In March 1907, at a patriotic meeting of the GAR, held in Chicago’s Masonic Temple, several GAR comrades, in their speeches, said that all daughters of Civil War veterans should unite in an association bearing the name, “Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic.” Their remarks resulted in an association bearing that name and in a committee composed of Capt. William H. Beam, Past Commander of Chicago’s George H. Thomas GAR Post, Mrs. Clyde Adelia Henry and Dr. Amos Ross Lapham to organize such an Order.
Articles of incorporation were completed and signed, as required by Illinois law and on June 21, 1907, Illinois Secretary of State James Ross sent them their papers of incorporation and a charter bearing the name “National Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic.”
On the first Tuesday of July 1907, the first meeting was held and Fortress 1 was organized with Mrs. Clyde Adelia Henry as Commander-in-Chief, Ida E. Wright as Quartermaster General, and Alberta L. Tice as Adjutant General. Capt. William H. Beam in full military uniform, assisted as Officer of the Day and installed the first officers.
At this meeting, Dr. Lapham suggested that the recognition pin of the Order be a replica of the Grand Army button. It was unanimously decided to adopt a replica of the Grand Army button, surrounded by a rim of gold with the words, “National Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic,” enameled in flag-blue. This was adopted on August 14, 1907.
The ritual was largely the work of Dr. Lapham, who wrote the Senior Vice charge and the prayers; Nellie L. Harris wrote the Junior Vice charge, and Clyde A. Henry wrote the obligation and brought forth the idea of placing emblems on the altar during the Muster Service. All other parts of the ritual and the floor work were the joint efforts of Dr. Lapham and Mrs. Henry. Dr. Lapham later added the Grand Army song.
Motto: “Lest We Forget the Boys in Blue.”
Aims & Objects: To perpetuate the memory of the men who saved the Union, to perpetuate the name of GAR for them. To care for needy comrades of the GAR, to stimulate patriotism and loyalty among members of the Order, to teach the rising generation a broader patriotism and knowledge of the principles for which our fathers fought. With this aim in view, a Junior Department of the Order was formed in 1915, known as “The Children of the Grand Army of the Republic.” The watchwords of the Order were those of the GAR: Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.
Membership: The active membership of this Order consisted of the lineal female descendants, who attained the age of 16 years, of all honorably discharged Union Soldiers, Sailors and Marines of the War of 1861-1865, and of all those who died in service.
Honorary membership in the Order consisted of all honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors, marines and Army nurses of the War of 1861-1865, and all wives, widows and sisters of honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors and marines of the War of 1861-1865, and all lineal male descendants of the aforesaid heroes of 1861-1865, who shall have attained the age of 16 years.
Work: The organization was patterned after the Grand Army of the Republic in its patriotic work and its principles were the same. The “Boys in Blue” made the history of the GAR and its work of their daughters perpetuated this history. Daughters, Grand-daughters and Great grand-daughters of Union soldiers, sailors and marines were urged to unite with the members in preserving the true history of the Civil War, marking historical places, building monuments and making better citizens, being ever loyal to our Country and to our Flag. The work of the Order was appropriate, impressive and beautiful and appealed to all patriotic persons.
Badge: The little bronze button or replica thereof in a circle of gold with the words “Daughters of the GAR,” enameled in blue thereon.
"from Our Fathers in the Civil War 1861-1865 by the National Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic 1861-1865; Edwards Brothers, Inc. Ann Arbor, Michigan 1962."
The Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic disbanded in the late 1970s.
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