Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grand Army of the Republic

G.A.R. Members marching in
Decoration Day Parade 1896, Malone
From the Collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society

One of the outcomes of the American Civil War was the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), founded in 1866 and disbanded in 1949.  Membership in the G.A.R. was limited to those men who served in the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service during the Civil War. 

From the NYS Archives site:
     The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a large multi-faceted organization (fraternal lodge, charitable society, special interest lobby, patriotic group, and political club) founded in 1866 by Union Army Surgeon Benjamin Franklin Stephenson. The organization was originally envisioned as a brotherhood of veterans who were dedicated to helping other veterans.

      The first post was established at Decatur, Illinois in April 1866. Soon after a second post was organized in Springfield, Illinois, and others began to emerge throughout the northeastern states. By September of 1866, following a mass meeting of Civil War veterans in Pittsburgh, the movement began to spread east with the establishment of GAR posts by ex-union soldiers.
     The GAR was, without a doubt, a powerful political organization. It has been described by many as a "bloody shirt Republican club," and while this may be true, it is overshadowed by the organization's patriotic and social work. It was through the GAR, and the pension lobby, that many soldiers and their families received pensions. The Grand Army also promoted patriotism through parades, national encampments, placement of war memorials, and the establishment of Memorial Day as a national holiday.

G.A.R. members pose
From the Collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society

Franklin County Posts (adapted from the GAR site maintained by SUNY Morrisville):
  • Waverly:  Post 101 - Named for Sgt. Guy Wynkoop, Co. H, 10th NY Cavalry -  Joined at Waverly Oct. 1861 at age 20; captured at Sulphur Springs, VA, Oct. 13, 1863; died Aug. 30, 1864 at Andersonville, GA.
  • Malone:   Post 213 Chartered Jan. 28, 1895 - Named for Private John W. Pangborn, Co. I, 35th NYSV.  Joined at Elmira in May 1861 for two years; mustered with Co. H, moved to Co. I in Aug. 1861
  • Malone:   Post 284 Chartered Aug. 12, 1882 - Named for Captain William D. Brennan, Co. A, 142d NYSV. Born 1839; joined Aug. 21, 1862 at Malone as 1st Lt., age 22; Capt. May 1864; WIA Sept. 29, 1864 at Fort Gilmer, VA and lost a leg; discharged May 17, 1865; brevet Lt. Col. NYSV; brevet Major USV; taught school upon his return home and eventually became a lawyer; served as county treasurer and three terms in NYS Assembly; suffered a political reversal and took strychnine March 7, 1881.
  • Brushton:  Post 363 Chartered April 19, 1883 - Named for Captain Horace L. Aldrich, Co. H, 106th NYSV. Joined at Morris Aug. 14, 1862, as 2d Lt., age 26; Captain July 9, 1864; discharged June 22, 1865.
  • Dickinson Center:  Post 462 D. Robbins
  • St. Regis Falls:  Post 504 Active Aug. 6, 1884 to 1921- Named for Colonel Charles Durkee, 98th NYSV. Malone businessman and a Democrat; joined at Malone as Lt. Col. Jan. 10, 1862, age 35; discharged Feb. 25, 1863; elected to lead Malone's home guard during the St. Alban's scare of 1864; died 1879.
  • Chateaugay:  Post 562 Chartered Oct. 6, 1885 - Named for Rear Admiral Theodorus Bailey, US Navy. Born 1805 in Chateaugay; second in command of Farragut's fleet at the battle for New Orleans; died 1877
  • Saranac Lake:  Post 621 Active July 23, 1897 to 1921-  Named for Corporal Francis M. Bull, Co. A, 77th   NYSV. Joined in Oct. 1861, age 22; discharged for fractured thigh, July 19, 1862.
Additional Resources:

No comments:

Post a Comment