Grand Army of the Republic in Mississippi
At noon on Wednesday, June 3, as part of the department’s History Is Lunch series, Jeff Giambrone will present “’Pledged to One Country and One Flag’: The Grand Army of the Republic in Mississippi.” The streaming-only program will be shown live on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s Facebook page and uploaded to the MDAH YouTube channel afterwards.
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was the largest and most influential Civil War veterans organization in the United States. Membership peaked in 1890 with more than 400,000 men in 7,000 posts across the country.
“In Mississippi the organization was caught up in the tumultuous politics of the Reconstruction Era as African American veterans fought to establish their own posts,” Giambrone said. “All told there were 23 known Grand Army of the Republic camps in Mississippi, most of which were African American.”
The G.A.R. posts were active in their communities, perpetuating the memory of those who fought for the Union through parades, Memorial Day observances, and lectures. The group also used its influence to advocate with the government for pensions and soldiers homes to aid its members.
“The Grand Army of the Republic left a legacy of honorable service to the country, and many descendants of its members still live in Mississippi today,” said Giambrone.
Jeff T. Giambrone is a native of Bolton. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Mississippi State University and a master’s in history from Mississippi College. Giambrone works as a reference librarian in the state archives. He is the author of four books: Beneath Torn and Tattered Flags: A Regimental History of the 38th Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A.; An Illustrated Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign and National Military Park; Remembering Mississippi's Confederates; and Vicksburg and the War, co-authored with Gordon Cotton. His articles have appeared in North South Civil War Magazine, Military Images Magazine, Civil War Monitor, and North South Trader's Civil War Magazine.
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