Don’t miss the Dodge County Historical Society tent at Civil War Days, June 15 and 16. It will be an opportunity to see the Orcutt Post 167 GAR flag.
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed by veterans of the Civil War as they woke to the reality of recovery from war. This had been a much different war. In previous conflicts the care of the veteran warrior was the province of the family or the community. Soldiers then were friends, relatives and neighbors who went off to war/ It was a community adventure and their fighting unit had a community flavor.
By the end of the Civil War, units became men from different communities and even different states were forced together where new friendships and lasting trust was forged. With the advances in the care and movement of the wounded, many who would have surely died in earlier wars returned home to be cared for by a community weary and now faced with the needs of widows and orphans.
With that as background, groups of men began joining together–first for camaraderie and then for political power. Emerging most powerful among the various organizations would be the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), which by 1890 would number 409,489 veterans of the “War of the Rebellion.”.
The official body of the Department organized National Encampments . The Encampments were elaborate multi-day events which often included camping out, formal dinners and memorial events. Later the Encampments were often held in conjunction with the Encampments of the United Confederate Veterans. Many Dodge County Veterans attended these Encampments until they were old men.
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 Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1949 and the last member, Albert Woolson of Duluth, MN died in 1956 at the age of 109 years.
Dodge County Minnesota had three GAR Posts. Dodge County has the flags of Orcutt and Garrison posts in their collection.
Burnside Post #32
Garrison Post #131
Orcutt Post #167