Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Illinois: Transcription of the Death Rolls, 1879-1947; by Dennis Northcott and Thomas Brooks; 2003; ISBN 0-9728344-0-0; soft cover, 548 pages; Item #DN01
The G.A.R. was founded in Illinois in 1866 and became the largest association of Union Civil War veterans, its national membership peaking in 1890 at 409,489. As the veterans died, the membership inevitably declined. The national membership dropped to 213,901 in 1910 and 16,597 in 1930. The last surviving G.A.R. member died in 1956.
The G.A.R. was organized in departments, most of which comprised one state. The departments published annual reports that were often titled Proceedings of the . . . Annual Encampment of the Department of . . ., Grand Army of the Republic. By the 1880s many of the department Proceedings began to include death rolls of the department’s members (or “comrades”) for the preceding year. These death rolls usually contain the comrade’s name, rank, company and regiment (or ship), date of death, and the name, number and location of the post to which he belonged.
The first book in the series, titled Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Illinois: Transcription of the Death Rolls, 1879-1947, contains death records of more than 32,000 members of the Department of Illinois, who served in Civil War units from 36 states and territories.