From the Desk of: Ed Gibson
Major General Thomas H. Ruger Camp #1
I wish to say a few things about Bud (Elmer) Atkinson. I have known Bud since I was first inducted into the Order more than 20 years ago in the Anna M. Ross Camp #1, Department of Pennsylvania.
The meeting was held at the G,A,R, Museum and Library in what is now known as the Bud Atkinson room. Bud served the order in many roles at the Camp, Department, and National levels including a term as Commander-in-Chief. His wife served in some of the same roles in the Auxiliary.
My aunt and mother both served in the Auxiliary with Bud's wife, Margaret Atkinson. Bud served for over 78 years in the Order, making him one of the longest serving members in the Order. He also helped form the 28th Pennsylvania Company C Reenactors and served in the SVR to the rank of Inspector General. Bud helped revitalize the GAR Museum and Library in Philadelphia and was honored as President Emeritus. Recently, Bud donated some of this Order memorabilia for auction and the monies were donated to the Order.
The Order has lost a Brother who dedicated his life to the Order.
A more complete biography of Bud can be seen on the National web site under past Commanders-in-Chiefs.
In F, C, & L,
Brother Ed Gibson
MG Thomas H. Ruger Camp #1
Department of North Carolina
Additional Memories of Brother
Bud Atkinson was in many ways responsible for the development of the SUVCW in North Carolina.
When my father, the Rev. Dr. Nelson Rightmyer, died in 1983 I found his SUVCW membership badge in his chest of drawers. He and I had never talked about the SUVCW though his grandfather and great-grandfather fought in the Union Army.
I found Bud Atkinson's name and wrote to him about the SUVCW. He helped me join our fellowship and for several years sent me the names and addresses of members at large with North Carolina addresses.
In the early 1990's we were able to hold a meeting of members in Raleigh. We did not have enough members to organize a camp at that meeting, but among those present was Dr. Maurice Ankrom. Dr. Ankrom and I continued to meet and work on identifying possible members and Dr. Ankrom finally gathered enough members and prospective members to hold an organizing meeting in Kinston, NC. From that meeting came the Ruger Camp 1 and four other camps who eventually formed the Department of NC.
Dr. Ankrom served as first Ruger Camp Commander. I was honored to serve as Secretary.
Without Bud Atkinson's continuing faithful help the formation of a camp and now a department in North Carolina would have been much delayed.
Brother Tom Rightmyer
PCC Ellis Camp 3 Department of NC