The National Order of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic was organized in Chicago, Illinois. December, 1885, by Mrs. Edward Roby. and chartered by the State under the name of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886.
The National Body is composed of the different Slates of the Union, each State is known as a Department. A Department is formed by the different Circles organized in the various cities and towns of the State. Each Circle is named in honor of a deceased soldier of the Civil War—and numbered according to seniority of organization in the Department. The number of Circles organized in the Department of Illinois to present date is 111.
The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic is the only organization of women in the world today that represents in its entirety the Union soldiers and sailors of the Civil War, and the only order of women that can in the full sense of the word ever perpetuate the Grand Army of the Republic, the greatest of all civil organizations the world has ever known.
The object of this Order is to perpetuate and transmit to our descendants a true and correct record of the names of the women who are related by ties of blood and marriage to the men who freely offend their lives upon the altar of their country from 1861-5, for the preservation of our nation. To transmit the honor that belongs to the Union Veterans of the Civil War to their families, they being the only ones who can rightfully claim a share in the honor and glory of this great and patriotic inheritance.
To preserve with inviolable fidelity the noble deeds and sacrifices of our Civil War Veterans, and to keep the inheritance a sacred one.
To honor the memory of those who have fallen and to perpetuate and keep forever sacred Memorial Day.
To assist the Grand Army of the Republic in its noble work of charity. To do all in our power to alleviate suffering To see that our Flag is never desecrated. To teach patriotism. To watch the schools and see that the children are instructed in patriotism and pledge to the Flag—and are properly educated in the history of our country. To practice the precepts Ladies of the G. A. R. of true fraternity toward all sisters of our Order, thus emulating the spirit which unites our fathers, husbands. sons and brothers, and to do all in our power for the promotion of the welfare of the Veterans of the Civil War and their dependent ones.
The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic restricts its members to those women who belong to the families of Union Veterans of the Civil War— the mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, also granddaughters, great granddaughters, blood kin nieces and grand nieces who have attained the ago of sixteen years, and all lineal female descendants of honorably discharged soldiers are admitted to its membership.
Members of the Grand Amry [sic] of the Republic and other honorably discharged veterans of the Civil War may be admitted to membership as honorary members.
Sons, grand sons, great grand sons and blood kin nephews of Civil War Veterans eighteen years of age. or over, are also admitted as Honorary members, thus making the family circle complete.
The honorary members are not required to pay initiation fees or dues, they have no vote, but may take part in the exercises in the Circles, thus making a G. A. R. home for them when Posts are no longer able to keep up an organization.
This organization will be perpetrated by lineal descendants. It is founded upon similar lines as the Daughters of the American Revolution and will be perpetuated and hold in the future as high and honorable a place as do the Daughters of the American Revolution today. Historically considered, the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic is most important and valuable as an Order of Records.
The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic is a distinct and independent organization, its constitution strictly forbidding it to become auxiliary to any other society or organization. It having a very rapid growth in membership and has a department in nearly every state in the Union.
All who desire to become identified with the Peoria Circle, either as active or honorary members, who are eligible and interested in patriotic work are most cordially invited to become members of George A. Wilson Circle No. 49, of this city. A card addressed to any of its officers or members in care of Grand Army Hall, 414-416 Hamilton Blvd., will receive prompt attention.
[A reader sent in an message mentioning that The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861 - 1865 also represents Civil War Union Soldiers and is comprised of direct descendents of honorably discharged soldiers.]
1. "Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic", Roster, George A. Wilson Circle No. 49, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Peoria, Ill., 1920-1, pages 2 and 3.
See AlsoGeorge A Wilson Circle No. 49, 1920-1 Ladies Roster