Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library in Philadelphia

Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library in Philadelphia Only Civil War museum in Philly. Free admission. Monthly open houses with guest speakers & presentat
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12/29/2022

Friends, Due to the extended work on the ADA Project, the Museum will delay reopening to the public until Tuesday, January 24, 2023. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause, but we look forward to seeing everyone back at the Museum soon!

12/06/2022

THE MUSEUM WILL BE CLOSED THROUGH JANUARY 10, 2023
We are very pleased to announce that during this period of time we will be installing a new first floor, ADA compliant bathroom.

The Board of Directors wish to express their sincerest appreciation to a most generous donor who has made this needed upgrade possible!

We are very pleased to announce that the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Archive has completed its move ...
07/18/2022

We are very pleased to announce that the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Archive has completed its move to our new historically certified place, the Lewis-Pattison House, 8110 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19136.

The Museum will be open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We are excited to now be able to welcome visitors to tour our exhibits and utilize our extensive archives for historical and genealogical research. Our exhibits have been revitalized and designed to tell the personal story of the men and women who served our country during the Civil War. Our exhibits focus on the personal memorabilia of the veterans, highlighting those with personal ties to the city of Philadelphia and the region.

While we encourage your visit, please be aware that we are staffed solely by volunteers. Our current volunteer staffing can accommodate a visit by appointment other than our Tuesday hours.

To make an appointment, email us at [email protected]

To arrange a guide for your visit, we will need seven-days’ notice, and we will confirm the date(s) after we recruit volunteer(s).

There is no admission fee to tour our Museum or to do research in the archives. However, we ask that you consider a donation. It is only through your financial support that our historic collection can continue to be made available to students and the public.

In your e-mail, please provide the following:

1. The nature of the visit – tour and/or research
2. Requested date and arrival time
3. Number of participants
4. Name, telephone number and e-mail address of the lead person

Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

This the first step in a planned expansion of our operating hours and your
cooperation is appreciated.

We will follow the City of Philadelphia's Covid-19 prevention strategies
at the time of your visit.

07/18/2022
07/18/2022
07/18/2022
10/27/2021
Folks, Some good news,  The Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library,4278 Griscom Street, Phila. PA 19124...
05/30/2021

Folks,

Some good news, The Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library,4278 Griscom Street, Phila. PA 19124, www.garmuslib.org,will reopen to the public every Tuesday from 12 to 4 beginning June 1, 2021.

Please call the Museum at 215-289-6484 before planning your visit
to confirm that our volunteer staff will be in attendance.

Our "Open House Programs" will continue on Zoom.

The Museum will follow the current CDC guidelines.

We look forward to seeing everyone!!

A Philadelphia Link to the 1865 Sultana DisasterAmong the GAR Museum’s collection is the diary of Medal of Honor recipie...
04/29/2021

A Philadelphia Link to the 1865 Sultana Disaster

Among the GAR Museum’s collection is the diary of Medal of Honor recipient, Pvt. Michael Dougherty. Dougherty was an Irish immigrant to Philadelphia who served in Co. B 13th PA Cavalry. In 1864 he was captured at Fisher’s Hill, VA, and imprisoned at various southern prisons including Pemberton, Barrett’s, Libby, and Andersonville. His secretly recorded diary recounts his days of imprisonment. Of the 127 members of his regiment who were captured at the same time, he was the sole survivor and was aboard the Sultana when it exploded on April 27, 1865. Thrown clear of the steamer, he survived the flood-swollen, cold water of the Mississippi River, and returned home to Philadelphia. Published in 1908, his diary includes a later recounting of the Sultana disaster.

Michael Dougherty later lived in Bristol, PA, where he joined the GAR Beatty Post 73. He died in 1930 and was buried in St. Mark’s R.C. graveyard in Bristol. In 2008 a statue to Dougherty was erected in Bristol by the Veterans’ Posts and the local Ancient Order of Hibernians Division No.1 (Irish Catholic Fraternal Organization). His descendant, James Lawlor, GAR Museum member and a member of the Bradbury SUVCW Camp 134 in West Chester, donated a courtesy copy of Michael Dougherty’s diary to the museum.

http://irishamericancivilwar.com/2011/03/28/medal-of-honor-private-michael-dougherty-13th-pennsylvania-cavalry/

https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3TQ9_Michael_Dougherty_Bristol_PA

Waymarking.com is a way to mark unique locations on the planet and give them a voice. While GPS technology allows us to pinpoint any location on the planet, mark the location, and share it with others, Waymarking is the toolset for categorizing and adding unique information for that location.

Worst Maritime Disaster in U.S. HistoryApril 27, 1865On April 15, 1865, the paddlewheel steamer, SS Sultana, sailed sout...
04/29/2021

Worst Maritime Disaster in U.S. History
April 27, 1865

On April 15, 1865, the paddlewheel steamer, SS Sultana, sailed south on the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois. Its Captain, James Cass Mason, carried news of the assassination of President Lincoln to river ports on his way to New Orleans. When the Sultana put in at Vicksburg, Mississippi, Captain Mason was approached by the Chief Quartermaster of Vicksburg, Captain Reuben Hatch, about transporting recently released Union prisoners who had been held at Cahaba, Alabama, and Andersonville, Georgia, north on the Sultana’s return trip to Cairo. An agreement was reached for the Sultana to transport 1400 paroled soldiers and officers.
On April 21, 1865, the Sultana left New Orleans with a crew of 80, 70 passengers, livestock, and a cargo of sugar, cotton, and hay. South of Vicksburg, one of the Sultana’s four boilers sprang a leak. At Vicksburg, a mechanic recommended cutting out and replacing the damaged seam on the boiler, a repair that would take several days. Anxious to not lose his valuable contract of transporting the paroled prisoners to competitors if the Sultana was disabled for days in Vicksburg, the mechanic was persuaded to, instead, make a temporary repair that would take only a day.
While that repair was being made, 1,960 paroled prisoners, not the originally expected 1400, boarded the Sultana along with 22 guards from the 58th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 70 paying passengers, and 85 crew members. When she left Vicksburg on April 24th, she carried not her legal limit of 365 persons, but a total of 2,137, who occupied every available space.
After battling the river’s flood-swollen current, she put in upstream at Helena, Arkansas, on April 26th where the accompanying photograph was taken by Thomas W. Bankes. Near 7 PM on April 26th, she arrived at Memphis, Tennessee, where 120 tons of sugar were off loaded. A short distance and time later, the Sultana took on a load of coal and continued upriver at 1 AM on April 27th. An hour later at 2 AM, disaster struck.
Click on the following links for the full story of the disaster and information about the “Association of Sultana Descendants and Friends” and the Sultana Disaster Museum.
http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/articles/319/surviving-the-worst-the-wreck-of-the-sultana
https://guides.loc.gov/chronicling-america-sinking-sultana
https://www.npr.org/2015/04/27/402515205/the-shipwreck-that-led-confederate-veterans-to-risk-all-for-union-lives
http://sultanaremembered.com/
https://www.sultanadisastermuseum.com/

The Sultana Disaster Museum announces it will reopen, effective Thursday June 4th. Hours: Thu-Sat 10am-4pm & Sun 2pm-4pm Masks and social distancing will be required in accordance with AR Health Department safety standards

National Volunteer Week April 18 - 24, 2021 During National Volunteer Week, the all-volunteer Board of Directors of Phil...
04/19/2021

National Volunteer Week
April 18 - 24, 2021

During National Volunteer Week, the all-volunteer Board of Directors of Philadelphia’ s GAR Museum and Library thanks everyone who has volunteered on behalf of the
museum. Through your actions you support the museum in carrying out its mission. If you have guided an individual, a group, a college class, or a Cub Scout Pack on a tour of the museum, hosted a ghost hunt, or represented the museum at a community event, thank you. If you have cleared clutter and cleaned the museum from its third floor to its basement, thank you. If you have uncovered historically valuable artifacts among its collection, organized members of Civil War interest groups on “work days”, or designed exhibits, thank you. If you have cut the grass, raked the leaves, cleared the snow, or paid the bills, thank you. If you have written an article for or edited the museum’s newsletter, “Grand Army Scout”, developed and maintained our website, or managed our page, thank you. If you have catalogued our library collection, transcribed letters and manuscripts, shared your knowledge of history by answering questions, or responded to requests for genealogical information about a Civil War ancestor, thank you. If you have donated an artifact or made a monetary or in-kind contribution, thank you. If you have encouraged someone to visit the museum, presented or attended an in person or virtual Open House program, or read, “liked”, or “shared” a GAR Museum Facebook post, thank you. Each of you in your own way have volunteered to help the museum promote an appreciation for and better understanding of American history.

04/14/2021
In recognition of National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021) and the founding of the Grand Army 0f the Republic (April 6, ...
04/14/2021

In recognition of National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021) and the founding of the Grand Army 0f the Republic (April 6, 1866), Philadelphia’s Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library notes the library’s role in fulfilling its mission of preserving the heritage and history of the Civil War era. In addition to the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, its specialty library and archive hold over 7,000 volumes and documents whose topics include regimental, unit, Navy, battle, African American, Confederacy, and general histories, biographies, weapons, tactics, engineering, uniforms, cemeteries, maps, battlefield guides, home front, and Reconstruction.
Topics in its Grand Army of the Republic Collection include Manuals and By-Laws, Rolls of Honor, Accounts, Encampments, Proceedings, Reunions, Grand Army of the Republic by State, Medical and Hospitals, Soldiers and Orphan Homes, Memorial Day, Memorial Services, Eulogies, books about veterans, and M.O.L.L.U.S. The Proceedings collection includes all but a few missing years of both the National and Department of Pennsylvania Encampments from 1867 – 1949. A few sets of Regimental Association events and of Post Records of events, primarily from Pennsylvania but an additional few from New Jersey, are also available. The museum’s Archives house 19th and 20th Century contemporary documents, newspapers, and photographs.
Although the museum and its library have been closed this past year due to the pandemic and the library’s collection does not circulate or participate in the Interlibrary Loan program, requests for genealogical and family history research have been accepted online and in writing by the museum’s Research Associate and Historian.
Beginning this month, the museum and its library are pleased to announce they are now open by appointment only. Appropriate safety measures are observed. Contact [email protected] to request an appointment. For information about the museum’s virtual programs, please visit its website. Grand Army of the Republic Museum & Library (garmuslib.org)

The Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library recently lost a former Board member and friend.  Gene Stackhouse was a...
12/21/2020

The Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library recently lost a former Board member and friend. Gene Stackhouse was a member of the Son's of Union Veterans, and was an expert on the history of Germantown, affectionally called the "Mayor" of Germantown. Gene served on the Museum Board of Directors in the early 2000's. Museum Vice President Andy Waski recently attended services for Gene and penned some thoughts,

I was at the burial of Gene Stackhouse last Wednesday at West Laurel Hill Cemetery. I was invited to participate in the burial service. There was no viewing nor actual funeral. It was all done at the grave site. There were only 10-12 people there.
He was buried in the green section: no embalming, nor head stones and most use only a basket to be buried in. This is the first time in my life that there just the body in a white shroud and NO casket. His body was simply lowered into the gave after a short service.
I spoke about his honorable service in the US Army in Germany and placed a flag. I also spoke about his history work, preservation, membership in the Meade Society; GAR Museum, etc. Also that he always wanted to be buried in West LHC, because his gr-grandfather is buried there: Major Powell Stackhouse, 198th P.V. (6th Union League Regiment).
Gene was a great historian specializing in Germantown and his preservation work and humanitarian work were extraordinary.

Godspeed Gene! May you Rest in Peace.

Folks, exciting news from our President, Joseph Perry, On November 19, 2020, a day that will be long remembered in the a...
11/24/2020

Folks, exciting news from our President, Joseph Perry,

On November 19, 2020, a day that will be long remembered in the annals of the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War donated $50,000 to the Museum's building fund. A fund that will be used toward the purchase a new Museum building.

The DUVCW is a long time supporter of the Museum. From the DUVCW website, https://www.duvcw.org/, we read "In the Articles of Incorporation of our Order there is a key phrase that stands out, "keep green the memory". What insight these young women who founded this organization had so long ago."

Together we will "keep green the memory".

The DUVCW's generosity has overwhelmed us. Thank you.

In the Articles of Incorporation of our Order, there is a key phrase that stands out, “keep green the memory”. What insight these young women, who founded this organization, had so long ago.

Memorial Day 2020On May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, Commander-In-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, in General Or...
05/25/2020

Memorial Day 2020

On May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, Commander-In-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, in General Order No 11, called for a nationwide day of remembrance. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. This change went into effect in 1971.

While COVID-19 may prevent physically gathering in groups for Memorial Day observances this year, technology provides opportunities to do so virtually. A traditional component of these observances is the playing of “Taps”. More of its story at these links.

Historian Explains the Origin of “Taps” https://tinyurl.com/yapjjzt8

The Story Behind the Famous Bugle Call, “Taps” http://tinyurl.com/y4cuftmp

Bugles Across America at Indiantown Gap National Military Cemetery on 16 May 2020 https://youtube.com/watch?v=pZ0qJjj1yzs

One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg, 2020 https://facebook.com/events/945912089194496

On YouTube Search - One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg, 2020

Martyrs of the Race Course”As we approach Memorial Day 2020, traditional observances will be altered for many museum mem...
05/22/2020

Martyrs of the Race Course”

As we approach Memorial Day 2020, traditional observances will be altered for many museum members and friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These observances have their foundation in ancient Greek and Roman practices of annual ceremonies that included decorating the graves of soldiers with flowers. Our modern observances grew out of the tradition of “Decoration Day” when Southern families visited the cemeteries where their ancestors were buried and placed flowers on their graves.

Many communities claim to be the earliest to decorate the graves of Union soldiers as part of post-Civil War observances. One of these earliest observances is not as well known and its location may surprise.

As the war was nearing its end, thousands of soldiers were held in prisoner-of-war camps. Conditions at these camps were wretched. One of the lesser known camps was at a former race track in Charleston, South Carolina. Conditions there were so bad that more than 250 prisoners died due to disease or exposure. They were buried in a mass grave behind the race track’s grandstand.

On May 2, 1865, The Charleston Daily News reported that on the day before, more than 1,000 recently freed slaves, USCT Regiments including the 54thMassachusetts Infantry, and a few white residents of Charleston gathered at the campground. Their intent was to afford the deceased Union soldiers a proper burial and recognition. The news item reported that the new burial site was dedicated by those assembled by singing hymns, giving readings, and decorating the new cemetery with flowers. J.A. Dahlgren, Rear Admiral, sent his regret at being unable to accept the invitation to attend the cemetery dedication noting, “The object must have the best wishes of every lover of the country. We should never forget the gallant men who have laid down their lives for a great cause, but always keep their memory green.”

To read more of the story, follow this link: https://tinyurl.com/y7sabmsm

Photo: Union Soldiers Cemetery “Martyrs of the Race Course” by Alfred Rudolph Waud (1828-1891) https://www.loc.gov/item/2004660670/

Today, May 18th, is International Museum Day, a time to reflect on what you value about museums, including the GAR Civil...
05/18/2020

Today, May 18th, is International Museum Day, a time to reflect on what you value about museums, including the GAR Civil War Museum and Library. Although our doors are locked and our in-person programs are suspended, members of the museum’s Board of Directors are discussing ways to maintain contact with you, our members and friends. One of those ways is through this social media platform. We look forward to seeing you in person when it is safe to do so.

With the return of the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy to their home ports during the COVID-19 pandemic, on Armed Forces...
05/16/2020

With the return of the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy to their home ports during the COVID-19 pandemic, on Armed Forces Day we are reminded that the U.S. Military not only defends our security around the world but also provides support to civilians during domestic crises. Read about the Union’s first hospital transport ship, the USS Red Rover, and other ships of the Union’s Hospital Transport Service and their staffs via the following links.

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/r/red-rover.html

https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu/exhibits/CivilWarImagery/Hospital_Transport_Service.cfm

International Nurses Day, observed on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, celebrates the contribution of nur...
05/13/2020

International Nurses Day, observed on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, celebrates the contribution of nurses to society. To read about some of the women who served as nurses during the Civil War, follow the link to a past exhibit at the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center and click on their small imbedded photos for their stories. https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu/exhibits/CivilWarImagery/Civil_War_Nurses.cfm

The GAR Civil War Museum and Library is belatedly recognizing International Sculpture Day (April 25, 2020) with this ite...
05/04/2020

The GAR Civil War Museum and Library is belatedly recognizing International Sculpture Day (April 25, 2020) with this item from its collection – The Wounded Scout: A Friend in the Swamp by John Rogers. To learn more about Rogers and his work, view a discussion of an earlier exhibition of his work at the New York Historical Society via this YouTube video.
https://youtu.be/b8DFA8Eg_g8

05/03/2020

The post-Civil War African-American community of Mount Holly Springs ranks as a nearly-forgotten jewel in Pennsylvania history.

03/14/2020

Dear Members and Friends of the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum:

As you are aware, our annual luncheon, scheduled for March 21, is very important to the continued existence of the Museum. After careful consideration, in light of the urgency and uncertainty of the current COVID – 19 situation, we have made the decision to postpone the luncheon.

Once the current situation is properly resolved, we definitely plan to establish a future date for our luncheon. In that light, we have two options for those supporters who have already paid for the luncheon:

· You can have the museum hold your luncheon payment to be applied to the
future event. Should the future date be in conflict with your personal
schedule, a full refund will be provided.

· You can request a refund at this time.

Please respond to [email protected] and let us know of your choice. If you are requesting a refund at this time, please include your name and complete address in your response.

Thank you so very much for your continued support. Your membership and financial assistance are critical to the survival of the Museum.

Also, please be advised that the Museum will also be closed until further notice.

We hope that you understand that this decision was made with health and safety in mind.


--
Joe Perry

12/19/2019

Happy Holidays from the GAR Museum Board and Staff. Please note the the museum is closed on Tuesday December 24th and 31st and will reopen on January 7, 2020.

Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum & Library Open House ProgramSunday, December 1, 2019 at 1:30pmWalt Lafty, Hi...
11/25/2019

Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum & Library Open House Program
Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 1:30pm
Walt Lafty, Historian
'Death in December'– the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee
The Battle of Stones River was fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Of the major battles of the war, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides, including a number of prominent Philadelphians.

FREE & Open to the public!
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC CIVIL WAR MUSEUM & LIBRARY
Historic Ruan House • 4278 Griscom Street• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19124 •
(215) 289-6484 • www.garmuslib.org
Off street parking in the rear of the Museum.

WE ARE THE ONLY MUSEUM IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA DEDICATED TO THE HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR. THE G. A. R. MUSEUM IS ALSO A 501(c)3 NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION. ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

12/01/2017

Hi Everyone!

We are coming up on the end of the year and our final Open House event for 2017! We want to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has joined us for our guest speaker series this year.

Please check out our flyer below. We hope to see everyone there for one final presentation this year.

10/30/2017

Hello Everyone!

Just a reminder for our next Open House on November 5th.

The G.A.R. Museum and Library presents:

David T. Dixon, "The Lost Gettysburg Address"

We look forward to seeing everyone there. The museum will be open for its normal hours, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

09/01/2017

Folks,

We are currently having some issues with our website and our email address. We do apologize for the inconvenience and are working to correct the problems as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

09/01/2017

Hello Everyone! Just a reminder for our September Open House.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:30pm
Historian Jay Howard – Author of the Letters and Diary of Capt. Hall, 4th New Jersey
Special Presentation Ceremony of the newly conserved portrait of General A. A. Humphreys by the Meade Society Special Presentation Ceremony

Please note that this open house will be on the second Sunday of the month, September 10th.

You can also check out the Meade Society website for some more information. http://generalmeadesociety.org/the-meade-society-at-the-gar-museum-and-library-open-house/

We hope to see everyone there for this special event!

Second Sunday 'Open House' Civil War History Presentation Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:30pm Historian Jay Howard - Author of the Letters and Diary of Capt.

08/03/2017

Hi All! Just a reminder here for our August Open House this Sunday, August 6th.

The GAR Presents:

Mike Wunsch
"Lincoln and Johnson: The National Union Party Convention 1864"

The museum will open at 12:00 p.m. and close at 5:00 p.m.

We hope to see everyone there!

06/30/2017

Reminder: There will be NO open house this weekend due to the July 4th holiday.

Address

The Lewis-Pattison House, 8110 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA
19136

Opening Hours

11am - 4pm

Telephone

+12156130350

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