Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Database of Grand Army of the Republic Monuments

The Grand Army of the Republic was the first major veterans group in the United States.  This collection of Union troops did much to perverse Civil War history and became a power player in politics (the Republican Party is known as "the Grand Old Party" because of its relationship with the "Grand Army of the Republic").

One key legacy of the GAR is the many monuments and memorials it funded.  However, as time passed by some impoverished local governments sold the monuments for scrap.  Fortunately, now the successor to GAR, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, is working on ensuring GAR monuments are protected.  Part of their effort involves creating databases of GAR monuments throughout the country.  While their list is incomplete and a work in progress, the state departments of SUVCW are creating pages documenting monuments with locations and pictures.

As a member of SUVCW and the Civil War Trust, I am a huge supporter of protecting and promoting Civil War heritage.  The story of Joe Hooker Camp statue and cannon of Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a tragic example of what happens when people no longer understand the sacrifice of others and their physical memory is mistreated.

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