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May 11, 2023

Episode 134 - The Legacy of the G.A.R.: Honoring Union Veterans and Memorial Day

Episode 134 - The Legacy of the G.A.R.: Honoring Union Veterans and Memorial Day

Jennie and Dianne conclude their series on fraternal organizations in this episode, where they explore a distinctively American fraternity formed with the purpose of assisting veterans of the Union army after the American Civil War. Known as the Grand Army of the Republic, or simply G.A.R., it served as a social and political platform for Union veterans and their families. The GAR passionately advocated for veterans' rights, including benefits such as pensions and healthcare. Additionally, it played a crucial role in establishing Memorial Day as a national holiday, commemorating the sacrifice of fallen soldiers. - "For I ‘listed in this army, Not exactly to my mind; But my country called for helpers, And I couldn’t stay behind."  - Mary Woolsey Howland

To learn more about the Association for Gravestone Studies, please visit their website:

Resources used to research this episode include:

Green, Jocelyn. "Civil War Songs and Poems ." 21 June 2012. Accessed 7 May 2023.

, Meleager91. "Stephenson Grand Army of the Republic Memorial ." 10 Mar. 2023. Accessed 7 May 2023.

Wiley Wolf, Jeannie. "Decoding Civil War gravestones." 28 May 2022. Accessed 7 May 2023.

Waskie, Anthony . "The Grand Army of the Republic ." Accessed 7 May 2023.

Smith Jr , Albert E, and Will Elsburry. "Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies: A Guide to Resources in the General Collections of the Library of Congress ." edited by Candice Buchanan , 29 Jan. 2021. Accessed 7 May 2023.