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[292] formation of an organization of veteran soldiers. He had, previously, while the war was still continuing, talked over the formation of such an organization with his tent-mate, Chaplain William J. Rutledge of the same regiment, and both had agreed to undertake the work of starting such a project after the war was ended, if they survived.

At the national encampment in St. Louis, in 1887, it was stated by Fred. J. Dean, of Fort Scott, Arkansas, that in February, 1866, he, with Doctors Hamilton and George H. Allen, assisted Doctor Stephenson in compiling ritualistic work, constitution, and by-laws at Springfield, Illinois, and these four assumed the obligations of the Grand Army of the Republic at that time. It is conceded that the initiatory steps to constitute the order were taken in Illinois, and Doctor Stephenson's name is the first one connected with the systematic organization of the Grand Army. He and his coworkers were obligated in the work. Several other veterans joined with them, and a ritual was prepared.

The question of printing this ritual occasioned some anxiety on account of the desire to keep it secret, but this difficulty was solved by having it printed at the office of the Decatur (Illinois) Tribune, the proprietor of which, together with his compositors, were veterans. They were accordingly obligated, and the ritual was printed by them. Captain John S. Phelps, one of the active associates of Doctor Stephenson, who had gone to Decatur to supervise the work of printing the ritual, had met several of his comrades of the Forty-first Illinois and had sought their cooperation. One of them, Doctor J. W. Routh, who was acquainted with Doctor Stephenson, went to Springfield to consult the latter about organizing, and, with Captain M. F. Kanan, called upon Doctor Stephenson. They returned to Decatur to organize a post there, and at once set to work and secured a sufficient number of signatures to an application for a charter. They returned to Springfield to present the application in person. On April 6, 1866, Doctor Stephenson issued the charter, signing it as department commander of Illinois, thus creating the first post of the Grand Army of the Republic. The ritual was revised and a constitution written by a committee from this post, at the suggestion of Doctor Stephenson. The committee reported that the regulations and ritual had been presented to department headquarters and accepted. The plan of organization consisted of post, district, department, and national organizations, to be known as the Grand Army of the Republic.

The declaration of principles in the constitution, written by Adjutant-General Robert M. Woods, set forth that the soldiers of the volunteer army of the United States, during the war of 1861-65, actuated by patriotism and combined in fellowship, felt called upon to declare those principles and rules which should guide the patriotic freeman and Christian citizen, and to agree upon plans and laws which should govern them in a united and systematic working method to effect the preservation of the grand results of the war. These results included the preservation of fraternal feelings, the making of these ties advantageous to those in need of assistance, the providing for the support, care, and education of soldiers' orphans, and maintenance of their widows, the protection and assistance of disabled soldiers, and the ‘establishment and defense of the late soldiery of the United States, morally, socially, and politically, with a view to inculcate a proper appreciation of their services to the country, and to a recognition of such services and claims by the American people.’

To this last section, the national encampment in Philadelphia, in 1868, added, ‘But this association does not design to make nominations for office or to use its influence as a secret organization for partisan purposes.’ The word ‘sailors’ was added by the Indianapolis encampment. In May, 1869, the present form of rules and regulations was adopted.

Post No. 2 of the Department of Illinois was organized at Springfield, as stated by General Webber, in April, 1866.

In 1865, in Indiana, correspondence relating to the continuance of the Army Club, a society of veterans, had come to the hands of Governor Oliver P. Morton, of Indiana. He sent General R. S. Foster, of Indianapolis, to Springfield, to examine into Doctor Stephenson's plan of organization. General Foster met the latter, and was obligated by him. On his return, he obligated a number of his intimate comrades, and these he constituted as a department organization. The first post of this department was organized at Indianapolis, on the 22d of August, 1866.

Doctor Stephenson had issued, as department commander, General Orders No. 1, on April 1, 1866, at Springfield, in which he announced the following officers: General Jules C. Webber, aide-de-Camp and chief of staff; Major Robert M. Woods, adjutant-general; Colonel John M. Snyder, quartermaster-general; Captain John S. Phelps, aide-de-camp, and Captain John A. Lightfoot, assistant adjutant-general, on duty at the

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