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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"

Chapter  12 - Eagle Post, G. A. R.

by L. A. Brace


(-as transcribed from page 193)

The Grand Army of the Republic was organized at Decatur, Illinois, April 6, 1866, by Dr. B. P. Stephenson, of Springfield, Illinois, who had served as surgeon of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry. At the close of the war he resumed his practice in Springfield, where, in February, 1866, he first suggested the organization of the G. A. R., and made a draft of a ritual. Through his efforts, assisted by comrades, the first post, known as No. 1, was organized at Decatur, Illinois, April 6, 1866. Dr. Stephenson being in general charge of the organization of posts in other states. On October 31, 1866, he issued a call for a national convention of the G. A. R., which was held in Indianapolis, November 20,l866. Gen. John M. Palmer,the first department commander, presided. 

An appropriate monument has been erected in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, in honor of and love for the comrade who so faithfully labored for the success of the G. A. R. and through the efforts of the comrades of the G. A. R. Dr. Stephenson will long be remembered, not only by members of the organization, but by an appreciative people who may, chance to see it. 

On December 31, 1913, the members of the G. A. R. numbered 180,203, of which Wisconsin furnished 5,703. The losses by death for the year 11,338, of which Eagle Post lost eight. The whole number of posts in the states and territories, 5,663. 

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