Updated 1 Mar 2015
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a Civil War veterans group founded in Decatur, Illinois on April 6, 1866. The GAR was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865. By 1890, there were more than 400,000 veterans in the organization. Because membership was limited to veterans, the GAR ceased to exist when the last member died in 1956. Before then, the Grand Army of the Republic encouraged the formation of Allied Orders to carry on their good works.
Only five Allied Orders were recognized by the Veterans of the GAR as their official successors, and all five are still active:
Woman's Relief Corps founded in 1883
Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic founded in 1886
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865 founded in 1885
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War founded in 1881
Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War founded in 1883
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