Restoration of Cannon Carriages at Oak Hill Cemetery

The John W. Foster Camp No. 2 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is excited to announce the launch of a significant restoration project at Oak Hill Cemetery. We will be restoring two cannon carriages, an effort that preserves an important piece of our shared history.

Oak Hill

In collaboration with the University of Southern Indiana (USI), we have secured two contracts to build the first carriage. The first contract, valued at $500, covers cutting the pieces, while the second, worth $2,000, is for welding the carriage together. This phased approach ensures continuous progress while we raise the necessary funds.

Despite initial setbacks in securing donated materials, we have obtained the required metal from Wright Steel at a cost of $200. To kickstart the project, this expense has been personally covered, allowing us to deliver the metal to USI promptly. Our immediate goal is to raise $500 to begin cutting the pieces, with subsequent funds directed toward welding and assembly.

We are also applying for a $2,500 grant from the SUVCW Charitable Foundation, thanks to the efforts of Brother Tim Beckman.

We are grateful for the support already shown by our members. Brother Brian Lankford’s contribution to the CAD development for USI is highly appreciated. For those who wish to contribute financially to this worthy cause, donations can be sent to:

Eric Sprouls
5225 Valeah Dr.
Wadesville, IN 47638

Please make checks payable to “John Foster Camp #2 SUVCW” and include “Cannon Carriage” in the memo line to ensure proper allocation of funds. The estimated total cost for each carriage is around $7,000, significantly less than the $18,000 to $20,000 quoted for new aluminum carriages.

As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, donations to the John W. Foster Camp and SUVCW are tax-deductible. For further inquiries, please contact us directly.

Thank you for your continued support in preserving our heritage.

George Winlock L.U.V. Ceremony

The SUVCW Foster Camp recently honored Corporal George W. Winlock, the last Civil War veteran buried in Vanderburgh County, Indiana.

Born into slavery in Logan County, Kentucky, on December 26, 1847, George W. Winlock spent his early years as a house boy and farmer for Adam Winlock. In August 1864, he left his enslavers to join the Union Army.

Winlock enlisted in the 115th U.S. Colored Infantry in Bowling Green, Kentucky, committing to a three-year term. Standing 5 feet, 7 1/4 inches tall, with black skin, hair, and eyes, he joined Company C of the 115th USCT the same day. However, the regiment wasn’t fully organized until October 21. Stationed in the District of Kentucky, Winlock and his unit performed garrison duty in Lexington until December. They then moved to Virginia in January 1865 to partake in the siege operations around Petersburg. After nearly three months, the 115th USCT entered Richmond on April 3, following the city’s abandonment by Confederate forces. Winlock and his comrades stayed in Virginia until May 20, 1865, before sailing to Texas. Promoted to Corporal on December 1, 1865, he served in the District of the Rio Grande until his regiment was mustered out on February 20, 1866, in Indianola, Texas.

After the war, Winlock returned to Russellville, Kentucky. In 1878, he married Mary Belle Loving, and they had a daughter, Louesther, born on October 3, 1881. The family moved to Evansville, Indiana, in 1884, where Winlock worked for the John and Clem Reitz sawmill until 1900. He then joined Schmenke’s Stove firm and later worked as a repairman for the Thiele Stove Company until his retirement.

Winlock joined Colonel John F. Grill Post No. 541 of the Grand Army of the Republic in Evansville and served as Post Quartermaster from 1897 until the Post disbanded in 1900. Instrumental in founding a new Post that same year, he became a Charter member of Fort Wagner Post No. 581, serving various roles including Chaplain, Delegate, and Jr. Vice Commander. He eventually became the Post’s last surviving member.

On June 10, 1939, at 91 years, 5 months, and 15 days old, George W. Winlock died of myocarditis. He was laid to rest in Locust Hill Cemetery, becoming the last Union veteran buried in Vanderburgh County, Indiana.

Last Soldier Project

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.

Cemetery Projects

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

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.

Commander’s Citation

On October 29, 2022, the Department of Indiana SUVCW held its Mid-Year Encampment at Mishawaka, Indiana. For the first time, the Department issued a “Commanders Citation” and this inaugural award was bestowed upon John W. Foster Camp #2. The certificate was awarded to the Camp for efforts in gaining access to the Farragut Post records and ensuring these records were digitally copied and properly stored. Along with the certificate, Foster Camp was issued a streamer to attach to our Camp flag. The citation reads: “In recognition of efforts to gain access to the Grand Army of the Republic room in Evansville Memorial Coliseum; and successfully working with the University of Southern Indiana to digitize, preserve, store, and make available the Post’s records to the public. Therefore, as Commander of the Department of Indiana, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, I hereby award this citation for their highest meritorious service.”

Passing of Brother Graham Morey

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.

Triple Ceremony Event

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).

Spring Heritage Day

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.