The Grand Army of the Republic
Organization dedicated to fraternity, charity, and loyalty among its members, and restricted to honorably serving Union men; this is a gateway page to details about the Western departments of the order. National Encampments of surviving soldiers, sailors and marines of the Union Army, with invited guests, were held from 1866 until 1949, a total of eighty-three gatherings. Only a few of these Encampments were held west of the Mississippi River; the California gathering of 1886 at San Francisco spotlighted the booming town, and of 1903 celebrated the thriving city, destroyed by earthquake and fire three years later. National Encampments were held more frequently in Minneapolis, with visits also to Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Des Moines, Kansas City, and Salt Lake City. The 1876 Encampment at Philadelphia coincided with the celebration of the nation's centennial. Indianapolis was one of the most frequent stops, and hosted both the first and the last encampments.
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