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Veterans of "The Late Rebellion"

The Founding of the Grand Army of the Republic

by LaVerne H. Freeman


Sanford D. Parmelee Post #618
Edwards, New York

Research has been done on a post Civil War organization for Union army veterans and was the subject of the program for Edwards Historical Association  meeting of November 12, 2003.

The veterans of "The Late Rebellion", as it was sometimes termed, felt the need of gathering with men who had fought in the war and had similar experiences during the conflict, so on April 6, 1866 the Grand Army of the Republic was formed in Decatur, Illinois by Benjamin F. Stephenson.  This organization had very altruistic ideals.  They founded soldiers' homes, were active in relief work and in pension legislation.

The interested group of twelve Edwards veterans sent in their application along with the required $10.00 Charter fee to the organization's headquarters and they were granted a Charter on August 26, 1887 with assigned number #618. They met on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  To honor a young man, age 22 years, from south Edwards, who lost his life at Brandy Station, VA. on October 11, 1863, the Post was named the Sanford D. Parmelee Post #618.  This Post not only had Edwards men, but included men from Fine, Fullerville, and Fowler.

On September 20, 1887 the induction was held and the following were made members, with one more inducted on September 26, 1887:

William Bullock  Harris Gardner William Makee L. D. Raymond
Nicholas Cole Thomas Grant  Wm. J. McFerran James Rushton
W. H. Cook C. H. Harris  Thomas Noble J. B. VanOrnum
Henry Gaddis  David A. Jones (inducted Sep 26, 1887) W. H. Noyes J. H. Winslow

On December 24, 1887 three from Fine were inducted, H. T. Carr, L. O. Jones, and Milo Webb.  During the first year they inducted 19 members into their organization.

The GAR Post #618 was active for about fifteen years. Their last member, Philemon C. Heath, died in May 1928.  He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Edwards, with a GAR flagholder to note his membership.

The only other GAR flagholder in Edwards cemeteries is located in Pinney Cemetery over a grave of a soldier unknown because the stone is broken and missing.

The Post held annual "campfires" (meetings) and a story from one held in the local hotel was told by Thomas Grant, an Irish immigrant.  Tom was reminiscing with a fellow veteran, Thomas Noble, and asked, "Dee jah ken when I pulled ye out of  the hollow log at Fair Oaks and told ye - 'Ye damn coward, yur not as scared as I be' - crawled in there meself?"  (Story passed by former Historian and Grant descendant,  Edith C. Duffy).

The last surviving member of the national organization of the GAR, Albert H.  Woolson, died August 2, 1956  in Duluth, MN, after which the Grand Army of the Republic was disbanded.  Albert Woolson was born in Watertown, NY.

More information on the Post #618 is available to be seen at the Edwards History Center by calling LaVerne H. Freeman, Edwards Historian, for an appointment.


Civil War pensioners taken from GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) as shown by records Nov. 23, 1920.

These are in Box 82, folder 14 in the Archives of NY State Library, 3rd floor, Albany, NY.  Extracted 24 Sep 2003 by LaVerne H. Freeman.

Edwards - Bullock, William Hazelton, Oliver V.    Box 1181
Gaddis, Henry Raymond, Leverett
South Edwards - Hall, Silas B.

These veterans belonged to Edwards, Sanford D. Parmelee Post #618.


Civil War pensioners taken from GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) as shown by records Nov. 23, 1920.

These are in Box 82, folder 14, in the Archives of NY State Library, 3rd floor, Albany, NY.  Extracted 24 Sep, 2003 by LaVerne H. Freeman.

Fine - Fanning, Chancy H. Titus, Charles                           Box 118
Johnson, John P.                       Box 108 Vansant, William E.
Lansing, Isaac Welch, William
Oswegatchie - Ward, Stephen H.

I was told that veterans from Fine joined with the Edwards, Sanford D. Parmelee Post #618.  This post was organized in 1887. 

The GAR was started in Illinois in 1866.

LaVerne H. Freeman

30 Sep 2003


Civil War pensioners taken from GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) as shown by records Nov. 23, 1920.

These are in Box 82, folder 14, in the Archives of NY State Library, 3rd floor, Albany, NY.  Extracted 24 Sep 2003 by LaVerne H. Freeman.

DeGrasse - Armstrong, Abner H. Loop, Stillman
Freer, Samuel H. No P.O. for these three
Russell - Burns, LaFayette   Snell, Jacob M.
Burt, George W. Stockwell, Benjamin
Cravate, Charles VanBrocklin, Henry A.
Davenport, Charles L. Wetherell, Darius B.
Gordon, Enos No P.O. for these nine

I was told that Russell veterans joined with the Hermon post.

LaVerne H. Freeman

30 Sep 2003 


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