WE ARE THE ONLY MUSEUM IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA DEDICATED TO THE HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR. THE G. A. R. MUSEUM IS ALSO A 501(c)3 NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION. ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
The great conflict that was the Civil War began with the firing on Fort Sumter and ended with the surrender of the Confederate armies. During the four years of the war over three miliion men wore a military uniform.
The Grand Army of the Republic was composed of any veteran who had fought for the Union during the four years of the war. It was founded on April 6, 1866 by Major Benjamin F. Stephenson, a Surgeon who served in the 124th Illinois Infantry. By the 1890's the G. A. R. had a membership of over 450,000 Union veterans & 7,500 Posts throughout the United States.
In 1878, the veterans of Anna M. Ross Post 94 of Philadelphia formed the Anna M. Ross Camp 1 of Sons of Union Veterans to assure that the legacy of the men who fought for the union would never be forgotten, and to "inculcate patriotism and love of country ... among all the people of this land."
Our historic collection has its foundation in the Memorial Hall Museum of G. A. R. Post 2 of Philadelphia.
The Meade Room honors the Hero of Gettysburg & Commander of the Army of the Potomac. Key to the room is the head of OLD BALDY General Meade's war horse.
The Lincoln Room hosts a singular number of historic Lincoln relics including the HANDCUFFS found in John Wilkes Booth's trunk, & a documented strip of the PILLOWCASE with Lincoln's blood.
Our two first floor rooms display changing exhibits from our collection. Highlights include one of only two remaining pieces of the Andersonville Prison stockade, a John Brown Pike, weapons, artillery display, & the Boland collection of 72nd PA relics & documents.
Along with other original art work, our second floor meeting room has many original oil paintings of Civil War generals that once graced the walls of the Post 2 Memorial Hall.
Highlights of our new third floor exhibit are 6 original 1876 Edwin Forbes sketches, a collection of historic canes and walking sticks, & an original regimental battle flag.
Our over 7,000 volume library and document archive possess a wealth of resources including regimental & general histories, biographies, & many topics including African American, the Navy, medicine, & battle histories.
Our library has access to many archival and on-line materials to assist you with genealogical and family history research.
Our Research Associate and Historian are available to assist you with your research.
Our archives house a substantial number of 19th and 20th century contemporary documents, newspapers, photographs and other GAR Post and veterans records.
During the 19th century the veterans organized over twenty Posts in the City of Philadelphia. The largest Post hall was the memorial Hall established by Post 2 at 667 N. 12th Street. The Post 2 Hall was a magnificent structure composed on multiple meeting rooms, a grand hall, and an extensive collection of artifacts, relics, photographs and memorabilia.
In the mid 1960's the Post 2 Hall was closed and is no longer standing. Several members of the Sons of Union Veterans were able to bring a portion of the vast collection to the Ruan House, the 1796 home of physician Dr. John Ruan that is now the home of the G. A. R. Museum & Library.
In the mid-1980's, Margaret and Elmer "Bud" Atkinson of Philadelphia had a vision of creating a Civil War museum to honor and remember the veterans. The museum then opened for its first visitors in 1985. Since that date, the museum has hosted thousands of visitors and presented historical programs and speakers.
TODAY WE ARE THE ONLY MUSEUM IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA DEDICATED TO THE CIVIL WAR. WE ARE ALSO A 501(c)3 NON- PROFIT ORGANIZATION.
THE MUSEUM PRESENTS A SPECIAL OPEN HOUSE ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH.
We are also open most Tuesday afternoons. Other tours and visits to the museum can be specially arranged.
AT 1:30 PM PETER MIELE, HISTORIAN & CURATOR GETTYSBURG SEMINARY RIDGE MUSEUM
AT 1:30 PM HISTORIAN SANDRA GRANT; CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN DURING THE CIVIL WAR
At 1:30 PM, HISTORIAN WALTER LAFTY WILL PRESENT A PROGRAM DEATH IN DECEMBER; THE BATTLE OF STONES RIVER.
AT 1:30 pm, THE 28TH PENNSYLVANIA BRASS BAND WILL PRESENT A SPECIAL PROGRAM OF LIVE CIVIL WAR ERA MUSIC
Only through your membership and financial support can the G. A. R. Museum & Library continue to provide educational programs.
Your membership also provides the funds to continue the preservation of our historic collection.
PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO PRINT OR DOWNLOAD OUR MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION.
YOUR MEMBERSHIP AND GENEROUS SUPPORT WILL CONTINUE TO ENABLE THE MUSEUM TO
"KEEP HISTORY ALIVE."
Four times each year every museum member receives our outstanding journal, THE GAR SCOUT.
Each journal has news about what's new at the museum, feature articles, and Civil War & GAR history.
Please click below to read our current GAR SCOUT.
JOSEPH PERRY - PRESIDENT & LIBRARIAN
ANTHONY WASKIE, PhD - VICE PRESIDENT & HISTORIAN
MARY ANN HARTNER - SECRETARY
HERB KAUFMAN - TREASURER & CURATOR
HUGH BOYLE, COMMUNICATIONS ADMINISTRATOR
WALT LAFTY, RESEARCH ADMINISTRATOR
4278 Griscom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124, US
THE MUSEUM HOLDS A SPECIAL MONTHLY OPEN HOUSE PRESENTATION ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH FROM
NOON TO 3:30 PM.
THE MUSEUM IS ALSO AVILABLE FOR RESEARCH AND TOURS ON TUESDAY AFTERNOONS, FROM 12:30 TO 3:00 PM.
THE MUSEUM IS ALSO OPEN BY APPOINTMENT