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In Decatur, Illinois Union veterans found the first "post" of what will be the Grand Army of the Republic

Macon County, Illinois, 1857
04/06/1866
With former Union surgeon Benjamin F. Stephenson in the lead, veterans in Decatur, Illinois opened the first post of what rapidly became the nationwide organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic.  Founded in Illinois partly as a political support group for Republican candidates there and partly to recapture the comradeship of the war, the nationwide Grand Army held its first "national encampment" in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 20, 1866. (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
Stuart McConnell, Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic, 1865-1900 (Charlotte, NC: Univeristy of North Carolina Press, 1992), np.

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