The John W. Foster Camp No. 2 of the SUVCW is named after John W. Foster and was organized on 11 July 2014. Click here to learn more about Secretary Foster. The Camp serves Evansville, Indiana, and the Crescent Valley. As the successor and legal heir to the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), our camp has a long and illustrious history with the region.
Foster Camp’s members typically meet in conjunction with monthly meetings of the Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable (SICWRT). SICWRT meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Evansville Fraternal Order of Police lodge at 801 Court Street in downtown Evansville, Indiana.
Membership in the Camp is open to every man over the age of 18 years old. There are hereditary members, who trace their lineage to those who served honorably in the Civil War, and associate members, who do not have the requisite ancestry but wish to join the fraternity. Click here to learn more about membership.
The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is a nation-wide organization, comprised of more than 200 community-based camps which are organized under 26 Departments. Our camp is part of the Department of Indiana.
Foster Camp’s organization follows the guidelines of the SUVCW, with a Camp Commander and Secretary/Treasurer which are elected annually by the Camp members. Other positions of responsibility within the Camp are by appointment of the Camp Commander.
- Camp Commander: David Hoesli
David traces his hereditary membership to John Garrick of Company I of the 81st Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He has done family and local Civil War research since 1976, and has been a Civil War graves and monuments preservationist since 1986. David lives near the Lincoln Boyhood Home in Spencer County, Indiana.
- Secretary: Dennis Hutchinson, PDC
Dennis Hutchinson, a member of the SUVCW and Sons of Veteran Reserve since 1998, and past camp and department commander. He researches the history of the 31st Indiana Volunteer Infantry and is author of a website on the regiment. Dennis is also a Civil War re-enactor of Union Infantry and Confederate Artillery.
- Treasurer: Eric Sprouls
Eric is an associate professor of engineering at the University of Southern Indiana. He traces his hereditary membership to his great-great-grandfather Enoch B. Smith of Co. C of the 73rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
- Sr. Vice Commander: Brian Lankford
Brian has been a family historian and researcher for over forty years. He can trace two great-great-great grandfathers who fought in the Civil War, and bases his hereditary membership on William S. Langford of Co. I of the 53rd Indiana Vol. Inf. Regiment. He is also a member of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
When you join the SUVCW, you enter a network of more than 6,000 men who form lifelong bonds, honor their heroic ancestors, and promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism in their communities. In addition to camp leadership listed above, our other members are listed below. To join our fraternity, click here.
- Timothy Beckman
Tim is a dual life member with Benjamin Harrison Camp No. 356, where he served as Camp Commander in 2009 and 2010. He was elected Department Junior Vice Commander in June 2014. Tim is also a member of the 27th Indiana, Co. D, Sons of Veteran Reserve.
- Thomas J. Carson Jr.
Tom joined in 2019 and is a life member who traces his hereditary membership to four Bunton brothers of Spencer County: his great-great grandfather James, Pvt, Co. E, 25th Indiana Infantry; 3rd great uncles Thomas, Sgt, Co. C, 53rd Ind. Inf., Armstead and Benjamin, Pvts., Co. F, 1st Ind. Cavalry. Tom’s other lineage societies are SAR, Mayflower, War of 1812, Mexican War, and Alden Kindred of America.
- Joshua Claybourn, PCC
Joshua Claybourn, PCC, is an author and attorney who first organized Foster Camp. He is past webmaster, Signals Officer, and Asst. Counselor of the national SUVCW, and also served as chairman of the Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable. Joshua traces his hereditary membership to James. H. Claybourn and William D. Claybourn.
- Lance Ferris
Lance Ferris joined in 2020 and traces his hereditary membership to Orville B. Ferris, a member of the 11th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery. He was later transferred to Lilly’s 18th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery. After the war he was a member of the James Brownell Post #11 GAR in Waterloo, Iowa.
- Clay Hoffman
- George Payne
George is a charter member of our camp tracing his hereditary membership to his great-grandfather Ensley Andrew of Co. I of the 138th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He is also a member of the Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable and Trinity United Methodist Church. George works as a petroleum engineer and has a fond love of horses.
- Harold “Mike” Robinson
Mike joined the SUVCW in 2018 and traces his lineage to his great-great-grandfather George W. Masters, who was mustered into service on 3 March 1864 in Company C of the 53rd Regiment in Indiana with the rank of private. He became terminally ill and was sent home to die on 4 April 1865. Mike spent 42 years in education as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He also was an army Vietnam combat veteran and member of SAR.
- Jack R. Robinson
Jack joined the SUVCW in 2018 and traces his lineage to his great-great-grandfather George W. Masters, who was mustered into service on 3 March 1864 in Company C of the 53rd Regiment in Indiana with the rank of private. He became terminally ill and was sent home to die on 4 April 1865. Jack spent 50 years as an attorney in Spencer County, Indiana. Jack was also an Army Intelligence 1st Lieutenant stationed in Indianapolis and is a member of SAR.
- Tim Speedy
Tim serves as a probation officer in Gibson County, Indiana. He also serves as head coach of the archery team at Gibson Southern High School.