The Grand Army of the Republic fought the Confederacy in the Civil War. When the war was over, thousands of soldiers kept the name and formed their own fraternal organization. The G.A.R. cared for veterans and their families decades before the creation of the Veterans Administration.
On April 6, 1866 – 150 years ago this week – Union soldiers who’d fought in the Civil War came together to form one of the world’s first veterans organizations.
The Grand Army of the Republic established some 10,000 posts across the country. Today, about 20 known meeting sites still exist in Michigan.
Now, a museum dedicated to the memory of the G.A.R. is observing the anniversary of its founding.
Current State’s Kevin Lavery reports on a once influential but now largely forgotten American organization.