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.
Department Graves Registration Officer