Rhode Island Department

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Membership

Join the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

We are always on the look out for men who have an abiding appreciation of history and wish to honor the brave men of the Union who fought to preserve a nation.  We urge those with interests in Civil War and military history, local and state history, historic and cultural preservation, cemetery reclamation, veterans affairs and community engagement to join our ranks as we go go about the good work of carrying on the Grand Army of the Republic.

There are two types of memberships available:
Hereditary Eligible (Members and Junior Members)
Non-hereditary Eligible (Associates and Junior Associates)

Member (and Junior): A male descendant, 14 years or older (6 to 14 for Juniors), who:

  1. is directly descended from a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or member of the Revenue Cutter Service (or directly descended from a brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister of such Soldier, etc.) who was regularly mustered and served honorably in, was honorably discharged from, or died in the service of, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service of the United States of America or in such state regiments called to active service and was subject to the orders of United States general officers, between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865;
  2. has never been convicted of any infamous or heinous crime; and
  3. has, or whose ancestor through whom membership is claimed, has never voluntarily borne arms against the government of the United States.

Associate (and Junior): Males, 14 years or older (6 to 14 for Junior Associates), who do not have ancestry required for hereditary membership, may become Associates if they:

  1. Demonstrate a genuine interest in the Civil War; and
  2. Can subscribe to the purpose and objects of the SUVCW

Although an Associate is not required to meet the lineage requirement of a Member, he is still subject to the second and third provisions of hereditary eligibility. An Associate may vote and hold any office except Commander-in-Chief, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, National Secretary, National Treasurer and Commanding Officer of the Sons of Veterans Reserve. Associate Members in any Camp may not exceed one-third the total membership of the Camp at time of election.

Residence in Rhode Island is not a requirement.

The Rhode Island SUVCW is heavily involved in Graves Registration that is, locating Civil War Veterans Graves in this State as well as locating Rhode Island Civil War Veterans Graves in other States and Countries. From this information we can Flag Graves on Memorial Day, engage in cemetery clean ups, as well as perform gravestone and monument repairs. The SUVCW also works to facilitate the appropriation of new federal veteran headstones for soldiers with unmarked graves who meet criteria set forth by the Veterans Administration. The SUVCW also partakes in school educational  programs, visits to the Rhode Island Veterans Home and works closely with the local and regional reenactment community to provide experiential learning opportunities for local citizenry.

You may contact our Department Junior Vice Commander who is in charge of membership, who will invite you to visit one of our camps closest to your home, although you may visit as many camps as you wish. This way you will be able to choose for yourself which you would like to join.

Contact our Membership Officer.

Download the Membership Application

Mail your completed Membership Application with $15.00 application fee to the Department Membership Officer.  (Contact for mailing address)

Additionally, the SUVCW maintains a close relationship with the Rhode Island Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.  Women interested in joining the Auxiliary can learn all about doing so by contacting the Rhode Island Auxiliary President.