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Union Soldiers' Alliance of Washington, D.C.


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I stumbled across a new-to-me veterans organization for Civil War vets. Has anyone ever heard of the Union Soldiers' Alliance of Washington, D.C.?




I found it within the Manual of the Civil War and Key to the Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies by J. Worth Carnahan, Chicago, Il, 1897.


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Thanks, Gil.


Just in case that page you sited were to ever disappear, I have copied the pertinent section to which you were referring. It comes from the Washington Post.


[The Washington Post 5 January 1891, page 6]
Extremely Select Organization of Union Veterans
A Brief Description of the Union Soldier's [sic] Alliance and Workings--It was Started in this City--Full List of the Members--Benefits to Deceased Members' Families

When in the fall of 1879 Mr. Samuel C. Lovejoy and Mr. William P. Seville conceived the idea of forming in this city a society to unite in good fellowship a congenial body of old soldiers, they could not have anticipated the success which has been the outcome of their plans. The organization of the Union Soldiers' Alliance followed their endeavours, and to-day it is one of the most select and popular societies of its kind in Washington. Membership is eagerly sought in this association by those who are acquainted with its aims and objects. However, the list is limited to 100 names, and besides the fact that the membership is now and has been full for some time there are on the waiting list a large number of names. Until a vacancy occurs these applicants cannot become members.

The purpose in establishing the society was to keep up the old associations of the camp-fire and battlefield by social enjoyment and mutual benefit. Although the members are pledged to secrecy as regards the election of applicants, all semblance to a secret fraternity ends there. A pledge is taken on admission, but it is only of such a character as all true and gallant soldiers would follow from their own instincts of honor and comradeship. Meetings are held quarterly, and on these pleasant occasions the evening is given up to sociability and enjoyment. Stories are told, jolly songs are sung,and the battles are fought over again about the refreshment tables.

Though the pleasure of these social gatherings forms one of the objects of the alliance, there is another which is most praiseworthy. It provides for the widows or children of deceased members. When a death occurs in the society each member subscribes $5 to a mortuary fund. Five hundred dollars is thus collected, $300 of which goes to the deceased's family, and the remaining $200 is added to an always increasing sinking fund. A banquet is held annually during the winter months. At the last, which took place on December 23, eighty-seven out of the one hundred members were present. Some were out of the city and others were sick, but only thirteen failed to appear. Officers also are elected for the year, those for 1891 presiding for the firsttime at a meeting held Saturday night at the Grand Army Hall. They are: President, Alexander F. McMillan; first vice president, Charles P. Lincoln; second vice president, William G. Moore; third vice president, Bernard T. Janney; secretary, John L. Heupel; assistant secretary, John R. Collette; treasurer, Samuel C. Lovejoy; proctor, Edgar H. Klemroth.

The fact that the membership is limited to 100, and to men under sixty years of age, makes the days of the society limited. For it will not be many years before those who participated in the war of the rebellion and are under the age of sixty will be few in number. It has been estimated that when the membership decreases to thirty-five, as it necessarily must, each survivor can draw out $300, and then the benefits will be suspended. This in itself is a feature which makes the society an excellent one. Membership is not solicited by the alliance. Each member has the privilege of offering the name of some person whom he believes would be a credit to the organization. The name is referred to a select committee for examination. His military record and his social and moral standing is looked up, and upon a favorable report balloting is begun for admission. One black ball is sufficient to deny him admission. In this manner the society is made a most congenial one. If no black ball is cast, he is notified of his election and asked to join.

It is a singular fact that although there are a hundred members it is infrequent that two are found who were members of the same regiment during the war. The following is a full list of the members in the order of their admission:

John L. Heupel, Forty-sixth New York Infantry.

Samuel C. Lovejoy, First Maine Cavalry.

William P. Seville (president 1879), First Delaware Infantry.

Newton M. Brooks (president, 1887), Twelfth New Jersey Infantry.

Harrison Dingman (president, 1881-82), Fourteenth New York Infantry.

James M. Edgar, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry.

Alex. F. McMillan, First United States Colored Heavy Artillery.

William A. Olmsted, Fifty-ninth New York Infantry.

Charles C. Royce (president, 1883), United States Navy.

John Gilmore, First West Virginia Cavalry.

James Coleman, First District of Columbia Infantry.

Abraham Hart, Seventy-Third Pennsylvania Infantry.

Zach E. Thomas, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry.

Robert G. Cunningham, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Edgar H. Klemroth, Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Robert S. Lyttle, United States Navy.

William Howard Mills, Fourteenth United States Infantry.

Frank B. Miller, Ninety-first Pennsylvania Infantry.

Henry R. Bennett, Seventh Massachusetts Infantry.

Benjamin Engel, Second United States Cavalry.

Frank T. Howe, Fortieth Massachusetts Infantry.

William R. Morgan, One hundred and forty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry.

Samuel M. Barrows, Fifth Maine Infantry.

Charles H. Brown, Twenty-eighth Connecticut Infantry.

William Blasland, First Massachusetts Cavalry.

William Gibson (President, 1888) Purnell Legion Maryland Infantry.

Charles D. A. Loeffler, Fifth United States Cavalry.

John G. Macgregor, Eighth Minnesota Infantry.

Charles E. Coon, Twenty-third New York Infantry.

Martin Hoyburger, Second United States Artillery.

William G. Moore, National Rifles, District of Columbia.

Henry C. Rogers, United States Volunteers.

Charles King, United States Army.

Delavan W. Harrington, Forty-fourth New York Infantry.

Robert H. Morton, One hundred and thirty-third Ohio Infantry.

George A. Bartlett (President, 1889), First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

Samuel S. Burdett (President, 1886), First Iowa Cavalry.

Simeon H. Merrill, Eleventh Maine Infantry.

Thomas M. Steep, Eighth Pennsylvania Reserves.

Almyne H. G. Richardson, One hundred and fourteenth Pennsylvania Infantry.

Smith Townshend, Thirty-second Illinois Infantry.

Augustus S. Worthington, Ninety-eighth Ohio Infantry.

John W. Bradford, Fourth New Jersey Infantry.

S. Willard Saxton, United States Volunteers.

George H. French, Twelfth Massachusetts Infantry.

Charles T. Gardner, United States Volunteers.

William H. Webster, Fifth Connecticut Infantry.

John McElroy, Sixteenth Illinois Cavalry.

Lewis K. Brown, Purnell Legion, Maryland Infantry.

Andrew F. Dinsmore, Third Michigan Infantry.

Orange S. Firman, Seventh Connecticut Infantry.

Fred. W. Mitchell, Twelfth Illinois Cavalry.

Henry Sherwood, Fourth Michigan Cavalry.

Joseph S. Bolway, Fourteenth New York Infantry.

Richard M. Goundie, Second Pennsylvania Artillery.

Bernard T. Janney, One hundred and ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry.

George U. Rose, United States Army.

William Howard Gibson, Seventh Pennsylvania Reserves.

William J. Johnston, Forty-fourth New York Infantry.

Joseph H. Twitchell, Thirteenth Massachusetts Infantry.

Sandford Bradbury, Twenty-seventh New York Infantry.

Franklin G. Butterfield, Sixth Vermont Infantry.

Frank A. Butts, Forty-seventh New York Infantry.

Frank H. Sprague, First Rhode Island Cavalry.

Nathan Bickford, United States Volunteers.

James H. Colt, Fourteenth Connecticut Infantry.

Charles Lowell, Seventh Maine Infantry.

Edward R. Campbell, Eleventh Vermont Infantry.

Charles E. Hartung, Thirty-first New Jersey Infantry.

Albert W. Roome, Seventy-first New York Infantry.

Andrew T. Huntington, Tenth Massachusetts Infantry.

John Cameron, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Adolph Berger, First Louisiana Cavalry.

James L. Davenport, Fortieth Wisconsin Infantry.

Samuel A. Lewis, First Rhode Island Cavalry.

Elanthan Meade, Forty-fourth New York Infantry.

John S. Stodder, United States Navy.

Alva S. Taber, Nineteenth United States Infantry.

John E. Collette, Seventh Kentucky Infantry.

Charles P. Lincoln, Nineteenth Michigan Infantry.

Henry A. Robbins, United States Army.

John M. Young, Thirty-first New Jersey Infantry.

James E. Smith, Fourth New York Light Battery.

Levi P. Wright, First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

Albion B. Jameson, Sixth Pennsylvania Reserves.

James B. Carter, Eighty-third New York Infantry.

Frank P. Gross, Ninth United States Cavalry.

Joseph G. Manson, Seventh Tennessee Mounted Infantry.

Octavius L. Pruden, Eleventh New Jersey Infantry.

Levi J. Bryant, Third Wisconsin Infantry.

William Hebrew, Twentieth Pennsylvania Militia.

William Wilson, United States Navy.

George H. Lillebridge, Fourteenth Connecticut Infantry.

Willis B. Pomeroy, Fifth Michigan Infantry.

Andrew J. Huntoon, Twelfth New Hampshire Infantry.

John J. Harrower, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery.

Samuel V. Holliday, United States Army.

George E. Corson, Seventeenth United States Infantry.

Theodore F. Swayze, Fifteenth New Jersey Infantry.

Charles H. White, Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry.

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  • 4 years later...

Just as I stumbled across the sketch of the Union Soldiers Alliance badge in Carnahan's book, I found a 2017 Heritage Auctions listing with the following description:


Outstanding Medal Group Identified to James Bolles Coit, Connecticut 14th Infantry, Wounded Six Times During the War. The medals include: 1.) Officers Military Order of the Loyal Legion medal. Engraved with Coit's member number on the suspension loop "5234". 2.) Gold Society of the Army of the Potomac medal. Suspension loop engraved "3.", reverse engraved "Gen'l / James B. Coit / Norwich / CT". 3.) Gold presentation medal consisting of a five-pointed star suspended from a pin-back pendant. The obverse features a bust profile on an officer and "1861 1865" and "U.V.A."; the reverse engraved "To / Gen'l J. B. Coit / from / Geo. N. Tibbles". Tibbles was commander of A Company, 1st New Jersey U.V.A. 4.) Unidentified gold veteran's medal the obverse with "100" and "USA". Pendant engraved "Gen'l. Jas B. Coit". Possibly a past-president medal for the Civil War Sons of Veterans organization. 5.) Civil War silver Sons of Veterans First Camp Commemorative Medal. 6.) Gold Connecticut Governor's Staff button with "1834" drop.


James Bolles Coit was born September, 1836. He gained admittance to the bar at the age of 21. At the age of 24, on April 22, 1861, Coit enlisted as a private at Norwich, Connecticut. He initially mustered into the Connecticut 2nd Infantry but was commissioned into K Company of the CT 14th Infantry on August 20, 1862. He rose steadily through the ranks during the war, ending the war as a brevet Brigadier General. He was wounded six times: Antietam, Gettysburg, Morton's Ford, the Wilderness, Deep Bottom Run, and Petersburg. His post-war career was equally interesting. He moved to Washington, D.C. where he opened a successful law and patent office. He also served for a time as Division Chief, Bureau of Pensions. He also helped to establish a national park at Gettysburg. Of course he was active in veteran events and reunions in both Washington and Connecticut. He was also the Assistant Adjutant General for the State of Connecticut. He died in 1894 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Item number 4, the 'Unidentified gold veteran's medal the obverse with "100" and "USA". Pendant engraved "Gen'l. Jas B. Coit".' is none other than the Union Soldiers Alliance membership badge.


UnionSoldiersAllianceSketch.jpg HA_GenJamesCoit_medals_1000.jpg


While General Coit was not one of the original 100 members, it is clear from this badge that he belonged to the organization. I am happy to have discovered that there is at least one remaining example of a membership badge from this exclusive Civil War veterans organization.

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This is a close up of the Union Veterans Alliance badge originally belonging to Brevet (March 13, 1865 February 16, 1869) Brigadier General James Bolles Coit, 14th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.




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