Douglas E. McGovern, Ph.D.

Past Camp Commander (P.C.C.)
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Douglas E. McGovern, Ph.D., as
Civil War era photographer

The Monuments and Memorials section on this website would not exist if it were not for the dedicated work of Past Camp Commander (P.C.C.) Douglas E. McGovern, Ph.D., with Corporal Patrick Coyne Camp No. 1, Wichita. He was first appointed to the position of Department of Kansas Civil War Memorials Officer in May 2003 by then Department Commander Kenneth R. Spurgeon. Doug held that position until 2021.

Kansas Civil War monuments and memorials quickly became a passion of his. As Doug travelled throughout the state, there was never a courthouse, town square, or small cemetery that wasn’t worth a stop to check for them. It was through these efforts his original Kansas Civil War Monuments website came into being. His searches and research paid off as the site became the wonderful source it is today. The Department of Kansas was able to recently transfer the previous site to the Department of Kansas website in order to ensure Doug’s work will not be lost.

Doug was always inquiring of the brothers of the SUVCW if they were aware of any monuments or memorials not yet on the website. Some even took this as a challenge to “find the one Doug missed!”

Douglas E. McGovern originally joined the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War on October 8, 1999, as a member of Indian Nations Camp No. 3, Department of the Southwest, at Tulsa, Oklahoma. On February 28, 2002, he transferred his membership to Corp. Patrick Coyne Camp No. 1, Department of Kansas, located at Wichita, Kansas. He served as Camp Commander in 2004, earning him the honor of Past Camp Commander (P.C.C.).

Doug’s membership with the SUVCW honors the memory of his great-great grandfather Samuel Cowan (McCowan), who on May 25, 1861, enlisted as a Private with Company F, 17th Illinois Infantry Regiment, serving until his release from service on May 11, 1866, by reason of end of the war.

Doug appreciated Civil War reenactors; however, he did not see himself as one. Fortunately, Doug created a niche for himself as a Civil War photographer. He frequently attended reenactments and would be seen walking through the battlefield with a camera that gave a period correct appearance. He would then create photographs which could be used with a stereoscope for a 3-D effect. In the photograph of Doug at the top of the page, he is holding a stereoscope.

Dr. McGovern was also an active member of the Kansas Alliance of Professional Historic Performers for a number of years, doing presentations and workshops as photographer Alexander Gardner and Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Frank Hogan.

Thank you, Doug, for all of your hard work and dedication.