The History of Mary Whitney Phelps Tent No. 22

Department of Missouri

Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865

Springfield, Missouri

Connie Irby researched the possibility of Springfield having a tent of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. By October 3, 1999, plans were complete and 32 members signed the charter at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church.


Charter Members of Mary Whitney Phelps Tent No. 22

Front Row: Dani Black, Maxine Allen, Valerie Chipman, Willene Dernehl, Donna Bond, Elizabeth Riggs, Marilyn Ison, Dortheta Stracke, Margaret Maulin

Middle Row:  Edna Breshears, Mary Courtney, Connie Irby, Cindy Tolbert, Fannie Frank, Andrea Ummel, Rosemary Bane, Lucille Dreier, Jane Napier, Sally Napier Bueno, Gene Hendricks

Back Row: Laura Black-Johnson, Fran Black, Jody Clifton

Tent No. 22 participates in many local and area events honoring the Civil War. At each month's meeting, a Civil War themed program is presented before the business meeting. Six ancestor memorial programs have been completed on location at gravesites. Due to the increase in membership, a new vignette “Celebrating and Honoring the Life of Our DUV Ancestor” will become a part of each meeting in 2015. In May, Union veterans are honoured with a memorial ceremony held at Mary Whitney Phelps' gravesite in Hazelwood Cemetery, Springfield, MO. The program includes a wreath laying and tribute to Mary Whitney Phelps

Tent No. 22 is a member of the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation. The tent has supported the annual Anniversary of the Battle of Wilson's Creek ceremony and the moonlight tours as a group. Members have volunteered each year in the preparations for the luminary tour in December.

Members of Tent No. 22 have enjoyed several social gatherings with the Phelps Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The two organizations help each other with special dedication ceremonies remembering our ancestors.

In 2009, Tent No. 22 placed a historical marker in Webster County, MO, near the site of Fort Sand Springs. The marker, located at the corner of Highway 38 and Timber Ridge Road, tells of the significance of Fort Sand Springs during the war and a partial listing of the names of men who were stationed there. Click here for photographs.


Tent No. 22 placed a historical marker on the grounds of Sunshine Elementary School, Springfield, MO, in 2011. The black granite marker, located on the northeast corner of Sunshine Street and Jefferson Avenue, recognizes the work of Mary Whitney Phelps in establishing a Civil War Orphans’ Home. Students at Sunshine School assisted in the unveiling and dedication of this marker. Click here for more photos.

In 2012, the Tent placed a marker on the northeast corner of Virginia and Brookside in Phelps Grove Park honoring Mary Whitney Phelps. The marker tells of Mrs. Phelps’ dedication to the soldiers after the battles of Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge, her care for the body of Union General Nathaniel Lyon’s body after he was killed at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, her work with orphaned children from the war, and her association with the Confederate Burial Association, as well as the National Woman Suffrage Assocation. Phelps descendants from across the United States helped the Tent celebrate the dedication of this marker. Click here for more about the Mary Whitney Phelps marker dedication.

To help preserve the Civil War history of southwest Missouri, Tent No. 22 published a book that highlights Civil War markers and monuments in the Ozarks. A book containing our ancestor’s stories has also been published.

Tent No. 22 engages in several continuing special projects. Patriotic instruction for elementary school children has been very popular with teachers and children alike. A 4x6-inch flag is given to each child, and the program includes flag etiquette and the singing of patriotic songs. Porch flags have been given to residents of new homes in the Habitat for Humanity program since 2003. Each year, the Tent participates in the Adopt-a-Veteran project at the Mt. Vernon [MO] Veterans’ Home in fulfilling the veterans’ Christmas wish list. We continue to keep the memories of our ancestors alive as we honor God, Country, and flag.