In 1866, Union veterans of the Civil
War created a new organization called the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Membership in the veterans' organization was restricted to individuals
who had served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service during
the Civil War, thereby limiting the life span of the GAR.
In 1890, the GAR reached its largest membership with more than
490,000 members. In 1949, the six surviving members permanently closed the GAR. During the
active years of the GAR, it had great influence on the politics, laws and
social activities of the United States. Memorial Day was established as a national holiday,
five Presidents were elected who were GAR members, most of the governors in the northern
states were members and veteran pensions were given to Union veterans. Over one fifth
of the organization's national budget went toward veteran pensions at one point. The National Encampments
were yearly meetings which had attendances of over 25,000 veterans in 1890, 1891 and 1892.
To our knowledge there is no comprehensive listing of all of the members of all of the posts. Those members of the battery found on various post rolls are listed below along with personal information which can be gleaned from the records.
Fairbanks GAR Ribbon
Captain John Hughes was able to purchase a GAR post ribbon from the Fairbanks Post
in Detroit. Several of our original Battery members were members of this
post including Alfred Colesby, Mason S. Safford, Sanford Smith and Hiram M. Towne. Maybe it belonged to one of them!
Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan J. C. Bassett Post #56
CLARK, Volney Birthplace: Ontario County, NY Occupation: Farmer Discharge Rank: Private