Become a Member

contact our Junior Vice Department Commander

Michael W. Carr, PDC 

P.O. Box 42

Carson, Iowa 51525 


      Greetings from the         Deptartment of Iowa's       Junior Vice Commander. I would like to extend a welcome to those of you who wish to join our Order, or those who merely seek information.  My job is to assist you in finding you a camp to join.  Or, better yet, getting you to start a NEW camp.  To join a camp, merely contact a member of the camp you wish to join, or if you don't know who to contact, contact me and I'll get you set up.  If there's no camp nearby, you can start a new camp with as few as FIVE members. In such a case, all should have lineage to a Civil War veteran.  You do not have to have a Civil War ancestor to join a camp. If you do want to start a camp, I can pass on your request to our Camp Organizer.  We will do all we can to assist you.  You can contact me by phone at   (712) 484-3647, by email at or by  mail at P.O. Box 42, Carson, Iowa  51525.  I look forward to hearing from you.





Dennis Sasse

July 2017 Devotion


    Well, it appears that summer is here, but it feels hotter than it was some fifty years ago.     I used to help put up hay all afternoon but now I almost pass out to just mow the yard.   It must be the climate change that we hear about, it certainly couldn't be anything to do with my age?

        My father owned a yellow “Kelly-Ryan” elevator.     It was excellent for use for grain but it didn't work that well with small hay bales.    It wasn't wide enough for the hay and the bales had to be positioned just right to make their trip up to the hay mow in the barn.   If it wasn’t positioned just right, the bale would make it almost to the top of the steep elevator and proceed to slide down to the bottom.    Then you would put a bale of hay behind it and hopefully both would make the journey into the barn.

         Our Christian life is kinda like that hay elevator, sometimes we slide back and sin and need a push to get back on track to the barn.    Thank God that Christ died for us so we can be forgiven when we slide back down and need a push back up.

Dennis Sasse, Department Chaplain           

   May 2017 Devotion




    Have you ever heard of the term “going around looking for trouble?”  We have a one eyed cat that subscribes to that notion.  He walks around the house looking for some mischief to get into.  Usually it consists of attacking one of the other cats or climbing to some high place knocking items to the floor while doing this.   But he is just bored and doesn't really cause any harm, (according to me anyway, but my wife sometimes has a different view of his actions.)

       In the book of Job there is a description of another creature “going around looking for trouble”.   The exact verse reads:  The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?”    Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”  Job Chapter one, verse 7.  ESV.

Today, especially, we must be cautious and be prepared to recognize trouble and try to avoid it.  Something can seem harmless, as a cat, and fun to watch, but still lead us in harm’s way.  Prayer and being versed in God’s word is the best protection from such danger.


With Faith, Loyalty, and Charity


Department Chaplain Sasse

April 2017 Devotion




     Not long ago we were driving along the freeway in Omaha when we saw a large, wild turkey on the shoulder. It looked very frightened and it didn't know what to do!  We drove on and I never knew what happened to that poor creature.

        I have felt that way before in life and I think that some of you have, too.  We get into a situation and we don't know what to do next.  Looking back and thinking about scary situations that I have experienced in the past, it was the worry that was the scary thing.  Fear was my enemy.

        One of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous quotes during the World War II was: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

        Hope to see you at the encampment on the 8th.


With Faith, Loyalty, and Charity. 


Department Chaplain Sasse

March Devotion 2017




        Douglas Bader was a British fighter pilot with a problem at the beginning of World War II.   He wanted to fly for the Royal Air Force but he wasn’t allowed to fly.     Bader had a flying accident earlier and had  lost both his legs.    He persisted and finally he was permitted to fly.    22 enemy aircraft were shot down because of persistence.

        Everyone feels like giving up at times, including myself.    Years ago while reenacting the heat and hot wool uniform really made me want to quit and go back to my air conditioned house.    But then I thought of my CW ancestor and I thought “if he could do it for days, I could stand it for a few hours”.

        There is always someone to look upon for an example of courage when we feel like giving up.     Sometimes we just need to look.


With Faith, Courage & Loyalty

Dennis Sasse, Department Chaplain

February Devotion 2017




       There are a lot of things that I don't understand about God and the Bible.   This morning I was pondering about the mystery of the Nephilim (Genesis 6: vs 1-4).      And I don't understand the unrest in our world today either.    But I know that God is still in control and His understanding is infinite.


        Submitted in Faith, Charity and Loyalty.

        Department Chaplain Sasse

January Devotion 2017



          As I heard the minister read about the heavenly host of angels proclaiming to the shepards the good news about the birth of Jesus, I wondered who the angels would tell today ?   No shepherds so perhaps they would head towards Walmart?

       My point is it's the message that was important not who it was told to.  

   Hope everyone had a great Christmas and that they are looking forward to a happy new year.


    With Faith, Loyalty, & Charity:

    Department Chaplain Sasse

December Devotion 2016


With all the political correctness of the days we live in,

I do not wish you “Happy Holidays” - but a


“Merry Christmas”


in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Dennis Sasse

Dept. of Iowa Chaplain

November Devotion 2016




        Can you imagine the thoughts that our Civil War ancestors had the night before a big battle?  They knew that there was a good chance of being horribly wounded or killed the next day.  What were their thoughts?  Perhaps some had faith in Holy Scriptures and read these words spoken by King David:

         “Lord, I say to you, ‘You are my God.  Hear, O Lord, my cry for mercy.  O Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle -‘”.  (Psalm 140:6-7, NIV).

     We may not be facing such horrible fates but faith and prayers are powerful tools to prepare for the next day.


     With Faith, Charity and Loyalty

     Department Chaplain Dennis Sasse

October Devotion 2016


          I have been ill now for almost four weeks.  I have been complaining a lot and praying that I will soon feel better. At the time I was ill, I thought about the fact that I didn't appreciate it when I did feel okay.  Now that I feel better, I take my health for granted.  A week ago when I had trouble breathing, I so wanted to breath normally and today when I can, I am not thankful!

      We should be thankful always for both small and large blessings.    1st Thessalonians, Chapter 5, verses 16-18:   “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”   NIV.

        Asking for help when one is ill or in strife is human nature, and I am guilty in this, but we need to be thankful we are happy and well.


With F.C. &L.

Department Chaplain Sasse

September Devotion 2016




          Hardtack, molar breakers, tooth dullers, worm castles, or if you were in the navy, ship’s biscuits.      Different names for a hard, dry cracker meant to last for months or even years !    Usually associated with the American Civil War, it has been used in several countries and in different times.   I have seen some hardtack displayed at the Iowa Historical Building that was 150 years old !!


       Although it will last a very long time, it will not last forever, nothing but one thing will last forever.    

First Peter states:  ".....knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Chirst, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot".

1 Peter 1:18&19 ESV


        Hard tack’s time on  earth  is nothing, God’s precious gift is not only eternal, but precious .    Let's be thankful and in awe of God’s wisdom and power.


          In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

          Dennis L. Sasse

          Department of Iowa Chaplain

August Devotion 2016




Last night I was reading from the book of James: “Is anyone among you suffering ? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” Chapter 5, verse 13, ESV.

During our SUVCW meeting a question is asked: “Does anyone know of a brother in distress?” Which is good but I ponder sometimes if we should ask: “Does any brother have a joy to share?”

Just a positive thought.


With F.C.&L.

Department Chaplain

Dennis Sasse

June Devotion 2016


          The American Civil War took a terrible toll on body and soul. There was homesickness, bad
food and water, the face of death lurking always around the corner. Even the faithful Christian
soldier must have been near his breaking point at times.
          I don't know what prayer a soldier could say for comfort when a comrade was killed next to
him or had his own limb cut off thinking how he would survive working when he returned to
the farm! The only thing I can think of is these words from the scriptures……..

   “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we
         ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Romans 8:26, ESV.
And as always, the Bible can provide for us the same way today                                                    .

With F.C.L.
Department Chaplain Sasse

May Devotion 2016




          This year denotes the 150th year since the forming of the G.A.R.  Since that beginning, the SUVCW/SVR has seen a lot of changes.  The country has changed greatly since 1866.  There have been stars added to our national flag, lots of new laws added, and several new wars since the Civil War.

          There have been many transitions to the organization also: highs and lows in membership numbers, guidelines for ceremonies, and of course the big one, the transition from a Veteran's Organization to a Descendants of Civil War Veterans.

          But having the same Creator has been consistent for these 150 years.  It is written in the Book of Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever".

          This will never change.


with F, C & L

Department Chaplain Sasse

April Devotion 2016


We are the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and are
very proud of our Civil War ancestors. Whether our great-grandfather,
great-great-grandfather or distant uncle, we are
very proud of our heritage.
But sometimes we forget (including myself) the most
important of all, our family!
Luke writes in the book that bears his name: “He replied:
My mother and brother are those who hear God’s word and
puts it into practice”. (Luke Chapter 8:21 NIV)
What can be more awesome than this ?

With F C & L
Department Chaplain Sasse

February Devotion 2016


I have been building plastic model tanks and airplanes for over 50 years. The fit of the
plastic pieces over the years have improved but some of the time there are still gaps to fill in
with filler putty. A lot of these small gaps will not be noticed by others but they bother me
A lot of bad memories, faults, and imperfections we carry also. They are unnoticed to most
people but they are here for us to make us feel badly or even inferior. God can forgive or help
us fill in these gaps that are unnoticed by others but are a heavy burden to us. Without God in
our lives we will always fail to build a proper model of our lives.
Psalms 119, v 175 states: “Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.”
English Standard Version.

With  F C & L
Department Chaplain Sasse

January Devotion 2016


General Custer was a very interesting person, a few months ago I used him as the theme of
a devotion and I would like to do so again.
It has been said that before his fateful trip in Montana he had stated that he, “was hopeful
of action in 1876.” And we know that he did “get some military action”,

just not what he expected.
This reminds me of what is written in James Chapter 4: verses 13-15: Now listen, you who
say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year or two there, carry on
business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow . What
is your life ? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then it vanishes. Instead, you
should say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or do that.” NIV
Wherever you go, whatever you do next year, brothers, please keep God in your plans
and prayers.

Submitted in Faith, Charity, & Loyalty
Department Chaplain, Dennis Sasse

December 2015


Christmas is awesome and special to every heart. Christ’s birth is a story that we all know.
I’d like to share another Christmas story, it’s called “The Christmas Truce of 1914”.
It was only the first year of World War I but the trenches had been dug and thousands of
men had perished or been wounded. Then a miracle happened between the British and
German lines at Christmas, a short truce between enemies occurred. They came out of the
trenches singing Christmas carols, exchanging foods, and even having a game of soccer.
The good times didn't last very long, both governments issued stern warnings that if the
meetings continued there would be severe punishments. Unfortunately this “Peace on Earth”
ended and the war continued ending the lives of several million men.
. These days there is a hunger for peace and fellowship between men and nations.
Warfare will be with us until the Christ who’s birthday that we celebrate in December comes
back to brings us an internal “Truce”.
Let us worship Him and His word this Christmas. The statement is true:

“Wise Men still seek Him”.

With Faith, Charity, Loyalty
Department Chaplain
Dennis Sasse

November 2015


       Last June my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting the Custer Battlefield in Montana.     I am now reading an excellent book on the same subject.    The book makes a lot more sense after being there.   

      Real life can be like that sometimes; we can understand something because we have been there in our life.     For example, if we have suffered from a bad experience in the past, we can more likely understand someone else with the same problem.   This could be an accident, the death of a loved one, a lost love, or even an illness.

        We have a loved one currently in prison; he is sharing his faith with fellow inmates.    Some of them might be hearing the only “sermon” that they will ever hear.    A bad event can become a blessed event.   We need to trust God’s love and plan for us.

         Have an awesome Thanksgiving.

          With Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty.

          Department Chaplain Dennis Sasse

  October 2015

    “Lasting Water”

               When I was a lad I lived in a house with no running water.    It is now a pleasant memory but then it was an embarrassment.    I can recall cool freshly pumped water drunk from a bucket with a galvanized metal dipper.   The water was not filtered and with no purifying chemicals added to it.    Today, most people wouldn’t even dream of consuming water like that but drinking it didn’t harm me in the slightest.    No physical or mental affects have ever appeared in me in all these years!

        During the Civil War, many soldiers either became extremely ill or died drinking bad water.    More men died from drinking bad water than the perils of combat.   In today’s world we wonder, “How could this happen?”    But even today some people do not seek out the “good water”!    

         It is written in John Chapter 4, Verses 13 and 14 NIV: Jesus answered: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.   Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

        There is lot of “bad water” in the world, take time to concentrate on the “good water.”


With Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty

                                                                      Department Chaplain Dennis Sasse

Summer 2015

Chaplain's Corner (National)

What does Loyalty mean?
Its synonyms are faithfulness, allegiance, wholeheartedness and devotion.
Loyalty denotes commitment over a long period of time. A loyal friend sticks by in
adverse circumstances. A couple of the best examples of loyalty and friendship in the
bible are those of David and Jonathon, recorded in 1 Samuel, Chapter 20. Jonathon saves
David’s life and defends David to his father, Saul. Years later, David showed kindness to
Jonathan’s sole surviving son in an act of loyalty and friendship.
Woodrow Wilson once said “Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the
absolute principle of sacrifice.” The kind of loyalty that does not require you to make
regular sacrifices does not really exist. If it does, it is only in the imagination. The point
here is that you must be willing to accompany your allegiance to the object of your
loyalty with regular giving of time, money and resources. It may not be convenient, but it
is usually necessary.
Loyalty is rewarded. The reward is greater usefulness.
In Mathew 25:23, Jesus said “….Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee a ruler over many things…..
And the message to Smyrna in Revelations 2:10 was….”be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life”.
God will reward our loyalty!
Yours in Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty,
Chaplain Dan

August 2015



      In 1854, the first Iowa State Fair was held in Fairfield, Iowa.  100 years later I attended the fair for the first time at the age of 3.  Since then it has been a family tradition.

      In 1865, 150 years ago, the Civil War ended and the Grand Army of the Republic was formed the next year.  The SUVCW/SVR followed in 1881. Today, we are bound by oath and tradition to these groups when we lay our hands on the Bible and the flag when joining.

         It saddens me when some leave the brotherhood.  Oath and tradition should mean as much in the twenty-first century as it did in the ninteenth.  Though less in number, I pray that the SUVCW/SVR will remain a strong force in Iowa.

With Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty
Department Chaplain Dennis Sasse

     July 2015



          Today I wear only the uniform in blue of the S.V.R.,  but there was a time when I re-enacted.      It was enjoyable and I especially enjoyed sitting around the campfire, it was so relaxing.

          But the battles weren’t so fun.   Most of them were held in the afternoon when it was extremely hot.    Those wool uniforms were very uncomfortable.   Sometimes I would take a “hit” and go down so I wouldn’t have to be so active in the heat.  

         At the end of the battle the commander would yell out, “Resurrect”, and we would arise from the ground to be alive and healed again.    Wouldn’t it be grand if that would really be available in real life?

        It is written in Isaiah:   “Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.    You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!    For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.”    Chapter 26, verse 19…..E.S.A.

       The past, current, and future miracles of the Lord are as numerous as the grain of dust in the fields.

                                                                                With Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty

                                                                                 Department Chaplain Dennis Sasse


June  2015



            As we know, our Civil War ancestors had a hard life.  Even when they were lucky enough to have a tent to sleep in, they still longed for their home.

May I share with you 2nd Corinthians Chapter 5, Verse 1:  “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (ESV)

Do not dwell too much about the temporary problems of our “earthly tent” we live in, but have hope of our eternal home offered to us from God.

With Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty

Department Chaplain Dennis Sasse

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