Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No. 2 is a local entity of the RI Department Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (RI Dept. ASUVCW), serving central Rhode Island. Auxiliary No. 2 is one of three local Auxiliaries within the RI Department or the State. It was first organized by the wives, daughters and grand daughters of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as well as the Union Civil War Veterans of R.I. Grand Army of the Republic (RI GAR) Arnold Post No.4, in 1917. Auxiliary 2 was actually the very first Auxiliary formed in the State of Rhode Island. The World War I and the Post World War I years combined with the Post World War I influenza epidemic, had a devastating effect on Rhode Island, however by 1922 the RI Department Auxiliary to the SUVCW was formed. Therefore, in 1922, Auxiliary No.2 was re-chartered under the RI ASUVCW Department to continue its mission to assist the RI Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7 (the SUVCW legal successor to RI GAR Post 4). Many of the original women of Auxiliary 2 were instrumental of the founding of the RI Dept. Auxiliary (the State level organization).
Some of the activities that the Elisha Dyer Auxiliary participates in include assisting the RI Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Elisha Dyer Camp No.7 in its Civil War Veterans graves registration program; flagging of all Civil War Veterans graves at Memorial Day; visiting the ladies and men at the RI Veterans home -- the old Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Bristol Home); assisting the RI Dept. in participation of school and community programs and events to promote patriotism, RI Civil War History, women's activities during the Civil War; charitable and volunteer work in communities. Auxiliary No.2 welcomes women of all walks of life who are descendants and non-descendants of Union Civil War Veterans. The individual Members of our Auxiliary also support the Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center project at the R.I. Civil War Governor William Sprague Mansion-Museum, Old Carriage House facility in Cranston. Some of our members are also involved with the R.I. GAR Civil War Museum "Visitors From The Past" school visitation program. For more information about the R.I. GAR Civil War Museum, click HERE. We will locate our office, hold our meetings and conduct our functions there when the project is completed.
Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No. 2 was officially Chartered on March 8, 1917. Like RI SUVCW Camp No. 7, it was also named in honor of both Rhode Island Governors Elisha Dyer Sr. and Elisha Dyer Jr. Both Governors were Civil War Veterans. The Auxiliary No. 2 Charter was signed by the National Officers of the Auxiliary, May E. Clothier, National Auxiliary President, and attested by Ida M. Patterson, National Auxiliary Secretary, on July 14, 1917, at the National Encampment or annual meeting-convention of the ASUVCW held in Rockford, Illinois. The honored ladies, or our founding sisters of Auxiliary No. 2, followed the principles and views of what their Civil War Veteran Fathers and Grandfathers, Mothers and Grandmothers fought to establish for America, freedom, justice and equality for "ALL" Americans. They worked tirelessly to finish the Abolitionist Movement well into the 20th Century towards Civil Rights and as Suffragettes they pushed for Equal Rights for Women and the right to vote. Today we honor them as being among the pioneers who established the rights of Women by amending the U.S. Constitution in 1920.
President Linda Payne is the wife of Brother Gregory H. Payne, Past Camp Commander of Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7, Rhode Island Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. In 2007, as Vice President of Auxiliary No. 2, she was given the sad duty of stepping in to fill the presidency of former President Eva Lawrence, PAP, and serve the remainder of the year in Sister Eva's place. Linda has been extremely active in several reenactment organizations and school programs. She, like her predecessor, is a supporter of the Rhode Island Civil War Museum and Library project at the Governor Sprague Mansion in Cranston, Rhode Island. For the past three years Linda has been working with Sisters Mary Mierka, PDP, and Lydia Rappoza, also President of the Cranston Historical Society, in several ways to assist in bringing the RI Civil War Museum to fruition at the old carriage house facility of the Governor Sprague Mansion, as well as to establish a headquarters office and meeting place there for Auxiliary No.2. Linda has also replaced Eva as Auxiliary No.2 Rep. on the Board of Governors of the RIGARCWM. She has two beautiful daughters, Dessa (recently married) and Jesse. Sister Mary Mierka and her husband Brother Gregg Mierka are their un-official aunt and uncle. President Payne and Sister Mierka both attended the funeral services of the grandest and most dearly loved lady of Auxiliary No.2, Sister Eva at the Westminster Unitarian Church in East Greenwich. To this day Auxiliary 2 holds dear the memory of Eva Lawrence. Just as the men of Camp 7 feel the strong bonds of fraternity, all of the women of our local Order feel same bonds to one another within Governors Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No. 2. Eva passed away while in office, faithfully serving the Order on March 3, 2007. In 1997, in memoriam to Sister Eva, President Payne asked the men of Camp 7 to join the ladies of Auxiliary 2 and wear a black ribbon in back of their SUVCW membership . The Camp Commander so ordered it. The following year Brother Howard Payne, Jr. Vice Camp 7 Commander (Sister Linda’s father-in-law) also passed away. President Linda Payne and 2008 Commander Gregory Payne extended the time of mourning for another year. In memoriam to Sister Eva, Brother Howard and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, the 2009 Camp 7 Commander Gregg Mierka, PDC, and Auxiliary 2 President Linda Payne, PAP, have jointly decided to extend the time of observance to the end of 2009. Therefore the Auxiliary No. 2 charter will also remain draped in black when not in meeting session until the November 2009 annual meeting of Auxiliary No.2. All Auxiliary 2 members, as well as Camp 7 members will continue to wear the black ribbon in back of their membership insignias. In 1997, Sister Linda announced a new beginning for Auxiliary No.2 and her main objective since then focused on attracting new members. Ladies over the age of 14 interested in honoring the veterans of the Civil War and working with RI SUVCW Camp 7 on a variety of important historical projects can contact President Payne at Payne_and_Ink@verizon.net. Throughout 2008 Auxiliary 2 worked closely with Camp 7, RI MOLLUS the RI GAR Civil War Museum & Library, and the Cranston Historical Society developing the museum and planning events for the Lincoln Bicentennial. To see more of what RI ASUVCW Governors Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No. 2 is doing for 2009, Click HERE.
Eva Lawrence, was President of Rhode Island Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No.2, for 10 years. She was a retired U.S. Army career combat nurse and a Veteran of WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. Her husband was a WWII U.S Army Veteran who was captured at Bastone during the Battle of the Buldge in 1944, and one of very few who escaped from a Nazi POW camp behind Soviet lines near the end of the war. Eva was very active in the DAR as well as several veteran and charitable organizations in the years following her retirement in Rhode Island. She served all posts in Auxiliary No. 2 before becoming president. Our "Sister" Eva, was very interested in genealogy research and was an avid spokes-person on all Veteran's issues. She was a proud supporter of the R.I. Grand Army of the Republic GAR Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center, involved in education programs for children, and held a seat on the museum's Board of Governors as the representative for Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No.2. A very wise and admired lady, all the women of Auxiliary No. 2 loved Eva. She was very dear to all their hearts. The men of RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7, also honored and held the highest respect for Eva, "a kind and generous lady".
Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No. 2 is proud to be working with other organizations in Cranston, supporting this new museum for Rhode Island.
RI ASUVCW Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No.2