Dahlgren Camp 98, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Formed in the late 1870’s Son Of Veterans was an organization started to preserve the memory of the Union Veterans who served in the “Great War of the Rebellion”. The SUVCW, originally named the Son of Veterans was founded by Major Augustus P. Davis to ensure the preservation and principles of the Grand Army of the Republic or GAR and to provide assistance to Veterans. It was based on the principles of Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.

Davis’s vision for the SV was as follows:

The Sons of Veterans is destined to become the great military organization of the country, that glory of its supremacy, that healing of the sense when its national hymn are that none other not thus reared can know or feel. Through this organization the declining days of the Union Veterans will be made pleasant, his record of service to his country preserved, his memory honored, patriotism promoted. While if the dire necessity of the nation should dictate, the Sons of Veterans, uniformed, drilled and equipped would come at once to her defense with the glory of there fathers surrounding them, each heart pulsating in unison. With the rising and falling of the Nations emblem. And who would be powerful enough to prevail against such a host?
The Sons of Veterans, “Dahlgren Camp 98” was from the South Boston area which would have made the Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles, neighbors and friends who served in the “War of Rebellion” pretty tough war veterans…..after all 150 + years later it’s still a pretty tough neighborhood.

My research leads me to believe the Dahlgren Camp were the Sons of Veterans who served in the South Boston Heavy/Light Artillery, it’s a little confusing but I think there designation changed more than once during the war.
So all this brings me to this Model 1863 Springfield Rifle Musket, Type 1. It’s not in very good condition but it definitely saw war service and it has the Dahlgren Camp medallion. My best guess is that it was displayed in a “Sons Of Veterans Hall” in South Boston at one time.

If you happen to stumble on this article and you have any history to offer on the Sons of Veterans, Dahlgren Camp give me a shout…..you can contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com Attn: Gene West…thanks for stopping by.

7 thoughts on “Dahlgren Camp 98, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

  1. Gene,

    Attached are some pictures of my 1863 Springfield civil war rifle. It was manufactured by Whitney Arms as “stamped” into the stock just behind the Dahlgren Camp medallion.

    I was hoping that by providing what limited information was available to me, I might be able to find out to which Massachusetts regiment James Sullivan was attached (I realize that the information I seek is very old and very hard to find). He was the Union soldier to whom this rifle was originally issued.

    Perhaps you are aware of a web site at which one might try to find that type of old, possibly archived information on individuals who served in the Civil War Union Army. Or, perhaps a museum which would, or might, have the very old information that I now seek in some paper archived records. I realize that if even available, that type of information mat come at a cost. A long shot, I know.

    Thanks so much for your info and help,

    • Bob,
      I found 37 James Sullivan’s from the stage of Massachusetts, however the data base only showed one from South Boston. It’s my best guess that this would be the correct James. I have included my data base findings below…….
      How do you know that your Springfield was issued to James Sullivan?

  2. Gene,

    Thanks for the response and information.

    I purchased this gun from a moving/estate sale company in the neighborhood. I have a bill of sale from that company with the owners name. I contacted the owner via letter telling him that I purchased the gun and if he was willing to share any information I would appreciate it. He responded with a nice letter detailing the succession of ownership. I’m attaching a copy of bill of sale and owners letter.

    I really appreciate your information and thoughts, If I can provide you with anymore information just let me know. I can also be reached by phone at 701-721-xxxx

    As a side note, I had a gunsmith check the gun out and after removing a marble and stick from the barrel it was proclaimed to be in good condition, and is in excellent shooting condition. I also have the gunsmith’s written repair bill and declaration of condition.

    • Bob,
      With the additional information you’ve provided me I’m having second thoughts about which James Sullivan from the data base is correct. The letter you have from James descendant states he’s during in Hopkinson Ma. which is in Middlesex County and as you can see from the information below you will see that this James Sullivan is from Lowell Ma. which is in Middlesex County…….it’s far to say that he would have been buried n close proximity to were he lived……another observation I’ve made is that James is born in 1841 so that would make him 20 or 21 years old when he enlisted in 1862…..the information I sent you of the first James Sullivan has him enlisting at 25 yo………so it’s my opinion the the later J. Sullivan is the correct match…based on County, year of birth, age of enlistment…….see the information below……hope this helps.
      By the way, $200.00 for the Springfield is a very good price……..it’s worth about $1000.00.

  3. Gene,

    Thank you so much for your last reply. I had attempted research on my own, but seemed to fail at each attempt.

    While I did buy the rifle for a low cost, I did invest additional money for a professional gunsmith inspection. I did this because when I made the purchase, there was an “occlusion” lodged in the barrel, and I wanted to be absolutely certain that there was no remaining presence of black powder (nor lead slugs) which might cause accidental injury to anyone. Turns out, the occlusion was a glass marble with a small tree twig behind it. Except for over 150 years of blemishes and traces of minor rust, the metal parts of the gun are in pretty good shape. The inside of the gun barrel and firing mechanisms are in “excellent” condition according to the gunsmiths written report (which I have). The stock shows its age more so.

    In any event, I was very much interested in finding the succession of ownership and “civil war “ history of this piece of history. Your responses have helped me so a bunch, AND I thank you so very much. I would also appreciate any future information or hints you may have. As time passes, I am hoping that I will come across more detailed information regarding James Sullivan, the original owner. Perhaps I could contact you again, if I do?

    Thanks again,

  4. Hello, I have a gun that we have identified as a 1856-1865 cap lock muzzleloader but, we don’t know much more about the gun. It only has one identifying mark “Allen WHE” and “437” on it and we are having a hard time find much more info. I saw an article you wrote and this email was attached to it. I was wondering what steps we should take next in finding out more about our antique. We aren’t sure if it’s fireable yet but plan to have it tested to see. If you could get back to me that would be great!
    Thank you -Kalee

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