Re: New Member - Civil War Records
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 email@example.com, "jbaconsr"
> 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 warspowder
> 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 departedfirst
> 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 mostpowerful
> among the various organizations would be the Grand Army of thesame
> 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 generallywhich
> 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 andOrders,
> 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 timepresided
> 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 eventsan
> 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
> 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. Butin
> this case the LGAR retained its strength and was made one of thethey
> 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, "Mike" <danbidale@>
> > Hello All,
> > As a new menber, I am hoping someone may be able to help me with
> > I believe were relatives in the Civil War 1861-1865.
> > I have discovered 2 graves in the Orangeport Cemetary, Royalton,
> > York, near Niagara Falls of family members. Beside their
> > are a small plaque indicating " G A R " which I believe means
> > served in the Civil War??the
> > 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
> > a great deal of information to share.
> > Thank you
> > Mike DALE
> > Toronto, Canada