AUXILIARY to SONS OF UNION VETERANS of the CIVIL WAR
ASUVCW Fact Sheet
The Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (ASUVCW) is a fraternal, non-profit organization which, as Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW)’s Auxiliary, remains dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of veteran heroes who fought and worked to save the Union in the American Civil War. The Auxiliary Purpose is:
- To assist the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in all their principles and objects.
- To perpetuate the memory of the services and sacrifices of the Union Veterans of the Civil War for the maintenance of the Union, particularly through patriotic and historical observances, especially the proper observance of Memorial Day, Lincoln’s Birthday and Appomattox Day.
- To inculcate true patriotism and love of country, not only among our membership, but to all people of our land, and to spread and sustain the doctrine of equal rights, universal liberty and justice to all.
To oppose to the limit of our power and influence, all movements, tendencies and efforts that make for the destruction or impairment of our constitutional Union, and to demand of all citizens undivided loyalty and the highest type of Americanism. The history of the Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (ASUVCW) closely aligns with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), now called the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), organized in 1866 by B. F. Stephenson of Springfield, Illinois. The GAR soon recognized the need for an Auxiliary and through the efforts of Major A. P. Davis, the GAR organized the first Ladies Aid Society in 1883 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the following year, the GAR officially recognized the Ladies Aid Society as their Auxiliary. Ladies Aid Societies formed in several states in rapid succession and, in 1886, plans for a National Organization formed with the first National Encampment being held in Ohio in September 1887.
In the ensuing years, the GAR became a social and political force that would control the destiny of the nation for more than six decades and restricted membership in its veterans’ organization 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. Their Auxiliary maintained a similar requirement for ancestry or that as a family member of a GAR member.
In 1881, the GAR, which existed until 1956, formed its heir, the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (SV), then changed to SUVCW, to carry on its traditions and memory long after the GAR ceased to exist. The SV opened membership to any man who could prove ancestry to a member of the GAR or to a veteran eligible for membership in the GAR. Thus, at the National Encampment in Boston, Massachusetts in 1904, the Auxiliary changed its name to “Sons of Veterans’ Auxiliary”, which then became the “Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War”.
In later years and today, as the SUVCW admits men who do not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership, but who demonstrate a genuine interest in the Civil War and can subscribe to the purpose and objectives of the SUVCW, the ASUVCW also accepts women Associates who vow to uphold the purpose and objectives of the ASUVCW. The National Organization of the ASUVCW, headed by an annually elected President, oversees the operation of over 20 Departments, each consisting of one or more states, which consists of community-based Auxiliaries. Over 800 women enjoy the benefits of membership in the only female organization to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War dedicated to the principles of the GAR — Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty.
For more information on the ASUVCW, please visit: http://www.asuvcw.org
Organized 1883, the only Auxiliary to the formal heir representing the Grand Army of the Republic