Grand Army of the Republic. Dept. of Colorado & Wy.

Official roster, Department of Colorado and Wyoming, Grand army of the republic; embracing a digest of the history, organization and growth of the Grand army of the republic, Ladies of the Grand army, Woman's relief corps and Loyal legion online

. (page 1 of 11)
Online LibraryGrand Army of the Republic. Dept. of Colorado & WyOfficial roster, Department of Colorado and Wyoming, Grand army of the republic; embracing a digest of the history, organization and growth of the Grand army of the republic, Ladies of the Grand army, Woman's relief corps and Loyal legion → online text (page 1 of 11)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook







o , » - ,6^ I

' ^^'\


- -^

^o..*^t:t*'a _ .^^

«v . « • • - <:,




v-v ' - A^ -,.« **•-

♦^ ^* ^

ftV . • • ^ **>,


Department ^ Colorado
and Wyoming j^ Grand
c4rmy of the Republic

Embracing a Digest of the History,
Organization and Growth of the











'N THE preparation of this Roster, much credit is due
General W. W. Ferguson, Commander of the Depart-
ment of Colorado and Wyoming, and also Col. T. J.
Fcote, Assistant Adjutant General, who have devoted
much time and work in collecting data for this
Roster. To Col. J. Henry Holcolmb, Custodian of Records, Head-
quarters Grand Army of the Republic, Philadelphia, we are in-
debted for copies of General orders, establishing this Department.
Co). James C. Veatch and Col. Ezra B. Gregg, formerly of Lincoln
Post No. 4, both of whom now reside in Washington, D. C, have
also rendered valuable service in searching the records in the
Capital City, obtaining the most authentic history of the Grand
Army of the Republic to be found in print. Much time and
money has been spent in collecting reliable data, and it is be-
lieved the best that has been written by recognized authorities in
G. A. R. circles has been codified into this history in a manner
that will meet with your approval. Mrs. Ruth E. Foote, Denver,
Past National President of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the
Republic, has kindly furnished a brief synopsis of the organiza-
tion and growth of that Order. Mrs. Lucy B. Capron for many
years a resident of Denver, but now residing in Chicago, one of
the brightest members of the Woman's Relief Corps of this De-
partment, has supplied a valuable History of its origin and

This Roster is the outgrowth of my Corps Badge Calendar
published in 1905 and 1907, and distributed to Comrades attend-
ing the National Encampments at Denver and Minneapolis. The
price of this Roster is the same as that asked for my calendar,
viz: one copy free to every member of the Grand Army of the
Republic who is identified with any Post in the Department of
Colorado and Wyoming, whose name appears in this Roster.
Extra copies will be furnished while they last, at $1.00 per
copy, cash to accompany the order. It has been the aim in its
preparation to present to you a Roster and history of sufllcient
interest to cause you to retain and not destroy or cast it aside.

Yours in F. C. & L.,


Jacobson Building,
Denver, Colorado.


of the


1. To preserve and strengthen those kind and fraternal feelings
which bind together the soldiers, sailors and marines who united to
suppress the late Rebellion, and to perpetuate the memory and history
of the dead.

2. To assist such former comrades in arms as need help and pro-
tection, and to extend needful aid to the widows and orphans of those
who have fallen.

3. To maintain true allegiance to the United States of America,
based upon a permanent respect for, and fidelity to, its Constitution
and Laws; to discountenance whatever tends to weaken loyalty, in-
cites to insurrection, treason or rebellion, or in any manner impairs
the efficiency and permanency of our free institutions; and to encour-
age the spread of universal liberty, equal rights and justice to all men.

Among human institutions, the Grand Army of the Republic is
unique, in that it is an expression of the highest form of comradeship
known among men.

This was to be expected from men engaged in a war unparalleled
in history, a struggle that called men from every walk of life alone
through love of principle, and that developed all the better elements
of character, manhood was tested as never before; unflinching courage,
tenacity of purpose, tender solicitude for their stricken comrades, un-
complaining obedience to orders, knit men's souls as never before, and
that this bond of brotherhood should be carried into civil life, was in-

As a matter of fact, societies were formed during service days;
the Third Army Corps Union tracing its origin to a meeting held in
March, 1862, and the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, which or-
ganized at Raleigh, N. C, April 15, 1865.

The latter association was the true forerunner cf the Grand Army
of the Republic, as will be seen in a statement of its objects, viz: "The
purpose of this Society is to keep and preserve that kindly and cordial
feeling which has been one of the characteristics of this Army during
its career in the service, and which has given it such harmony in ac-
tion, and contributed in no small degree to its glorious achievements in
our country's cause. The fame and glory of all officers belonging to this
Army who have fallen, either upon the field of battle, or in the line of
their duty, shall be a sacred trust to this Society, which shall cause
memorials of their services to be collected and preserved, and thus
transmit their names with honor to posterity. The families of all offi-
cers who shall be in indigent circumstances will have a claim upon the

generosity of the Societj^ and will be relieved by the voluntary contri-
butions of its members, whenever brought to their attention. In like
manner the suffering families of those officers who may hereafter be
stricken by death, shall be a trust in the hands of the survivors."

All of the essential principles of the G. A. R. are embraced in this
notable declaration.

Immediately succeeding the close of the war, hundreds of unions,
leagues and alliances sprang into existence, with the one object of pre-
serving Army memories.

The earliest movement looking to a union of all veterans origi-
nated at Indianapolis, Indiana. At a meeting held on November
14, 1865, a call was issued for a state convention of soldiers, to meet
on December 1st following, to consider plans of an Order, looking to
the welfare of the veterans of the war. This convention, however,
failing to agree upon a basis of membership, adjourned for one year.

The originators of the movement (known as the "Army Union"),
determined to continue the good work, and sub-unions were soon estab-
lished in various sections of the State. Governor Morton, hearing of
the order, sent for General Foster, one of the leading spirits in the
movement, and questioned him regarding its objects and prospects,
and, realizing its importance as an order calculated to benefit veterans,
promised hearty support.

Some time during the spring or early summer. Governor Morton,
hearing of a similar movement in Illinois, requested General Foster to
visit Springfield and inquire as to its objects. He met Dr. B. F. Ste-
phenson, late Surgeon 14th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, who outlined
his plan which so favorably impressed General Foster, that he at once
took the obligation, received a copy of a constitution and ritual, and
upon returning to Indianapolis, obligated ten comrades.

He at once proceeded with the printing of supplies, and the fol-
lowing items will show his earnestness in pushing organization: 3,000
Constitutions, 500 Charters, 1,000 additional work, early copies of which
were sent to Dr. Stephenson at his request, for use in Illinois.

The activity of Indianians having been thus set forth, it will be
proper to briefly review the progress of the order in Illinois.

Beath, on page 33 of his history, tells us:

"That Chaplain W. I Rutledge of the 14th Illinois Volunteers, while
still in service, conceived the plan of a soldiers' union to follow the
close of the war; that he often talked with Dr. Stephenson regarding
the project, and after his return from the war, corresponded with, and
at times talked with the Doctor as to the steps necessary to its con-
summation; that some time during the winter of 1865, or early spring
of 1866, Dr. Stephenson requested Chaplain Rutledge to prepare a draft
of a constitution and ritual, and the same was presented to and ac-
cepted by the Doctor."

That it was the basis of the contemplated order (as yet without a
title), is evidenced from the fact that it was used in obligating
comrades in Illinois, in Indiana and Kentucky. Doctor Stephenson
also enlisted the support of many veterans, one of whom, a Captain
Phelps, obtained from the Soldiers' and Sailors' Alliance of St. Louis


a copy of a ritual, portions of which were incorporated into the orig-
inal ritual of the order.

Later in the spring of 1866, Dr. Stephenson submitted his plans to
Governor Oglesby, of Illinois, and was advised to visit a certain firm
of veterans in Decatur and arrange for the printing of supplies. While
this printing was not immediately proceeded with, it led up to the re-
quest of certain Decatur comrades for verbal authority to organize
Post No. 1, the Post of Honor of the G. A. R.

The date of this formation is given as April 6, 1866.

That a form of constitution and ritual had not as yet been agreed
upon is evident from the fact that on April 18th, and again on April
29th, 1866, requests were sent to this Post, for the appointment of a
committee to submit plans of a constitution and ritual for the new
Order. Their report was placed in the hands of Dr. Stephenson on
May 9th, and on May 15th, 1866, was reported back to the Post as ac-

Any conclusion regarding Grand Army history must of necessity
hinge upon the Springfield, Illinois, Convention, as both Dr. Stephen-
son and Gen. Beath trace the foundation of the Order to this meeting.
A proper understanding of the cause of the call and nature of the pro-
ceedings is therefore essential.

It is to be remembered that up to this time the movement had
received but little encouragement; that while more than 30 Posts had
received provisional charters, no effort had been made to organize a
Department. We must therefore assume that in the opinion of its
friends, the only hope of ultimate success depended upon publicity of
its plans, and hope of a general recognition of its objects. A state
convention promised both.

It would appear to us, looking back upon the movement from our
day, that the call should have come from Grand Army Posts, and in
accordance with the Constitution of the Order, but such was not the
case. Death's history tells us: "The Constitution prescribed that the
state organization should be composed of one delegate from each dis-
trict in the department." (This would allow 38 authorized G. A. R.

It was not deemed judicious to organize a department on that
basis, and therefore a call for a general convention was issued over
the names of prominent veterans, to better secure the presence of a
larger number, who could be informed as to the objects of the Order,
instructed in its work, and thus become more directly interested in the
formation of Posts.

Judging from the wording of the call, Dr. Stephenson, at least,
looked upon it as a Grand Army gathering. But his advisers thought
it proper to have the call go out over the signatures of prominent sol-
diers, none of whom, so far as we can learn, were members of the

The call was sent out on June 26th, 1866, and the first paragraph
reads: "A convention of the G. A. R., and Illinois soldiers and sailors,
will be held in the hall of the House of Representatives a.t Springfield,
[11., on Thursday, July 12th, 1866." This call was signed by General J.


M. Palmer (still in the service), Dr. B. F. Stephenson, and about fifty
prominent veterans of the state.

Dr. Stephenson called the convention to order, appointed a com-
mittee on organization, who reported as temporary chairman General
W. B. Scates, of Chicago, and the convention proceeded to business.

Our information of the proceedings is very brief; beyond the
fact that General Hurlbut introduced several resolutions, recognizing
and commending the Order, v^^e are in ignorance of its actions. Of this,
however, we are assured that the convention did not act according to
the Constitution, as it elected General J. M. Palmer as its permanent
President (not Department Commander) ; elected a Secretary (not an
Adjutant General) ; and there is no evidence that the new officers con-
sidei'ed themselves as qualified to act as Department officials. Certain
it is that Dr, Stephenson ignored them, assumed the title of Com-
mander in Chief, and authority to issue charters, organize Posts, and
transact all business pertaining to the Department.

In Dr. Stephenson's report as Adjutant General, before the Second
National Encampment, he makes the following reference to the Spring-
field convention: "Early in the spring of 1866, a few patriots, deeply
feeling the importance of some form of union of veterans, — met at
Springfield on July 12th, and then and there formed the nucleus of a
grand organization, the influence of which should extend through every
state and territory."

We have but little knowledge of the progress of the work in Illi-
nois during the remaining months of 1866. They were not represented
at Pittsburg; sent but 34 delegates to the First National Encampment,
and made no official report to the Second National Encampment. True,
Dr. Stephenson continued to act as Commander in Chief, but neither
the Springfield convention nor the First National Encampment recog-
nized or conferred such authority. By tacit consent his services were
acknowledged, and his assumed command not disputed.

It will now be proper to turn our attention to Indiana. Upon the
return of General Foster from Springfield, probably early in July, 1866,
he at once called a meeting of comrades, laid the plans of the Order
before them, gave them the same obligation he had taken, and con-
stituting them charter members of the Department, began active work
in its organization. He was chosen as Department Commander and
immediately appointed twenty comrades to visit various sections of the
state and organize Posts.

Enlistments followed rapidly, in many cases the obligation only
was given, the muster following later.

Upon the visit of Governor Oglesby to Indianapolis on August 22,
1866, 1,000 G. A. R. comrades turned out to welcome him.

General Foster established Department Headquarters and issued
Order No. 1.

Having organized our state department, General Foster conferred
with Dr. Stephenson regarding printing, and a badge, and as to whether
it was advisable to push the Order beyond the limits of our own state.
Letters had come from different parts of the country, inquiring about
the Grand Army, how they could organize it, etc.


An unexpected event paved the way for a national organization.
A growing suspicion that President Johnson favored a revolutionary
movement of some kind, aroused veterans throughout the land. Con-
certed actioj among the late defenders of the country was looked
upon as a necessity, hence the call for a convention of the various
soldiei unions to meet at Pittsburg on September 25th, 1866. ■

Governor Morton, with the sagacity of a true general, grasped the
full import of the opportunity for a nation-wide extension of the Order,
and vigorously urged the Indiana members to attend as an organized
body of the G. A. R.

Department Commander Foster sent out a general order on Sep-
tember 12, 1866, to the various Posts, urging them to meet their late
comrades in arms from other sections of the country, and responses
came from 138 Posts.

That the Pittsburg convention furnished the opportunity, and the
Hoosier boys the enthusiasm necessary to nationalize the Order, cannot
be questioned. The Indianians were everywhere in evidence. The
Mayor of Pittsburg welcomed them as the Boys in Blue. They estab-
lished headquarters, and soon succeeded in enlisting and obligating a
great number of veterans, among whom were Gen. Hartranft, of Penn-
sylvania; Gen. Devens, of Massachusetts; Gen. McKeon, of New York;
Gen. Wolcott, of Ohio; Col. Lubey, of the District of Columbia, and also
Gen. Beath, of Philadelphia.

The various departments grew so rapidly that a National Encamp-
ment was called for, and the Department of Indiana was urged to issue
the call.

After consideration, it was deemed proper to consult with Dr.
Stephenson. He heartily favored the movement, and suggested Indian-
apolis as the proper place for the meeting.

This furnished the occasion for the issuance of his celebrated Order
No. 13, which has so long puzzled Grand Army comrades.

It reads:

"Springfield, 111., October 31, 1866.

"A National Convention of the G. A. R. is hereby ordered to con-
vene at Indianapolis, Ind., at 10:00 a. m. on November 10th next, for
the purpose of perfecting a national organization and the transaction
of such other business as may come before the convention.

The ratio of representatives shall be as follows: Each Post shall
be entitled to one representative, and when the membership exceeds
100, to one additional representative, and in the same ratio for every
100 or fraction thereof.

All department and district officers shall be ex-officio members of
said convention.

All honorably discharged soldiers and sailors, and those now serv-
ing in the Army, desirous of becoming members of the G. A. R., are
respectfully invited to attend the convention.

All comrades are requested to wear the blue with corps badges, etc.

Commander-in-Chief, G. A. R., U. S.
Official: J. C. WEBBER,

Adjutant General Department Illinois."


The Encampment met, proceeded to organize, adopted a constitu-
tion and ritual, and elected as its Commander-in-Chief, Gen. S. A. Hurl-
but, of Illinois.

The following Departments were represented: Indiana, 210 dele-
gates; Illinois, 34; Ohio, 16; Missouri, 9; Wisconsin, 5; Iowa, 4; Dis-
trict of Columbia, 1; Pennsylvania, 3; Kansas, 5; New York, 2; Ken-
tucky, 3; Arkansas, 1.

The Order was placed upon a firm and sure foundation; now had a
recognized head, and a legal existence. As confirming the view that this
Encampment was the true birth of the Order, the concluding paragraph
of Adj. Gen. Stephenson's report to the 2nd National Encampment will
be of interest.

It reads:

"So the First National Encampment was called to convene at In-
dianapolis on the 20th day of November, 1866 — and then and there the
G. A. R. received its first official recognition."

That the history of the origin of the Order, as set forth in this brief
outline, will be found reliable, may be verified by reference to Death's
and Wilson's histories of the G. A. R., to the proceedings of the first
and second National Encampments; reports of the Departments of
Massachusetts and New York, and to existing records of Departments
and Posts.

In the absence of definite information, it is difficult, if not impos-
sible, to assign to Dr. Stephenson his proper place in Grand Army his-
tory. He left no private records, therefore our knowledge of his part
in the formation of the Order must rest upon two general orders, his
short address before the Springfield convention, and his report as Ad-
jutant General before the Second National Encampment in 1868.

More has been claimed for him than he ever claimed for himself.
His unselfish devotion to the Order, his sincere desire for its ultimate
success was to him sufficient reward. That he refused honors is well
known. His modesty was only equaled by his zeal.

He never, so far as we know, claimed to be the originator of the
Order, but was recognized as one of its foremost supporters. By tacit
consent, all measures looking to the welfare of the Order were sub-
mitted to him for approval, and his wishes always respected.

In conclusion, we are warranted in the general statement, that
Chaplain W. J. Rutledge of the 14th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, con-
ceived and worked out the plan of the Order, that Dr. Stephenson gave
it his hearty indorsement, and through his attracting the attention of
veterans prepared the field for the final consummation of the work.
But to Indiana must be granted the actual credit of organization, and
that, principally, through the earnest support of Governor Morton, than
whom the North had no more loyal supporter, the old soldier no more
devoted friend.

The official Grand Army badge consists of a miniature strap and
ribbon showing the national flag, from which is hung the brass star of
the membership badge. This star shows a medallion, on which in relief
are a soldier and sailor clasping hands in front of a figure representing
"Liberty," while in the foreground are two freemen; the entire design
being supported on the sides by the national banner. To this organiza-


tion is due the establishment of Memorial Day on May 30th of every
year. The Grand Army has been active in the care and education of
the orphans of deceased comrades, and in the establishment of sol-
dier's homes. The membership of the Grand Army of the Republic, as
shown by the Atlantic City i-eports, approximates 222,720 Comrades.

Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The Order of Nobility.

The Grand Army of the Republic is a unique organization. No child
can be born into it; no proclamation of President, King or Czar can
command admission; no university of learning can issue a diploma be-
stowing membership in the Order; no act of Congress or Parliament
can ever secure its recognition. The wealth of a Gould, Vanderbilt or
Carnegie cannot buy its privileges or purchase its honors.

Its doors swing open only upon the presentation of a faded piece
of paper, worn and begrimed with the passing years, which certifies to
an honorable discharge from the armies or navies of the United States
during the War of the Rebellion.

Unlike any other association, no new blood can ever come in to
rejuvenate it; there are no waiting ranks from which recruits can be
drawn to supply its vacant places. Its lines are surely and swiftly
growing thinner. The steady tramp of its once long and intrepid col-
umns is sounding every year more faint. The gaps in the picket lines
are becoming ever wider. Day by day details are made from the re-
serve into the shadowy regions, to return and touch elbows no more,
and amid the infinite years the time is but brief when a solitary sen-
tinel shall stand guard, waiting for the bugle call to muster out the
last comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic.

History of the Ladies of the Grand Army
of the Republic.

The first organization of women affiliated with the Grand Army
of the Republic had its birth in Portland, Maine, in 1869. Its member-
ship was limited to the mothers, wives, daughters and sisters of hon-
orably discharged Soldiers and Sailors who had served the Nation dur-
ing the War of the Rebellion.

During the next few years many similar Orders were formed in dif-
ferent states of the Union, all of them auxiliary in spirit to the Grand
Army, and each of them devoted to forwarding the work of that heroic
band. These various societies were known by various names, but in
all the fifteen or more states in which they existed only the mothers,
wives, daughters, sisters and nieces in the direct line of Union Soldiers
and Sailors were admitted to the privileges and duties of the organiza-

Then in July, 1883, at the Seventeenth National Encampment of
the G. A. R., in Denver, an effort was made to unite these various patri-
otic organizations. The Women's Relief Corps was the result of this


Most unfcrtunately, in the opinion of many thoughtful women of the
original societies, the new Order, desiring to increase its membership
and revenues, proceeded to throw open its doers to "all loyal women
of good moral character."

Many thousands of those who had been most active in creating the
parent organizations, and who had been untiring in their efforts to
establish a national Order, felt that this new departure was really a
subversion of the principles for which they had so long labored. They
therefore stood firm in their objection to this radical departure and
formed the Order known as the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Re-
public, an Order which is identical in everything except name with that
first organization formed in Maine in 1S69.

Their patent of nobility is written in the blood of heroes.

Woman's Relief Corps — History and Growth —
Its Organization.

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Online LibraryGrand Army of the Republic. Dept. of Colorado & WyOfficial roster, Department of Colorado and Wyoming, Grand army of the republic; embracing a digest of the history, organization and growth of the Grand army of the republic, Ladies of the Grand army, Woman's relief corps and Loyal legion → online text (page 1 of 11)