The John W. Foster Camp No. 2 is planning a “Last Soldier” event for the weekend of September 23, 2023. The last Civil War soldier buried in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, was Corporal George W. Winlock of Co. C, 115th U.S.C.T. Infantry. Born in Logan County, Kentucky, around 1847, Cpl. Winlock joined the 115th on October 15, 1864, as a private. He was promoted to corporal on December 1, 1865. He was mustered out at Indianola, Texas, on February 10, 1866. George W. Winlock died on June 10, 1939, and is buried at Locust Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana.
A primary goal of the John W. Foster Camp SUVCW Grave Project is to locate the final resting places of all Union Civil War Veterans in southwestern Indiana. We also work to maintain and improve final resting places of Union veterans. Here is an update of recent and future cemetery work by our camp.
Bellefontaine Cemetery, Mt Vernon, Indiana: The John W. Foster Camp embarked on a large-scale cemetery project that resulted in application for and receiving 103 new military headstones, in addition to another 26 to be reset. In all, there will be 129 replaced and reset headstones within the Soldiers Row at Bellefontaine. Over one quarter of the soldiers buried in Soldiers’ Row at Bellefontaine died at the Mt. Vernon, Indiana, U.S. General Hospital during the Civil War. The remaining number were buried after the war and include a small number of Spanish American war veterans as well as one Indian War and WW I veteran. The research to find unknown named soldiers has been ongoing since February of 2022. Work at the cemetery is nearing completion and is expected to end in early May. The Foster Camp has been working side by side with the Sons of the American Legion Post in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, to complete the project.
Bellefontaine Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Indiana: In addition to replacing and resetting headstones in Soldiers’ Row, the Foster Camp received requests to replace three additional headstones within the cemetery but outside of Soldiers’ Row. Assisting in the work was Camp Commander David Hoesli and Past Department Commander Dennis Hutchinson.
Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana: The John W. Foster Camp is currently working construction of two metal cannon carriages to replace the older wooden carriages that have fallen apart. The goal is to have at least one of the two cannons that have sat in Section 24 since 1872 back in the section by this summer. Currently, the University of Southern Indiana completed the CAD digital copies of the original blueprints and are compiling a list of materials and costs on the first cannon. In addition replacing carriages, the Camp will clean and straighten all the headstones in Section 24 as well as paint the mounted siege cannons, mortars, and the fence.
Old Boonville Cemetery, Boonville, Indiana: An old broken headstone has been removed and a new military headstone was installed on December 5, 2022, for Pvt. Francis M. Floyd. The old headstone that was set in concrete was broken up and removed prior to the new headstone installation. Assisting in the project was Department Commander Jim Floyd, Past Department Commander Dennis Hutchinson, and Foster Camp Commander David Hoesli.
With a heavy heart, we report the death of Graham D. Morey, 76, of Indianapolis on 1 September 2022. Graham was born in Evansville to Freeman and Caroline (Denby) Morey on 13 September 13 1945.
Graham was an accountant, most recently for H & R Block before his retirement. He was a veteran who proudly and bravely served in the US Army. All his friends called him Grahambo.
Graham was very active in the American Legion and was elected Commander of Post 500 in Speedway. He was the financial secretary for the Knights of Columbus Holy Family Council and governor of the Indiana Society of Mayflower Descendants. He was a long-time parishioner of St. Christopher Catholic Church in Speedway, Indiana.
Graham held a great passion for history and genealogy and was a member of several lineage societies such as Sons of the Revolution and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Brother Graham was a beloved member of Ben Harrison Camp No. 356 and served as camp treasurer for several years. He also held membership in the John W. Foster Camp No. 2. Brother Graham was instrumental in introducing new members to the Ben Harrison Camp, including Past Department Commander Tim Beckman, and he will be deeply missed.
The John W. Foster Camp #2 hosted a triple ceremony event on Saturday, 25 September 2021. The first event took place at Mariah Hill Cemetery for Private William Schwartz of the 42nd Indiana. The second event honored Private David Jackson Smith of Company G, 136th Indiana Infantry, who was the last Civil War soldier buried in Spencer County, Indiana, and took place at Oak Hill Cemetery in Chrisney, Indiana. The third event took place at Beasley Cemetery and honored Private Benjamin Bunton of Company F, 1st Indiana Cavalry.
We want to thank all who participated and attended the ceremonies. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War camps participating include the John W. Foster Camp #2 (Hosting Camp), Ben Harrison Camp #356, John B. Anderson Camp #223, Calhoun Camp #2 (Kentucky), and the 27th Indiana Sons of Veterans Reserve.
Other groups participating include the Brig. Gen. Eli Huston Murray Chapter of the National Society of Daughters
of the Union 1861-1865, the Evansville Society of the Children of the American Revolution, the Hugh McGary Sr. Chapter of the 1812 Society, the Ohio Valley Sons of the American Revolution, the National Society of the Colonial Dames 17th Century, and the American Legion (Post 242, Santa Claus, Indiana).
Foster Camp members Dennis Hutchinson and Joshua Claybourn participated in Spring Heritage Day at the Rockport Lincoln Pioneer Village. Dennis showed guests the clothing, equipment, and lifestyle of Civil War soldiers. Joshua Claybourn, stationed under Dennis’s fly, offered a book for sale regarding Abraham Lincoln.
On 20 June 2020, David Hoesli (John W. Foster Camp #2 Commander), Dennis Hutchinson, PCC (current Dept. of Indiana Commander), and Brian Lankford (John W. Foster Camp #2 Sr. Vice Commander), replaced the broken headstone for Private Benjamin F. Buntin. Benjamin F. Buntin is the 3rd Great Uncle of J. W. Foster Camp brother Thomas J. Carson Jr. Private Buntin mustered into Company F of the 1st Indiana Cavalry. Commander Hoesli helped Thomas Carson with the paperwork to obtain the headstone. Buntin is buried in the Beasley Cemetery in Spencer County, Indiana.
The Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum played host to a large group of kids on a tour organized by Owensboro Parks and Recreation early Thursday, 20 June 2019. While one bus experienced a malfunction and could not make it across the river for the visit, nearly 80 youths as well as guides explored the replica cabins representing the environment that raised a young Abe Lincoln. Re-enactors completed the aesthetic, hosting a number of activities representing pioneer life and even the American Civil War. Here SUVCW Foster Camp commander Dennis Hutchinson leads a group of kids through some of the simple infantry maneuvers with mock muskets. He also explained some other aspects of life for soldiers in the war that defined Lincoln’s legacy.
On Friday, 17 July 2015, members of the Foster Camp offered a presentation in Newburgh, Indiana, on the infamous Confederate raid in that town in 1862. Camp Commander Joshua and Junior Vice Commander Scott Hurst both participated in character.
The Newburgh Raid was the first Confederate military action north of the Mason Dixon line. In it, Confederate colonel Adam Rankin Johnson captured the town of Newburgh using a force of only 35 men, mostly partisans he had recruited from nearby Henderson, Kentucky. He accomplished the raid in part due to fake canons which were actually made of stovepipes, charred logs, and the axles and wheels from a broken wagon. These were place on hills that had a view of Newburgh, and vice versa, and convinced the Union soldiers in town that resistance to the raiders was futile.
The presentation was made to the Sargent Family Reunion. These reunions began in 1928; a brief news clip on the annual reunion is available here. In gratitude for the camp’s assistance the group presented Foster Camp with a check for $50.00.
On September 18, 2014, John W. Foster Camp No. 2 was presented with its charter by Indiana Department Commander in Chief William R. Adams. The camp also received the Horace Greely Award at the 2014 National Encampment, which is bestowed to the department or camp with the best website. Images from the presentation are below.