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Grand Army of the Republic, George H. Thomas Post No. 17 collection

Identifier: L201

Scope and Contents

The collection contains mostly documents from the George H. Thomas Post No. 17 in Indianapolis. These include meeting minutes, ledger, muster, account, dues, receipts, ritual and ceremonial books, as well as correspondence, pamphlets, an organizational plate, a souvenir of Decoration Day, and other organizational paperwork. Also included in the collection are photocopies of the meetings minutes from the Johnson Post No. 368 in Montpelier (1884-1894).

There is also the organization certificate of the George H. Thomas Post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Indianapolis on April 3, 1880 (OBC019) and 10 volumes comprising an account book, ledger books, receipt and payment book as well as meeting minutes ranging from 1880 April-1909, undated (V127).


  • 1880-1933


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Administrative History

The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was the largest and most influential organization of Union veterans of the U.S. Civil War. It was founded at Decatur, Illinois, in April 1866 by Dr. Benjamin F. Stephenson, formerly a surgeon of the 14th Illinois Infantry. Through most of their history, local posts were primarily fraternal organizations whose ritual and procedures had a military flavor. From the start, the Grand Army was an oath-bound society, dedicated to the principles of “fraternity, charity, and loyalty.” The George H. Thomas Post was the Indianapolis chapter of the G.A.R.

During the first couple of years, many local posts, notably in Indiana, were little more than radical Republican campaign clubs; but, in 1869, the national encampment (convention) adopted a regulation (never significantly altered) that forbade the use of the organization for partisan purposes. In 1949, six of the sixteen surviving veterans of the organization met in Indianapolis for the 83rd and last national encampment.


3.66 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder, 10 volumes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1998 by Philip N. Williams and during January 2013 by Sarah Pfundstein. EAD finding aid created 2015/07/09 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid revised 2021/10/15 by Lauren Patton.
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) George H. Thomas Post No. 17 collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.