Grand Army of the Republic, Post No. 289

The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the United States Army, U.S. Navy, Marines and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War. Founded in 1866 it grew to include hundreds of local posts. The G.A.R. served as a political advocacy group for various causes including establishing regular pensions and helping to make Memorial Day a national holiday. Membership peaked in 1890 at more than 490,000. The G.A.R. was dissolved in 1956 at the death of its last member.

The Mackinac Island G.A.R. post was established in the mid-1880s and named in honor of Henry C. Pratt, the last commander of Fort Mackinac before the war and father of 23rd Infantry Lieutenant Edward B. Pratt. Members of the post included retired veterans living on Mackinac Island and men serving at Fort Mackinac. William Preston, saloon owner and former Fort Mackinac soldier, served as the post’s first commander.

The badge or ribbon would have been worn in mourning for a deceased member. It was found at Fort Mackinac among records left by the army.

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