In 1892 I.F. Mack, a Sandusky newspaper editor and founder of the Ohio Veterans Home, was elected Commander of the Ohio Department of the Grand Army of the Republic. (You can read more about the colorful I.F. Mack in SANDUSKY’S EDITOR, by Charles E. Frohman, located in the Reference Services section of Sandusky Library.) Henry Dehnel was the Commander of the McMeens Post of the G.A.R. in 1892. You can view the 1892 roster of the local G.A.R. Post in the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library. Names are listed alphabetically, and the soldier’s Company and Civil War regiment are also noted.
The annual meetings of the G.A.R. were called “encampments.” Here veterans would have campfires, tell stories, and sing war songs that they recalled from their days as a soldier. In June, 1895, the 29th annual encampment of the Department of Ohio, G.A.R. was held at Cedar Point. You can read about the many parades, dinners, tributes and other activities of the encampment in the June 11, June 12, and June 13 issues of the 1895 “Sandusky Register,” available on microfilm in the Archives Research Center.
You can still find evidence of the G.A.R. all across the United States. Thousands of Civil War Veterans’ graves are marked with a G.A.R. star. U.S. Highway 6, which runs through Erie County, is known as the “Grand Army of the Republic Highway” its entire length.