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Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Connecticut records

 Collection
Identifier: RG113

Scope and Content

Records of the Department of Connecticut include general orders and circulars, correspondence, financial records, annual reports, post lists, membership lists, music, records relating to courts martial of GAR members, and scrapbooks. In addition, the collection includes records created by various GAR posts throughout Connecticut.

Dates

  • 1862-1938

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Historical Note

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was established on April 6, 1866 by Major B.F. Stephenson, a former army surgeon, and held its first national meeting that same year in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 22, 1866. Its membership consisted of Union veterans of the Civil War.

The GAR evolved from local veteran groups. The Connecticut GAR began with the United Service Club, with General Edward Harland of Norwich as president. In 1867, this Club was initiated into the Grand Army of the Republic, and Post #1, located in Norwich, was formed in February 1867.1

The GAR was concerned with veteran benefits and was actively involved in establishing soldiers’ homes, making provisions for soldiers’ graves, and lobbying for pension benefits. It proved to be an effective pressure group and exerted significant influence in the political arena.2

Membership in the organization reached its highest point in 1890, when its numbers reached over 400,000. In 1949, however, with almost all its members deceased, the GAR held its last national meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. The decision was made to disband the organization after its last member died. This came about in 1956.

The Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Connecticut, was divided locally into posts, and organized on a military basis. The affiliated organizations of the GAR are the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the Women's Relief Corps.

Endnotes

  1. 1For a more complete discussion of the GAR, Dept. of Connecticut, see Robert B. Beath, History of the Grand Army of the Republic, New York, 1889.
  2. 2See Mary R. Dearing, Veterans in Politics, Baton Rouge, 1952.

Extent

49 cubic feet

Abstract

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was established in 1866 by a former Army surgeon and held its first national meeting that same year. Its membership consisted of Union veterans of the Civil War. The GAR was concerned with veteran benefits and was actively involved in establishing soldiers’ homes, making provisions for soldiers’ graves, and lobbying for pension benefits. It proved to be an effective pressure group and exerted significant influence in the political arena.

Arrangement

Series 1. Department of Connecticut, circa 1863-1930, Accession: T000532.

Series 2. Department of Connecticut - Women's Relief Corps, 1894-1918, Accession: T000532.

Series 3. Department of Connecticut - Sons of Veterans, Accession: T000532.

Series 4. Local Posts, 9999, Accession: T000532, 1911-1935.

Series 5. Addenda

Accession: 1993-041, 1929-1935.

Accession: 2002-082, 1911, 1925.

Related Material

Additional materials are located in the Museum of Connecticut History. These materials include buttons, badges, banners, uniforms, medals, memorabilia.

Title
RG 113, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Connecticut
Subtitle
Inventory of Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Date
2008
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository

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