The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is a heritage society for men who are descendants of Union servicemen. Founded in 1881, the national order is the direct heir to the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union military veteran's group. A national ladies Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans was established in 1883. Both organizations have branches across the USA and work together to promote preservation work, historical lectures, scholarly research, and the marking of Civil War veteran's graves.
Two branches, the Edward Lea Camp and the Sarah Emma Seelye Auxiliary, serve the greater Houston, Texas area, and are attached to the Department of Texas. The Camp is named for Edward Lea, a Union naval officer killed in the 1863 Battle of Galveston, whereas the Auxiliary's namesake, Sarah Seelye, was a daring woman who served in the Union Army while disguised as a man. Both groups meet regularly and membership is open to male and female descendants of Union military veterans and to family members of such descendants. Associate memberships are available to those without Union ancestors but who are interested in Civil War history.
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