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Dept Michigan

The SUVCW is charged with perpetuating the memory of those brave soldiers who fought for the Union during the Great Rebellion of 1861-1865. The Graves Registration Committee was formed in order to help carry out that goal.

Graves Registration Committees work together, between the local (Camp), state (Department), and national levels of the SUVCW organization. The National Committee sets the common goals, guidelines, and direction so that all are working together. The chairman of each Department committee is charged with coordinating the efforts of all of the Camp officers. Then there is the Camp committee, headed by the Camp Graves Registration Officer. A Camp may have one or more counties within it's vicinity, and the Camp Officer is charged with coordinating the efforts in his county or counties.

The Camp committee surveys cemeteries in their area for the grave sites of possible, probable, and definite Civil War veterans. A graves registration form is filled out for each site. The members then research cemeteries and their records, military records, G.A.R. Post records, local histories, local genealogy society listings and other sources, in order to prove or disprove veteran status.

If a veteran site is found to be without a marker, private or military, a headstone request is filed with the Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System. Headstones in need of replacing and resetting are also noted, so that they may be taken care of.

When a headstone arrives, an SUVCW memorial ceremony is performed in honor of the veteran. Descendants of the Civil War veteran are welcome to this ceremony and are encouraged to be present.

Through the work of this committee, and the many SUVCW members, local genealogical and historical societies, sextons, and others, we are able to locate the unmarked or poorly marked graves of Civil War Veterans and make sure that they become properly marked.

We also attend Memorial Day ceremonies at cemeteries with Civil War burials and perform the SUVCW Memorial Day Services with many members dressed in Civil War era attire.

The committee records the locations and conditions of any Civil War or Grand Army of the Republic monuments in their area. They are photographed and any that are in need of care are brought to the attention of the local SUVCW Camp.

The committee works hand in hand with the Department Civil War Memorials Committee and helps to guide those researching the location of Civil War Veteran's gravesites in the area and field requests from other SUVCW Camps in other counties, states, and countries.

When a cemetery survey has been completed and all forms have been filled out, the data is added to the State Graves Registration Database by the Department Graves Registration Officer. This information is then passed on to the National Committee. The National Committee enters all data into a National Graves Database.

The National Committee is working to make its database compatible with the National Parks Service (NPS) Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. As we are dedicated to ensuring that the memory of the veterans is perpetuated , we want our data to be easily accessed by those interested. The NPS database will be used by millions of people who visit the Park System's Civil War battlefields.

We sometimes have more information than the NPS Soldiers and Sailors System does. During our research, we record the GAR Post number, if the veteran was a member. We also find many obituaries and much family information that may be of value to genealogists.

If you have any information on a Civil War veteran's grave site which is unrecorded, which is unmarked, or has a broken or unreadable stone, please contact our committee. We will work to correct it.

We also fill out grave registration forms for other wars fought prior to the Civil War, if they are marked, and forward the information to other organizations as a courtesy. (This includes the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, and so forth.) We also forward information concerning Confederate Veteran burials to our counterparts in the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Please feel free to contact our organization with any questions or comments you have.

Thank You!
Rick Danes
Department Graves Registration Officer

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  Last updated on December 29, 2005 9:01 PM - webmaster