #4 Minstrels (Patrick Lynch, Alan Keinert, Craig Wheeler, Bob Mann, not shown is Jim Johnson) sang “Benny Havens”, including a verse written by John Gibbon, for a 1880 Reunion of the Iron Brigade, that he was unable to attend. The keynote speaker was author John Driscoll.

Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing Camp #5-Saukville Camp #5 held their annual Civil War Expo March 3,2009 at the Germantown Library. There was a nice crowd in attendance. The people asked a lot of questions about the Civil War. There were a lot of exhibits for them to see. A fire alarm was accidentally pulled and we were ushered out of the library into the rain till the Germantown Fire Dept was able to reset the alarm. The crowd diminished after that.

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The Wisconsin Department Dispatch is published three times per year for members of the Wisconsin Department, SUVCW. Articles, photos and news items may be submitted to SVC Tom Brown at

Department Events Calendar 25 May

Memorial Day

30-31 May

Reclaiming Our Heritage, Milwaukee VA Hospital Grounds

Editorial deadlines are April, July and October 15

6 June

126th Department Encampment, Madison, hosted by Camp #2

Visit us on the Web at

4 July

Independence Day

13-15 Aug.

National Encampment, Louisville, Ky.

Old Abe Camp#8—Fox Cities (Photo at right) At the Department Mid-Winter Meeting, Camp 8 Commander Kim Heltemes received the Alonzo H. Cushing Membership award from Alonzo H. Cushing Camp #5 Commander Ron Miswald. The award is for the highest percentage increase in membership for 2007-2008. Congratulations to Camp 8 for the diligence and dedication required to earn this award.

At left, Camp 8 was well represented at the 28th annual “Echoes of the Past” historical trade fair which took place Feb. 27-28 at the Winnebago County Fair Grounds.

L. G. Armstrong Camp #49 Pictured are the Officer’s of L. G. Armstrong Camp # 49 (Back Row) Camp Commander Bob Welsh, PCC Brian Ewing, JVC PCC Dan Chroninger, (Front Row) New M e mb e r L e ro y Grun en w ald , Secretary Gary Young, GRO Garret Reynolds, SVC Paul Welsh, Treasurer Tom Truog


Spring 2009 Department Dispatch  

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Department of Wisconsin newsletter - Spring 2009 edition.

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