The Grand Army of the Republic was founded by Benjamin Franklin Stephenson of Springfield, Illinois in 1866.  The first post was in Decatur, Illinois.  The organization spread quickly through the state of Illinois and to adjoining states.  The organization was the preeminent veterans’ group and reached peak of 400,000 members in 1890.  The organization of the GAR was based upon three objectives: fraternity, charity, and loyalty. 

This Collection contains ephemera from the Grand Army of the Republic including ledgers, meeting minutes, financial accounts, correspondence, programs, and newspaper clippings.