What does “UVL” or “
Your ancestor may have an obituary that reads: “and members of the U.V.L., A.O.P., I.O.O.F.,” and a list of other abbreviations. The 1880s-1920s is sometimes referred to as the “golden age of fraternities” with the rise in membership and organizations occurring during that time. Two would be of relevance to our 74th ancestors.
The first that I encountered was the U.V.L., or Union Veteran Legion. Unlike the much more familiar Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), finding good information on the UVL was always a bit of a challenge. It wasn’t until a meeting with Prof. Anthony Waskie that I had it succinctly explained who the UVL was…”They were the veterans that (1) signed up for three years; (2) served at least two years of it, or discharged because of a wound; and, (3) they couldn’t have received a bounty to substitute for someone.” Then Andy pointed to a history of the G.A.R. and said, take a look at its pages about the UVL. Look I did and then I photographed the pages! The History of the Grand Army of the Republic by Robert Beath is a remarkable collection of information about the G.A.R. and its various allied orders.
Sure, I had come across pictures, some references, and in the case of one museum an annual roster of members which I scanned quickly for 74thers. But, it was that history that really gave me the information I was looking for.
The poem needs to be available and out there for all to see. It’s one of those written in the style of veteran remembrances that one doesn’t see much of, unfortunately, anymore.
Here are two examples of why I would love to have a full copy of this document:
Bret’s ancestor Joseph Newmeyer – I got distracted as I was taking this picture and it got blurred. Also note Captain Neidhart.
Occasionally on Ebay one finds UVL items listed. I cannot say that I have been lucky enough to actually win any of these items as they go for a very good price due to their scarcity.
Colonel Commander’s Badge
Lieutenant Colonel’s Badge
the Army of the
shortly after the war, this was a society open to all who had served in the
Army of the
"The Union forces which operated in
Source: Everybody's Cyclopedia (New York: Syndicate Publishing Company, 1912)
Let me know if you have any memorabilia associated with the Society of the Army of the Potomac. Would love to share it with folks.