Welcome to page one, the "HISTORY PAGE OF ELISHA DYER CAMP No.7", Rhode Island Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). View this page first to see the general historical background of Camp 7 and interesting features about the SUVCW. We have a longer continuing history than any other local level SUVCW Camp in Rhode Island, since the R.I. Department (State Level) SUVCW was Chartered in 1888. Click the Sidebar Links to see all three (3) of our history pages; Page 2, "THE HISTORY OR CAMP 7 AND OUR COMMANDERS PAGE" and Page 3 "ELISHA DYER MEMORIAL-TRIBUTE PAGE". You can get to pages 2 & 3 below or return to the top of this page and also get to "THE HISTORY OR CAMP 7 AND OUR COMMANDERS",
Elisha Dyer Camp No.7, R.I. Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is a fraternal, patriotic, educational and non-profit veterans organization, that descends from the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The GAR was the organization that represented the interests of all Union Civil War Veterans. The R.I. Department SUVCW was incorporated under State Laws in 1893. The National SUVCW was granted a Federal Charter by act of the United States Congress in 1954 (U.S. Law 605-Chapter 774). Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7 was authorized by the R.I. Dept. GAR and Chartered by the SUVCW in 1909. As the legal heir to the GAR, the SUVCW is entrusted to carry on for the GAR and perpetuate the memory of the GAR.
|Charles L. Gould
G. Leon Lewis
George F. Greene
Alfred E. Gleason
James H. Smith, Jr.
Howard O. Higgins
Ashworth L. Charnley
John M. Lewin
Corporal Albert M. Bennett (GAR/SUV)
Ernest S. Miles
Charles M. Cobb
Frank N. Luther
Harold L. Burlingame
Walter L. Damon
Rolvin J. Allen
|Winthrop J. Goff
Frank A. Smith
Pearly M. Miller
Francis L. Sheen
John J. Conly
Edward P. Luther
George H. Brown
Danforth L. Willis
John J. McCurdy, Jr.
Joseph H. Cobb
Frederick B. Kingsbury
Edwin B. Cobb
Camp No. 7 is the largest and oldest Rhode Island Camp of RI SUVCW Members, serving the central region of the State. For 70 years the Headquarters of the RI Dept. Grand Army of the Republic (RI GAR); RI GAR Posts 1, 4, 10, 12 & 13; The RI Dept. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (RI SUVCW); the RI Dept. Auxiliary to the SUVCW (RI ASUVCW); RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7; RI ASUVCW Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No. 2; the RI Women's Relief Corps (RI WRC); and the RI Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (RI LGAR), were at the "Old Arsenal" at 176 Benefit Street in Providence. The Benefit Street Arsenal is today the lagest repository of GAR-SUVCW, and Allied Orders of the GAR, memorabilia and Civil War Artifacts in the State, as inventoried by the RI National Guard and the RI State Archives, by order of the RI Secretary of State and the Adjutant General of the RI National Guard in 1995. A large amount of RI GAR-RI SUVCW records and material is also on loan at the RI Historical Society. Camp 7 and Auxiliary 2 have plans to reorganize and re-locate all Post 4, Camp 7 and Auxiliary 2 records and memorabilia at the RI GAR Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center, at the Governor William Sprague Mansion Carriage House facility in Cranston, RI, when building rennovations are completed. RI MOLLUS also has plans to locate its headquarters at the Sprague Mansion Carriage House as well.
Frank H. Brown
Cyrus M. Thornton
Willard H. Greene
Davis Cook, II
Mjr. George H. Pettis
Ervin F. Mann
Lt. Michael J. Higgins
Charles F. Dyer
Samuel R. Englestone
Marcus M. Pierce
William H. Knight
|David H. Newcomb
James L. Sweetland
Edwin F. Pierce
Daniel W. Nicholas
Lt. Dutee Johnson, Jr.
William F. Young
A Century of Service
R.I. SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7 has a rich tradition. It ranks among the oldest SUVCW Camps in the country that actually link to the Civil War through an unbroken existance. Named after two R.I. Civil War Veterans and R.I. Governors, Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7, Rhode Island Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is the oldest and largest Camp in the State, serving Providence, Cranston, Warwick, Johnston, parts of West Warwick and Coventry. Camp 7 is also the SUVCW successor Camp to R.I. GAR Arnold Post No.4. Camp 7 today is one of only two R.I. SUVCW Camps started in 1909 by the Civil War Veterans of the former Rhode Island Department Grand Army of the Republic, (GAR Arnold Post No.4) for the SUVCW. Therefore, Camp 7 also descends from GAR Arnold Post 4. The GAR was the Veterans organization that represented all Union Civil War Veterans in America. RIGAR Post No. 4, was named after Capt. William A. Arnold by the Rhode Island Civil War Veterans to memorialize the service of Battery A, First Regiment, Rhode Island Light Artillery (Arnold's Battery) which stood its ground on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, on Cemetery Ridge at the focus of Pickett's Charge, and helped to turn the tide of the Civil War; saving America from being permanently divided. The well known skill and deadly accuracy of R.I. Battery A, as well as their coolness under fire, ranked Battery A, of the 1st R.I. Light Artillery Regiment among the very best of the volunteer light artillery units in the Civil War.
On September 18, 1926, RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7 was awarded legal documentation of a court rendered verdict, notarized and legally certified in N.Y. District Court deeming Camp 7 the Post 4 designated SUVCW successor to RI GAR Arnold Post No. 4. The document was signed by RI GAR Post 4 Comrades Nicholas Ross, Post 4 Commander, Fernando Jaques, Post 4 Sr. Vice Commander and attested by James McCaffery, Post 4 Secretary; and the action of Post 4 was approved by RI Dept. GAR.
|In 1926, the last serviving Civil War Veterans of RI GAR Arnold Post No.4 conveyed all Post 4 property, historical memorabilia, finances and records to Camp 7 for its faithful service.
This action intrusted the GAR Post 4 legacy to RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No.7, naming Camp 7 their true and legal SUVCW successor in Rhode Island.
Camp 7 continues to carry on the
memory of RI GAR Post 4 today.
|The last R.I. Grand Army of the Republic Veterans of Arnold Post No.4 were:
Nicholas Ross, Post 4 Commander;
Fernando O. Jaques, Post 4 Senior Vice Commander; and James McCaffery,
Post 4 Secretary. Their action was also approved by the RI Dept. GAR. Click the Sidebar Link to see the history of RI GAR Arnold Post No.4.
Camp 7, first began as the children and the uniformed cadet corps of RIGAR Arnold Post No.4 in 1879. When their children grew up they were granted Assiciate Status in Post 4. By 1900, the Civil War Veterans of RI GAR Post 4 began to ask themselves, who will carry on and decorate the graves of their comrades after they are gone. The children of Post 4 had grown and continued to support their fathers, the men who fought to save the Union, 1861 - 1865, so the Post 4 Comrades began the process of passing their legacy to Camp 7. In 1909, RI GAR Comrades Bennett and Brown officially formed Camp 7 to carry on for Arnold Post 4 as its SofV,USA - SUVCW successor. Who better to carry on for Post 4 than their sons. Camp 7 assisted Post 4 until its last days in the 1930s and continues its secred duty to Post 4 today. Currently Camp 7 conducts Civil War education programs supported by the Battery A, Unit Association, of the R.I. GAR Civil War Museum. Battery A also assists Camp 7, as a ceremonies Civil War period uniformed unit and helps with Living History Educational Visitations for R.I. Public Schools. In this way Camp 7 carries on the patriotic tradition of the veterans of Battery A and Grand Army of the Republic Arnold Post No. 4. Through the R.I. GAR Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center, Battery A provides members of Elisha Dyer Camp No.7 and Auxiliary No.2 the opertunity to be involved in uniformed Civil War period events. You can also go back and click our Website "ENTRY" Webpage to see the link buttons to get to the R.I. GAR Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center, Battery A, 1st Regiment R.I. Light Artillery, Unit Association Home Page for more information.
Elisha Dyer, "Senior" (The Father) served as Adjutant-General of the R.I. State Guard and 2 terms as Governor before the Civil War 1858 - 1861. He was succeded by Governor William Sprague, Rhode Island's "Boy Governor", or President Lincoln's Number One War Governor". During the war Elisha Sr. served as Captain. of Co. B, of the 10th "Ward" R.I. Volunteer Infantry Militia, Emergency State Guard. As an Ex-Governor, he volunteered to fight when the 10th RIVI was called up and mustered without prior training by Governor William Sprague and sent to Washington, near Tennallytown, MD. They formed and left Rhode Island on May 23,1862, to defend the Capitol against the menace of Stonewall Jackson, who had completely fooled and shocked all Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia and Maryland. The initial threat of Jackson to the Nation's capitol ended after the 7 Days Battles in Virginia, however service of the 10th was extended to continue guarding Washington due to the Union disaster at the 2nd Battle of Bull Run.
Shortly after the 10th RIVI arrived in Washington Captain Dyer and his company were ordered by the War Department to march on a farm just outside of town to seize a cannon said to be threatening the Nation's Capitol. The 10th received reports that a Confederate cannon was being hidden in the area on a near by farm and the Rebels might try to fire it on Washington. Captain Dyer immediately took his Company, eager for battle, on a quick march to capture the cannon. All were expecting a hot skirmish with the Rebels. When they arrived at the farm they found the barn unguarded. The gun was captured without a shot fired. After they captured the gun they were disappointed to find that it was only a small 1/4 pounder light infantry support piece, hardly worth the effort. It wouldn't have done the slightest bit of harm to Washington. Although the cannon was not actually a threat Captain Dyer completed his mission. He and his men captured the famous "Tennalleytown Rebel Gun". They later sent the rellic home as a gift to the people of Rhode Island. The little cannon was presented to to the people of Rhode Island as a war trophy.
Today it is known as the "Rhode Island Tennallytown Gun". Ironically the little cannon is actually regarded by experts and historians today as an extremely rare example of Civil War ordnance. It is one of the earliest models of a breach loading cannon and one of only "3" such extremely rare examples of Civil War ordnance known to exist. The Tennallytown Gun can be viewed on display at the Rhode Island State House. The "Tennallytown Raid" was the only attempt at offensive combat action experienced by Captain Dyer and the 10th R.I. Volunteers during the war. The 10th was mustered only as a 90 day infantry regiment to reinforce Washington in its time of crisis in 1862. However, many of the men in the 10th re-enlisted in the 7th and the 12th R.I. Volunteer Infantry Regiments after they returned to Providence, R.I. Having completed their mission, Captain Elisha Dyer, Sr. and his Company B of the 10th R.I. Volunteers returned to R.I. where they were mustered out of service on September 1, 1862; having been relieved in Washington by regiments of Major General George B. McClellan's Union Army of the Potomac, prior to the Battle of Anteitam.
Elisha Dyer Sr. died in Providence, on May 17, 1890, and is buried in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. Elisha Sr. was a member of RI GAR Rodman Post No.12, (headquarters Old Arsenal 176 Benefit Street, Providence). Rodman Post, Slocum Post, Brown Post and Arnold Post of the RI GAR often worked together on behalf of their fellow Civil War Comrades. Elisha Dyer, Sr. lived at 154 Power Street, in Providence. He was also a member of the Massachusetts MOLLUS Commandery, MOLLUS ID No.03163 (headquarters Boston). His son would follow his footsteps. Together they would exemplify the true father and son meaning of Camp 7.
An extremely rare Civil War artifact on display at the Rhode Island State House.
Elisha Dyer, "Junior" (the Son) enlisted as 4th sergeant of the R.I. 1st Light Artillery Battery, (Captain Charles Tompkins Battery), April 15, 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the 1st RI Light Artillery Battery, RIM, was famous for being one of the best trained State Militia artillery unit in the country. It was known as the "Mother of All Rhode Island 90 Day Militia Field Artillery Batteries".
Sergeant Elisha Dyer, Jr. was sent with the Battery to Easton, PA. by the State and the War Department to train other Volunteer Artillery units a few days after the fall of Fort Sumter. Dyer Jr. was discharged shortly after his arrival due to accidental injuries he suffered after an explosion of a limber chest, on April 21, 1861. Dyer the Younger, spent the remainder of the war as Lt. Col. Commanding the Providence Train of Artillery-R.I. State Militia and Aide-de-Camp to RI Governor James Y. Smith from 1863 to 1866. His cousin was Private Charles F. Dyer, 3rd Regiment RI Volunteer Heavy Artillery, Company C, a signer of the RI GAR Arnold Post No. 4 Charter, the son of Captain Cyrus G. Dyer, Adjutant of the 1st RI Volunteer Infantry.
After the war Elisha Jr. himself served 2 terms as Governor then several years as Adjutant-General of the R.I. National Guard. Elisha Jr. also wrote the most complete version of the R.I. Adjutant General's Report in 1893, while serving as Adjutant General of the R.I. State Guard. As RI Adjutant General he became known as the "Father" of the modern day RI National Guard and published the 1893 RI Adjutant General's Report, listing all RI Civil War Veterans and the units they served. His report is the standard resource of most RI Civil War historical research today.
Dyer Jr. helped oversee the construction of the "Soldiers & Sailor's" Civil War monument in front of Providence City Hall and assisted in the construction of the current Rhode Island State House, finished in 1903. His last major accomplishment was the 1903 completion of the Cranston Street Armory (corner of Cranston Street & Dexter Avenue) in Providence, which is located on the site of the "Old Providence Fair Grounds", and the 1861 training field of the first Civil War Units mustered by Rhode Island to fight in the Civil War (the 1st Light or Volunteer Infantry--R.I. Detached Militia; The 2nd R.I. Volunteer Infantry, & Battery A, 1st Regiment R.I. Light Artillery).
Elisha Dyer Jr. died on November 29, 1906, in office, while serving as Mayor of the City of Providence. He was buried near his father in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. Elisha Dyer Jr. lived at 154 Power Street in Providence, and was a member of RI GAR Rodman Post No.12 (headquarters, Old Arsenal 176 Benefit Street, Providence) and later a dual member of RI GAR Arnold Post No.4 (headquarters Old Arsenal 176 Benefit Street, Providence). He was also a hereditary member of the Massachusetts MOLLUS Commandery, MOLLUS ID No. 11212 (headquarters Boston).
The National Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is a United States Congressionally Chartered 501c4 Civil War Veterans-Fraternal-Hereditary organization and it is descended by Deed of Conveyance from the National Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The GAR was the Post-War Veterans organization that represented the intrests of all Union Civil War Veterans in America, honorably discharged from service after the Civil War, 1861 - 1865. The last surviving officer of the National GAR, Albert Woolsen, turned the GAR over to the SUVCW in 1954. The SUVCW is therefore the 4th oldest Veterans organization in America, as recognized by the United States Congress and the U.S. Defense Department. The National SUVCW was founded by GAR Member and Civil War Veteran, Major A. P. Davis in 1881, to serve the GAR on the National Level and in all States as well. Today there are SUVCW Departments in 26 States and Camps at Large in the process of forming or re-forming Departments in 5 other States. Currently there are about 10,000 men in the SUVCW across the country. The National SUVCW is organized into three administrative levels: The National SUVCW organization or Encampment Commandery; the State SUVCW Departments or Commandery of Camps; and Local SUVCW Camps where most members of the Order maintain their affiliation or membership. The foundation or corner stone of the National & State levels of the SUVCW are its local Camps.
In the 1930s there were 26 Camps under the R.I. Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (RI SUVCW). Today there are only 5 remaining SUVCW Camps in the R.I. Department. Camp No. 7 is the largest and oldest Rhode Island Camp of RI SUVCW Members, serving the central region of the State. For 70 years the Headquarters of the RI Dept. Grand Army of the Republic (RI GAR); RI GAR Posts 1, 4, 10, 12 & 13; The RI Dept. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (RI SUVCW); the RI Dept. Auxiliary to the SUVCW (RI ASUVCW); RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7; RI ASUVCW Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No. 2; the RI Women's Relief Corps (RI WRC); and the RI Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (RI LGAR), were at the "Old Arsenal" at 176 Benefit Street in Providence. The Benefit Street Arsenal is today the lagest repository of GAR-SUVCW, and Allied Orders of the GAR, memorabilia and Civil War Artifacts in the State, as inventoried by the RI National Guard and the RI State Archives, by order of the RI Secretary of State and the Adjutant General of the RI National Guard in 1995. A large amount of RI GAR-RI SUVCW records and material is also on loan at the RI Historical Society. In 2000, Elisha Dyer Camp 7 and Elisha Dyer Auxiliary 2 began making plans to reorganize and re-locate all RI GAR Arnold Post 4, Camp 7 and Auxiliary 2 records and memorabilia at the RI GAR Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center, at the Governor William Sprague Mansion Carriage House facility in Cranston. RI MOLLUS also has plans to locate its headquarters at the Sprague Mansion Carriage House as well.
Elisha Dyer Camp No.7, members are active in setting up and taking part in many school educational programs, actively flagging Veterans graves for Memorial Day, working on a grave registration database, documenting the GAR Post 4 Membership, history and Proceedings in R.I., hosting services remembering RI Civil War Veterans and assisting in the process of opening a new Camp 7 headquarters at the R.I. GAR Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center in Cranston. Camp 7 is working with the Cranston Historical Society and the Governor Sprague Mansion Museum to house the Camp 7 and Post 4 records and collections at a new facility in the Sprague Mansion Carriage House and make them available to the people of Rhode Island in the near future. Today, Camp 7, accepts up to 1/3 of its membership as Associates without lineage to a Civil War Veteran and as a hereditary member, neither you nor your Civil War Ancestor have to be native to R.I. to join Camp 7. For more information on becoming a member of Camp 7, please contact Henry C. Duquette, Camp 7, Secretary-Treasurer.
The images above are: Left, The 1915 Annual Encampment badge or ribbon of the RI Department S of V, USA (or RI Dept. SUVCW), which also commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the American Civil War. It was also made for RI Delagates to wear at the National S of V Encampmant, held in 1915 in Washington D.C. Rhode Islanders of the Order marched with their fathers of the GAR up Pennsylvania Avenue to commemorate the "Grand Review", originally marched before the President and Congress by all victorious Union troops at the war's end in 1865.
Click Your Top Tool Bar "Back Button"
If You Leave The Camp 7 Website
And Return To Our Camp 7 Site "Entry" Page
Then Re-enter To Continue Surfing Our Site
"All For The Union" & "The Grand Old Fellows In Blue"
Thank You For Stopping By
Hope You Enjoyed Surfing Our Site
Let Us Know
Please Come Again
~ CREDITS ~
We wish to thank Brother/Companion Keith G. Harrison, Past National SUVCW Commander-in-Chief and, current National SUVCW and MOLLUS Webmaster, as well as all the artists/musicians for the use of their music on all the pages in our site. Viewers of this Internet Site may copy only the material designated with a mouse-over copy bar.
© 2009 The renderings and text of all historic and new graphic material were changed, enhanced, drawn, computerized and coded by G.A. Mierka, MFA, R.I. School of Design, and therefore are the private material of the artist, Camp 7, MOLLUS, the US Army or other resources. All material on this site may be printed for personal research purposes only. It is posted on the Internet intended as a public service for public educational, personal and family research only. It must "not" be used or reproduced in any manner for business or personal profit, or any other purpose without signed written permission by RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7 and/or the authors and artists of this material, protected under US copyright law as well as all legal interpritations set forth by the US Library of Congress. This Site has built-in measures to try to insure all restrictions and creative integrity.
Thanks also to Robert Hunt Rhodes for allowing us to use some of his material about his ancestor, Elisha Hunt Rhodes and to Ken Burns for featuring E.H. Rhodes and our State's Civil War History in his PBS series on The Civil War. And a special thanks to Edwin Bearrs, David McCullough, Brian Pohanka, Jeff Shaara and Ron Maxwell for their support for Rhode Island Civil War History and raising the American conscience about the triumphs and tragidies of the Great War of the Rebellion 1861 to 1865.
Jay Ungar's Ashokan Farewell
©1983 by Swinging Door Music-BMI
Used by permission. All rights reserved.