About our department & Order


The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was formed to perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the men who fought to preserve the Union in the Civil War, (1861 to 1865); to assist in every practicable way in the preservation of the documents and records pertaining to the Grand Army of the Republic and its members, and in making these documents and records available for historical research; to cooperate in doing honor to all who have patriotically served our country in all wars in which she was involved; to teach patriotism, the duties of citizenship, the true history of our country and the love and honor of our Flag; to oppose every tendency or movement that would weaken loyalty to, or cause the destruction or impairment of, our constitutional Union; and to inculcate and broadly sustain the American principals of representative government, equal rights and impartial justice for all.


The organization that is known today as the "Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War" is the result of several like-minded organizations combining to honor Union Soldiers and Sailors of the American Civil War, (1861-1865). In 1878, the Anna M. Ross Post No. 94 of the Grand Army of the Republic, (located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) formed a "Grand Army of the Republic Cadet Corps", consisting of sons of Union Soldiers, Sailors and Marines. It became known as the Philadelphia or Eastern Pennsylvania Sons of Veterans. About the same time, Edwin M. Earp, of Lynn, Massachusetts, formed another Sons of Veterans group that became popular in New England. In 1881, the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America was organized by Major A. P. Davis, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The organization’s first Annual Encampment took place in 1882. Through consolidation with the Eastern Pennsylvania group, and its own growth, this particular order grew to be recognized by the Grand Army of the Republic as the sole organization of "Sons of Union Veterans".

At its 42nd Annual Encampment, the organization voted to officially change its name to "Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War", to better identify its heritage. As time and nature took its toll on the ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veterans came to recognize and then designate the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as legal heir to, and representative of, the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1954, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was granted a Congressional Charter by passage of Public Law 605, during the 83rd Congress.