Founded in April 1866 by Dr Benjamin F Stephenson, regimental surgeon of the 14th Illinois Volunteers, the Grand Army of the Republic became the largest and most influential organization of Union veterans of Civil War. It was a case of the big feeling and the long remember. By 1890, there were over four hundred thousand members in the nation and their political influence brought about the Veterans Administration and the observance of Decoration Day (our Memorial Day). Most municipal monuments to the Civil War and unit memorials at national battlefield parks were products of the GAR "lobby." Between 1866 and 1949, over 550 GAR Posts were established in New York State. Most were named after local soldiers who did not return.
For a general background, read "Glorious Contentment - The Grand Army of the Republic 1865-1900" by Stuart McConnell (1992, University of North Carolina Press).
named after 2nd Lt Byron Lockwood, Co G 159th NYV - chartered 9-17-1897
Byron Lockwood joined Sept 1862 at Claverack as 1st Lt 167th NYV; Oct 1862 consolidation with 159th left him 2nd Lt; killed in action 4-14-63 Irish Bend LA
named after 1st Lt Robert D Lathrop, adjutant, 159th NYV - chartered 12-30-1879
Robert D Lathrop joined at Hudson April 1861 as pvt in 14th NYV; mustered as 1st Lt & adjutant of 167th NYV September 1862; transferred to 159th in consolidation October 1862; killed in action 4-14-63 at Irish Bend LA
named after Major Thomas M Burt, US Volunteers - chartered 7-19-1880
Thomas M Burt apptd additional paymaster 9-5-1861; resigned 4-5-1865 (probably went on to politics or some other postwar fame?)
named after MG John Alexander Logan - chartered 1-27-1885
John Alexander Logan born in southern Illinois; elected national commander of the GAR at its second, third, & fourth conventions (1868-70); Memorial Day to be celebrated on May 30 was first instituted by a famous order from Logan to the GAR; died 1886 in Washington DC while a member of the Senate, buried at Soldiers Home Natl Cemetery.
Info courtesy Ben Maryniak, Buffalo Civil War Round Table
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