Guest Post: Ken Alford on the Mormon Civil War Vets and the GAR

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was the largest and most influential Civil War veterans organizations. GAR membership was officially available for every Union veteran who served honorably in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or a state regiment “called into active service” between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865, “in the war for the suppression of the rebellion.”[1] Former Confederates were never eligible to join, and, as it turned out, veterans of the Utah’s Lot Smith Cavalry Company had difficulty joining for almost half a century after the Civil War ended.
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