Grand Army of the Republic
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF AND IN COMMEMORATION OF
THE 85TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF
PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF ROBERT B. BEATH
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
Past Commander-in-Chief Robert B. Beath died at his home in Philadelphia, Pa., November 25, 1914. He enlisted in April 1861, as a private in the 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers; reenlisted in September 1861, in the 28th Pennsylvania and was promoted sergeant and second lieutenant; was commissioned as captain in the 6th USCT and was wounded at the second Battle of Bull Run. He lost his right let at Chapin's farm n 1864 and was commissioned as Lt. Colonel in 1865. He was a charter member of the first post organized in Pennsylvania in October 1866 and from that moment his interest and activity in the organization never flagged until 48 years later, when he peacefully and painlessly passed from this life to that great beyond. In 1866 he became commander of Post No. 2. In 1867 junior vice department commander, 1869 to 1872 assistant adjutant general, and in 1873 department commander. Under Commanders-in-Chief Burnside, Hartranft and Wagner he served as adjutant general and in 1883 was elected commander-in-chief. When it became imperative that a history of the Grand Army of the Republic should be written it was unanimously conceded that the one man who was eminently fitted for that task was Robert B. Beath. And so that history was written and will always remain a monument and reminder to his comrades of his interest and devotion to their interests. He long served on the committee on rules and regulation and to his untiring labors upon that committee we owe our present system of conducting our affairs. He was the author of the Grand Army Blue book and at the time of this death was a member of the board of trustees of the permanent fund.
In closing I quote form the obituary written by his longtime friend, Comrade C.C. Royce, Washington, D.C.
He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on January 25, 1839.
Journal of the 49th National Encampment, Grand Army of the Republic, Washington, D.C. September 27-October 2, 1915. Pages 299-300.
Additional Notes: Robert Beath was elected Commander-in-Chief at the 17th National Encampment, Grand Army of the Republic, Denver Colorado, June 25-26, 1883. Membership was 225,446. He presided at the 18th National Encampment, July 23-25, 1884 at Minneapolis, Minnesota. Membership was 253,895. General William T. Sherman was present as a delegate from Missouri. At the encampment, Comrade Johnson from Dakota lost a leg in an accident and $3,000 was collected for his assistance. A total of $3,593.72 was contributed for an outbreak of yellow fever in Pensacola, Fl. Source: Final Journal of GAR, pages 14-15.
Lorraine Orton, Past Department President
Woman's Relief Corps, Aux. to GAR
Camillus, New York
November 25, 1999