Sarah Emma Seelye Auxiliary


The Sarah Emma Seelye Auxiliary supports the Edward Lea Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and is under charter from the national ladies Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Like our national body, our official purpose is to assist the Sons of Union Veterans in their activities and to keep alive the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic. Furthermore, we strive to properly observe and recall the traditions of Memorial Day and to promote patriotism and love of country. We also attempt to assist present day veterans who are disabled and to aid worthy members of our fellow Auxiliaries who are in need.


Chartered in Houston, Texas on December 7, 1996, the Auxiliary originally took the same name as the Edward Lea Camp to which it is associated with. Within a short time, however, the membership chose to adopt the name of Sarah Emma Seelye, after the daring woman who served in the Union Army while disguised as a man. A renowned heroine of her day, Seelye was the only woman to receive a U.S. government pension for her Civil War service and became the only female member of the Grand Army of the Republic. She is buried in Houston’s Washington Cemetery alongside her fellow Union veterans of the GAR.

Activities and Meetings

Our Auxiliary endeavors to participate in ceremonies and programs which honor veterans and commemorate events of the Civil War.  Some of our activities are coordinated with the Edward Lea Camp and we usually meet six times a year.   In January we assist the Son’s with the Galveston Memorial Service, April is our Annual President’s Tea, and in May we participate in Memorial Day events. We are active throughout the year with other activities, such as supporting the Veterans Hospital in Houston with items the patients may need. We meet with the Edward Lea Camp at the majority of their dinner meetings which are held at the Spaghetti Warehouse Restaurant at 901 Commerce Street in downtown Houston. The Auxiliary usually meets in League City, Texas at Spring Creek Bar-B-Que on I-45 at the 646 exit. Please contact our Secretary, Jana Marsh at for an application if you are interested.

Membership in the Auxiliary

The Auxiliary offers women who are descendants of Union veterans the chance to honor their ancestors and to keep alive the heritage of the Civil War era. It also offers a unique opportunity for non-hereditary women who are interested in Civil War history to join as Associates. Our members are drawn from the greater Houston-Galveston area and from surrounding counties in Southeast Texas. However, as the only Auxiliary body in the SUVCW’s Department of the Texas, we do accept individual “at-large” membership from women in Texas and Oklahoma. To qualify for membership, you must be a woman and meet one of the below criteria:

(A) Hereditary Member: Females at least twelve (12) years of age that are lineal or collateral descendants of Union military veterans who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service of the United States of America during the War of the Rebellion from 1861 to 1865.

(B) Affiliate Member: Wives, mothers, widows and legally adopted daughters who are at least twelve (12) years of age, of members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in good standing.

(C) Associate Member: Women who do not meet either of the above criteria are welcome to join as Associate Members. Such applicants should possess a genuine interest in the Civil War and support the purposes and objectives of the Auxiliary. Note: Associate members may vote and hold any office except that of National Vice-President and National President.

Related Memberships in the Allied Orders

Women who qualify as Hereditary Members in the Auxiliary are also eligible to join the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Woman’s Relief Corps.  Women who meet the criteria for Auxiliary Affiliate and Associate memberships may join the Woman’s Relief Corps as well. A few of our Auxiliary members currently serve as Members-at-Large in these Allied Orders.

For More Information

We hope this overview has helped to acquaint you with our Auxiliary and will inspire your membership. For more information, e-mail our Auxiliary President, Vali Reyes at or write to us at:

Sarah Emma Seelye Auxiliary

c/o Edward Lea Camp SUVCW

Post Office Box 331

Houston, Texas 77001-0331