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 the former 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 hosted thousands of visitors and presented historical programs and speakers.
In July, 2022 the museum began greeting visitors and researchers at its new location in the historic Lewis-Pattison House (c: 1805) in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia.
WE REMAIN THE ONLY MUSEUM IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA SOLELY DEDICATED TO THE HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR ERA. WE ARE ALSO A 501(c)3 NON- PROFIT ORGANIZATION.
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, and Chaplain William J. Rutledge who served in the 14th 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."