For my article last week on Thomas C. Grandfield, I depended on the family history to tell his story, although it was the reunion ribbons from encampments, or reunions, of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) pinned to his coat that first piqued my interest.
The G.A.R., an organization of Union Civil War veterans, was founded in 1876. From that year, they hosted annual reunions, called encampments.
The 45th annual encampment, "Along the Rivers," was held at Joliet on June 13-15, 1911, and the following is an excerpt from an account by a person who was there.