|The GAR and the UCV|
GAR stands for Grand Army of the Republic. It was an organization composed of Union Army Veterans. It was formed in 1866, and by
1890, had almost 500,000 members in every state. |
The GAR had a great deal of political power and lobbied for soldier's pensions, retirement homes for soldiers and the creation of Veteran's Day in 1868. The last member of the group died in 1956 at age 109.
A new group was formed in 1881, and called the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). Membership is open to anyone who can prove that they are related to a Union Civil War Veteran.
More information can be found at http://www.suvcw.org
The UCV (United Confederate Veterans) was formed in 1889 and was active through the 1940's. It's function was to preserve the history of the Confederacy, provide for widows and orphans of Southern Soldiers and organize reunions. At its peak, the UCV had approximately 160,000 members.
Two successor groups were formed in 1894 and 1896, called the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) respectively. These groups are also open to persons who can prove they are descendents of Confederate Veterans.
Another organization exists, called the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. It is for descendents of commissioned officers of the CSA. Their website is http://www.mosbihq.org