The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.
Created in 1866, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was the largest and most powerful organization of Civil War veterans. Membership was open to any Union veteran who had been honorably discharged. The GAR provided more than fraternal companionship for its members. The organization also became a political powerhouse that provided support for veteran-related legislation; raised funds to support needy veterans, their families, and those orphaned by the war; and funded construction of monuments and memorials that honored Union soldiers.