Department of Kansas, G.A.R. to the 36th National Encampment, Washington DC, Oct. 1902. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, 1997.
Grand Army of the Republic Inside Front Cover


On December 7th, 1865, the first society of ex-soldiers was organized, then known as the Veteran Brotherhood. A State Camp was held at Topeka in June, 1866, at which there were fifty Camps represented. This organization selected Maj. T. J. Anderson as their representative to attend a meeting held at Indianapolis, where the National organization of the Grand Army of the Republic was permanently established and the Kansas comrads were duly admitted December, 1866, and adopted as members of that organization, and for the past twenty-three years has held her place and reached a membership of over 20,000 in 1890.

Kansas rightly bears the name of the greatest soldier state. The records show that there were more Kansas soldiers in the Union army than she had voters in 1861.

The leading men who have represented the State both in the National Congress, and in the affairs of the State, have been comrades who wore the blue up until within the last decade or two. No state ever sent more distinguished representatives to the halls of the National Congress than has Kansas, when she had ex-soldiers filling those positions. With Ingalls and Plumb in the Senate, and the entire Congressional delegation all composed of ex-soldiers, then Kansas was in her best element.

The Governors who have filled the executive chair in Kansas since the day the State was admitted to the Union have been ex-Union soldiers save in three instances. In fact, the boys who wore the blue have made Kansas what she is to-day.

Among the past Department Commanders who are yet living and are occupying prominent positions in public life, we might mention John C. Carpenter, lawyer and State Senator; Maj. T. J. Anderson, who was a charter member of this department; D. W. Eastman, receiver of the land office at Enid, Oklahoma; W. W. Martin, treasurer of the National Military Home; A. R. Green, inspector in the land office; J. P. Harris, banker and postmaster at Ottawa, and John Guthrie, ex-Judge, now postmaster at Topeka.

We find to-day among the comrades of the Grand Army of Kansas, a number of men filling high places in the affairs of the Nation: Thomas Ryan, First Assistant Secretary of the Interior; Eugene F. Ware, Pension Commissioner; General J. C. Caldwell is now and has been for the past six years, Consul to Costa Rico; J. L. Brigham, Consul at Cape Town, South Africa.

Among the living comrades are two ex-Governors of the State, L. U. Humphrey and Hon. E. N. Morrill. Comrade Morrill was the chairman of the Pension Committee in the House who had charge of the Pension Bill passed in 1890. In fact, the ex-soldiers in Kansas are among the leading men of the State. They have been an important factor in the development of Kansas