In Wayne and Monroe Counties, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is represented by the Sgt. John S. Cosbey Camp 427. This group assists families in researching and ordering headstones for Civil War veterans, and helps to organize dedication ceremonies for these veterans once their headstones are placed. They also participate in many community events, including parades and award ceremonies for Eagle Scouts and JROTC Cadets.
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5th, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans- the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)- established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead with flowers. It was directed that this event be held on May 30th each year. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday and was placed on the last Monday of May. Even though it is still often called Decoration Day, to honor the history of GAR the SUVCW continues to celebrate the original Decoration Day on May 30th with various ceremonies and dedications nationwide.
Each year this group hosts a community event at the Museum’s Commandant’s Quarters. We hope you will join us for this historic event this May to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.