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Grand Army of the Republic Encampments
January 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Our January speaker will be Kristalyn Marie Shefveland, Associate Professor of American History at the University of Southern Indiana, who will present on Grand Army of the Republic encampments. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, Union Navy, Marines and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War. Founded in 1866 and growing to include hundreds of posts across the nation. Linking men through their experience of the war, the G.A.R. became among the first organized advocacy groups in American politics, supporting voting rights for black veterans, promoting patriotic education, helping to make Memorial Day a national holiday, lobbying the United States Congress to establish regular veterans’ pensions, and supporting Republican political candidates. Its peak membership, at more than 490,000, was in 1890, a high point of various Civil War commemorative and monument dedication ceremonies.
Prof. Shefveland is the author of Anglo-Native Virginia: Trade, Conversion, and Indian Slavery in the Old Dominion, 1646-1722. She has also served as a contributing essayist to Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times (Georgia); The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment; and Beyond Two Worlds: Critical Conversations on Language and Power in Native North America. Learn more about her at her personal home page at KristalynShefveland.com.