August 20th, 2019

Civil War Forum Hosted by William Scott Camp 302

Civil War Forum Hosted by William Scott Camp 302

Vermonters’ roles in the Civil War will be the focus of the Civil War Forum sponsored by the William Scott Camp #302 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War on Saturday, April 21 at the Barre American Legion Post 10 on 320 North Main Street, Barre, VT from 10 am to 3 pm. The forum that will feature a visit from The Vermont Hemlocks, a keynote speaker, activities and displays.

Members from the reenactment group, “The Vermont Hemlocks” will make an appearance and provide insight into what life as a Union infantryman entailed. William Scott Camp #302 will have memorabilia, artifacts and documents from the Civil War era on display. Participants will be able to research Vermont Union soldiers and receive a certificate of ancestors’ service. Nonmembers can apply for membership to one of the Vermont Camps of the SUVCW as well as one of the Vermont Civil War reenactment groups.

The keynote speaker will be Vermont author and historian Michelle Arnosky Sherburne who will present an overview of Vermont Civil War veterans, the Underground Railroad effort and Vermonters helping fugitive slaves, and the northernmost event of the war – St. Albans Raid.

Sherburne of Newbury, has published three books with History Press: “Abolition and The Underground Railroad in Vermont,” “St. Albans Raid: Confederate Attack on Vermont,” and “Slavery and the Underground Railroad in New Hampshire.” She also was co-editor of Peacham Historical Association’s Civil War book titled “A Vermont Hill Town in the Civil War; Peacham’s Story” which is an award-winning publication with a revised release coming this summer.

Wade Johnson, Sr., Senior Vice Commander of SUVCW William Scott Camp 302 said, “This event’s focus is to educate and inform people of the important role that Vermont played during the Civil War. We also want to encourage people to join the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.”

Johnson stated their organization has roots back to the Civil War. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed by Union veterans who organized a fraternal organization right after the War ended. When membership declined due to veterans dying, another group formed to carry the torch – the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, or the SUVCW. This organization formed in 1883 and at one time there were approximately 97 camps in Vermont alone. The original intention of the SUVCW to honor the memories and deeds of Civil War soldiers has continued on into the 21st century.

There are four local chapters, also known as “camps” in Vermont and they are located in Burlington, Rutland, Chelsea and Barre. Members participate in services, ceremonies, community events, and New England and national SUVCW events. Each camp is named in honor of a local Civil War soldier.

Johnson said the Barre Camp 302 is named for Private William Scott of Groton, also known as the “Sleeping Sentinel.”

SUVCW membership is for men who have direct or collateral ancestors who were in the Civil War but also is open to others without a family connection, joining as associate members.

Refreshments will be served and the event is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to bring Civil War items of interest to share. For more information, contact Wade Johnson at 802-584-3628 or email johnson04@fairpoint.net.

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