Phelps Camp No. 66, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War recently donated a collection of rare veteran and Grand Army of the Republic artifacts to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
Four Union veteran ribbons from southwest Missouri, three Missouri Grand Army of the Republic documents, and a poster advertising a trip on the “Frisco” line from Springfield, Missouri to the 1895 G.A.R. reunion in Louisville, Kentucky were included in the donation. The Grand Army of the Republic was founded in 1866 and open to honorably discharged members of the Union Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The last member of the G.A.R. died in 1956.
“We are very grateful to the members of Phelps Camp for purchasing and donating these precious artifacts. Material relating to the G.A.R. and Union veterans in Missouri 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, who is in the picture along with Robert Clanton, Commander of Phelps Camp.
Phelps Camp, the local chapter of the national Sons of Union Veterans organization, was formed in 1994. The Sons of Union Veterans is a patriotic and educational organization, founded on November 12, 1881 and incorporated by Act of Congress August 20, 1954. One of the purposes of the organization is to preserve the memory of those who saved the Union from 1861 and 1865. Phelps Camp has donated a number of Civil War documents and artifacts to public collections where they can be enjoyed by visitors and studied by scholars.