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Re: New Member - Civil War Records

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  • Mike
    Glen, Very interesting and very informative information. Learned a lot from your reply and want to thank you for taking the time to respond. Thank you from
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 20, 2006

      Very interesting and very informative information. Learned a lot
      from your reply and want to thank you for taking the time to respond.
      Thank you from Canada.


      --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, "jbaconsr"
      <jbaconsr@...> wrote:
      > In early 1866 the United States of America--now securely one nation
      > again--was waking to the reality of recovery from war, and this had
      > been a much different war. In previous conflicts the care of the
      > veteran warrior was the province of the family or the community.
      > Soldiers then were friends, relatives and neighbors who went off to
      > fight--until the next planting or harvest. It was a community
      > adventure and their fighting unit had a community flavor.
      > By the end of the Civil War, units had become less homogeneous, men
      > from different communities and even different states were forced
      > together by the exigencies of battle where new friendships and
      > lasting trust was forged. With the advances in the care and
      > of the wounded, many who would have surely died in earlier wars
      > returned home to be cared for by a community structure weary from a
      > protracted war and now also faced with the needs of widows and
      > orphans. Veterans needed jobs, including a whole new group of
      > veterans--the colored soldier and his entire, newly freed, family.
      > It was often more than the fragile fabric of communities could bear.
      > State and federal leaders from President Lincoln down had promised
      > to care for "those who have borne the burden, his widows and
      > orphans," but they had little knowledge of how to accomplish the
      > task. There was also little political pressure to see that the
      > promises were kept.
      > But probably the most profound emotion was emptiness. Men who had
      > lived together, fought together, foraged together and survived, had
      > developed an unique bond that could not be broken. As time went by
      > the memories of the filthy and vile environment of camp life began
      > to be remembered less harshly and eventually fondly. The horror and
      > gore of battle lifted with the smoke and smell of burnt black
      > and was replaced with the personal rain of tears for the departed
      > comrades. Friendships forged in battle survived the separation and
      > the warriors missed the warmth of trusting companionship that had
      > asked only total and absolute committment.
      > With that as background, groups of men began joining together--
      > for camaraderie and then for political power. Emerging most
      > among the various organizations would be the Grand Army of the
      > Republic (GAR), which by 1890 would number 409,489 veterans of
      > the "War of the Rebelion."
      > Founded in Decatur, Illinois on April 6, 1866 by Benjamin F.
      > Stephenson, membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans
      > of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service
      > who had served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865. The
      > community level organization was called a "Post" and each was
      > numbered consecutivelly within each department. Most Posts also had
      > a name and the rules for naming Posts included the requirement that
      > the honored person be deceased and that no two Posts within the
      > Department could have the same name. The Departments generally
      > consisted of the Posts within a state and, at the national level,
      > the organization was operated by the elected "Commandery-in-Chief."
      > Post Commanders were elected as were the Junior and Senior Vice
      > Commanders and the members of Council. Each member was voted into
      > membership using the Masonic system of casting black or white balls
      > (except that more than one black ball was required to reject a
      > candidate for membership). When a candidate was rejected, that
      > rejection was reported to the Department which listed the rejection
      > in general orders and those rejections were maintained in a "Black
      > Book" at each Post meeting place. The meeting rituals and induction
      > of members were similar to the Masonic rituals and have been handed
      > down to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
      > The official body of the Department was the annual Encampment,
      > was presided over by the elected Department Commander, Senior and
      > Junior Vice Commanders and the Council. Encampments were elaborate
      > multi-day events which often included camping out, formal dinners
      > and memorial events. In later years the Department Encampments were
      > often held in conjunction with the Encampments of the Allied
      > including Camps of the Sons of Veterans Reserve, which at the time
      > were quasi-military in nature, often listed as a unit of the state
      > militia or national guard.
      > National Encampments of the Grand Army of the Republic were
      > over by a Commander-in-Chief who was elected in political events
      > which rivaled national political party conventions. The Senior and
      > Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief as well as the National Council of
      > Administration were also elected.
      > The GAR founded soldiers' homes, was active in relief work and in
      > pension legislation. Five members were elected President of the
      > United States and, for a time, it was impossible to be nominated on
      > the Republican ticket without the endorsement of the GAR voting
      > block.
      > In 1868, Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan issued General Order No.
      > 11 calling for all Departments and Posts to set aside the 30th of
      > May as a day for remembering the sacrifices of fallen comrades,
      > thereby beginning the celebration of Memorial Day.
      > With membership limited strictly to "veterans of the late
      > unpleasantness," the GAR encouraged the formation of Allied Orders
      > to aid them in its various works. Numerous male organizations
      > jousted for the backing of the GAR and the political battles became
      > quite severe until the GAR finally endorsed the Sons of Veterans of
      > the United States of America (later to become the Sons of Union
      > Veterans of the Civil War) as its heir. A similar, but less
      > protracted, battle took place between the Womans' Relief Corps (WRC)
      > and the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic(LGAR) for the
      > title "official auxiliary to the GAR." That battle was won by the
      > WRC, which is the only Allied Order open to women who do not have
      > hereditary ancestor who would have been eligible for the GAR. But
      > this case the LGAR retained its strength and was made one of the
      > Allied Orders.
      > Coming along a bit later, the Daughters of Union Veterans of the
      > Civil War, similar to the SUVCW but for women, also earned the
      > designation as an Allied Order of the GAR. Rounding out the list of
      > Allied Orders is the Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the
      > Civil War, which is open to women with hereditary ties to a veteran
      > or who is the spouse, sister or daughter of a member of the SUVCW.
      > The final Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held in
      > Indianapolis, Indiana in 1949 and the last member, Albert Woolson
      > died in 1956 at the age of 109 years.
      > Submitted by:
      > Glenn B. Knight
      > Past Department Commander
      > Department of Pennsylvania
      > Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
      > --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, "Mike" <danbidale@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Hello All,
      > >
      > > As a new menber, I am hoping someone may be able to help me with
      > what
      > > I believe were relatives in the Civil War 1861-1865.
      > >
      > > I have discovered 2 graves in the Orangeport Cemetary, Royalton,
      > New
      > > York, near Niagara Falls of family members. Beside their
      > tombstones
      > > are a small plaque indicating " G A R " which I believe means
      > > served in the Civil War??
      > >
      > > I would like to find out about their service in the war and if
      > > one cousin died as a result of the war.
      > >
      > > Richard DALE 1803-1885, and his son
      > > William H. DALE February 20,1834-April 16, 1865
      > >
      > > Would also like to connect with anyone searching this line as I
      > have
      > > a great deal of information to share.
      > >
      > > Thank you
      > >
      > > Mike DALE
      > > Toronto, Canada
      > >
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