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Sons of Union Veterans of
2001 Lee Court

The Grand Army of the Republic

Progenitor of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Founded in Decatur, Illinois on April 6, 1866, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) consisted of Union Veterans of the Civil War, joined together at first for camaraderie, and later for political power. By 1890 their membership had risen to nearly 410,000 veterans.

Membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Revenue Cutter Service who had served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.

The community level of the organization was called a "Post" and each was numbered consecutively within each Department (generally a particular state). Most Posts also had a name and the rules for naming Posts included the requirement that the honored person be deceased and that no two Posts within the same Department could have the same name. The National organization was run by the elected "Commandery-in-Chief."

The GAR founded soldiers' homes, and was active in relief work and 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 voting block.

In 1868, Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan issued General Order No. 11 calling for all Departments and Posts to set aside the 30th of May as a day for remembering the sacrifices of fallen comrades, thereby beginning the celebration of Memorial Day.

The final meeting of the Grand Army of the Republic was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1949 and the last member, Albert Woolson, died in 1956 at the age of 109 years.

The GAR's Department of California and Nevada was organized on February 21, 1868. Eventually there were nearly 200 individual posts throughout the Department. While the last National Encampment was held in 1949, the Department of California and Nevada continued to hold their annual Department Encampments into the 1950s.

The last member of the Department, William Allen Magee of Company M, 12th Ohio Cavalry, died in Long Beach, California on January 23, 1953 at the age of 106 years.

Following is a list of GAR Posts within the area covered by the Sgt. William Pittenger Camp No. 21, SUVCW. Not all of these Posts would have existed simultaneously:

Riverside County, California

T. B. Stevens Post No. 103

of

Elsinore

Riverside Post No. 118

of

Riverside

J. A. Addison Post No. 121

of

San Jacinto

Carelton Post No. 168

of

South Riverside

San Bernardino County, California

W. B. Cornman Post No. 57

of

San Bernardino

Ontario Post No. 124

of

Ontario

Colton Post No. 130

of

Colton

Bear Valley Post No. 162

of

Redlands

San Diego County, California

Heintzelman Post No. 33

of

San Diego

Escondido Post No. 142

of

Escondido

National Post No. 146

of

National City

Datus E. Coon Post No. 172

of

San Diego

Honolulu County, Hawaii

George W. DeLong Post No. 45

of

Honolulu

Copyright © 2008-2015 — Dept. of CA & Pacific, SUVCW
Created 20 Feb 2008; Revised 25 Aug 2015

Webmaster: Tad D. Campbell, PCinC

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