|Grand Army of the Republic|
|The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a social and service organization composed of Union veterans of the Civil War. The first "Post" was organized at Decatur, Illinois on April 5, 1866 by Dr. B. F. Stephenson of Springfield, Illinois. 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. By 1890 the GAR numbered 409,489 veterans of the "War of the Rebellion."
In Anamosa, the Fred Steele Post had 57 members in 1889, G.L. Yount, Cmdr.; Ben Paul Post in Wyoming, 52, A.W. Hepler, Cmdr.; J.O. Duer Post, Monticello, 57, G.L. Seeber, Cmdr.; D.A. Carpenter Post, Olin, 36, D.E. Rummell, Cmdr.
The GAR founded soldiers' homes, conducted relief work and lobbied for 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.
The annual meeting of the GAR was the Encampment. Encampments were elaborate multi-day events which often included camping out, formal dinners and memorial events. The final Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1949. The last member, Albert Woolson died in 1956, at the age of 109 years.
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