Volume 8, Number 9, Fall 1984
The Grand Army of the Republic, known also as the G.A.R., was a national organization of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Veterans united for comradeship, and to give aid and sympathy to their sick and wounded, and to the widows and orphans of the war. For years the G.A.R. was a strong political force, fighting for benefits and rights of the veterans and their families.
The organization began in Decatur, Illinois in 1866, structured similar to the army. Under the state "Departments" the local chapters were called "Posts" with officers known as "Commander", "Vice-Commander", "Chaplain", "Quartermaster" and "Adjutant". Annual meetings were called "Encampments" and the first held by the Department of Missouri was 1882, in Kansas City. Local Posts would also hold an annual Encampment, often lasting four or five days, with parades, speeches and meals on the grounds. The old soldiers enjoyed these reunions with their comrades.
The following is an account of the organizational meeting of a G.A.R. Post at Bradleyville, Missouri, including the Muster Roll of that Post, as published in the Taney County Republican newspaper on December 8, 1903.
"G .A .R. POST ORGANIZED AT BRADLEYVILLE"
"J. J. BRUTON Post No. 577 G.A.R., Department of Missouri, was organized at Bradleyville last Friday evening in due form by comrades from the Corporal Doke Post No. 406 of Garrison."
J. J. Bruton Post begins with twelve charter members, and at the close of the ceremony instituting the post there were applications for membership filed by a number of comrades. We are promised a copy of the muster roll and will send it in for publication next week. Officers of the post were duly elected and installed."
The Muster Roll of J .J. Bruton Post No. 577, G .A .R., Bradleyville, Missouri as published in the Taney County Republican on December 15, 1903.
John JOHNSON, Commander, age 56, born in Norway, served in Co. D, 16th Ohio Inf.
L. L. WALKER, Senior Vice-Commander, age 61, born Missouri, Co. C, 8th MO Cav.
J. C. WRIGHT, Junior Vice-Commander, age 65, born Missouri, Co. H, 6th MO Prov. Inf.
J. T. DENNIS, Chaplain, age 62, born Indiana, Co. C, 148th Ind. Inf.
John McDADE, Quartermaster, age 58, born Missouri, Co. E, 29th Missouri Inf.
J. L. MOSELEY, Adjutant, born Missouri, Co. K, 46th Missouri Inf.
J. T. BYRNES, Officer of the Day, age 61, born Tennessee, Co. D, 15th MO Cav.
Captain Thomas WOOD, age 76, born Kentucky, Co. C, 13th Kentucky Cav.
W. C. SCOTT, age 56, born Missouri, Co. E, 48th Missouri Infantry
P. J. SELVIDGE, age 67, born Tennessee, Co. A, Webster Co., MO, Home Guards
W. G. LINDSAY, age 63, born Tennessee, Co. A, 4th Tennessee Cavalry
Allen JOHNSON, age 54, born Missouri, Co. F, 14th Missouri Cavalry
Among the applications for membership, was that of W.B. HICKS, age 57, born in Georgia, Co. E, 10th Tennessee Infantry.
In 1903 there were 6,557 Posts, 45 Departments and 256, 510 members. At the time the above Post was organized there were three other G.A.R. Posts in Taney County.
They were: The J. N. HILTON POST, No. 254, organized 28 Oct. 1885 at Forsyth; The GREEN HAMPTON POST, No. 480, organized 1892 at Protem; and The THOMAS WELCH POST, No. 553, organized about 1901 at Kirbyville.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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