Monday, March 07, 2011

Last Soldier program at Oshkosh Public Library

A local group dedicated to honoring Civil War veterans will present The Last Soldier, a program at the Oshkosh Public Library on March 10 that will appeal to history enthusiasts, genealogists, Civil War buffs and families whose ancestors fought in the Civil War.

The Last Soldier will begin at 7 p.m. in the library’s lower level meeting room. The event is co-sponsored by the Winnebagoland Genealogy Society.

Guest speaker Vincent Barker will talk about the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) and their efforts in Wisconsin to carry out the Last Soldier Project. Through a partnership with the Winnebagoland Genealogical Society, SUVCW has located the final resting place for the last Union soldier buried in almost every Wisconsin County. Barker is part of Old Abe Camp #8 based in Omro.

Janet Eiler of the Winnebagoland Genealogical Society has worked extensively with Barker to locate burial sites throughout the state for the Last Soldier project. “I have ancestors in the Civil War so this is interesting to me,” she says. “Getting these soldiers the recognition they deserve is important.”

Eiler recently was honored by SUVCW for her contribution to the Last Soldier project. “I’m big into genealogy, so we have a common interest,” she explains. “Even though these aren’t my ancestors I wanted to help.”

During the process she learned more about the activities of SUVCW, which will preside over the ceremony when a new headstone for one of her ancestors in installed in Winneconne this summer.

At the library program, Barker will share information about SUVCW’s other activities that honor the brave soldiers who fought in the Civil War. SUVCW is involved in the National Grave Registration Project, which seeks to locate the grave sites of all Union and Confederate Civil War veterans so that the information may be entered in a national database. The National Graves Registration Database can be searched by the public at

More than 91,000 Wisconsin soldiers fought in the Civil War. Nearly 12,000 of them died and thousands more were wounded. “The Civil War had a profound effect on life in Wisconsin,” says Mara Munroe, a librarian who is a local history and genealogy specialist at the Oshkosh Public Library. “We assist many people at the library who are curious to find out if they have a personal connection to this significant event in our nation’s history.”

In the process of tracing Civil War ancestors, individuals can find out which of Wisconsin’s 56 regiments these soldiers served in, as well as the battles in which they fought.

The Oshkosh Public Library is one of the premiere local history and genealogy resources in the Fox Valley area. The library’s extensive collection of local history books, digital books and photo collections, community indexes, maps and atlases are a mainstay for anyone interested in area history and genealogy.

The library and the Winnebagoland Genealogical Society have a long-standing partnership that has enhanced the genealogy services the library is able to offer. The society has been instrumental in indexing vital records, allowing the library to create the Oshkosh Vital Records Index, an online resource used in genealogy research. The index spans a period from 1861 to the present.

For more information about The Last Soldier or other programs, services, and resources at the Oshkosh Public Library, visit


Post a Comment

<< Home