Contributed by John Sharp

Post 646 members were for the most part busy farmers and merchants who met the first and third Saturday evenings each month to conduct GAR Post business, discuss current veterans issues and socialize. Record keeping depended on local GAR Post members recording efforts. Errors abound in the original documents mostly spellings and occasionally military units (e. g Edward Adlum Straub was in the 7th PA Cav not the 17th) consequently researchers should check National Archives and Records Administration for copies of veterans orginal military unit muster rolls and pension files.

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was the largest veterans fraternal organization in the US during the late 19th and early 20th century. The GAR was founded in Illinois in 1866 and the Holden Putnam Post at Shannon was chartered Nov. 17th 1887. Besides their social function GAR posts were often closely allied witth the Republican Party and were often insturmental in getting out the vote. Edward Adlum Straub records that he and other members of Post 646 were often able to get work through temporary appointments as Census Takers and similar patraonage jobs.Since the rules governing GAR membership specified that membership was open to all Union Civil War Veterans most posts were by the 1920's closing as the Civil War generation pasted on to legend. I am not sure when the Holden PutnamPost closed but in August 1915 it was down to 15 members."

Muster Roll of Members of Holden Putnam Post No. 646 at Shannon, County of Carroll, Department of Illinois

Grand Army of the Republic, mustered or admitted by Transfer During the Quarter ending 01 July 1894

Name Born Residence Occupation Entered
Rank Co Reg't Discharge
Rank/Co Cause of
John A. Leonard OH Shannon Carpenter 20 Aug 1860 Pvt J 49 OH 18 May 1865 Pvt J Expiration
Wm. Griswald NY Shannon Painter 16 Aug 1860 Pvt G 142 IL 18 Oct 1865 Pvt G Expiration
R.B. Hays PA Shannon Farmer 30 Jun 1861 Pvt A 11 IL 09 Aug 1862 S A Expiration
R.D. Cheeseman IL Shannon Farmer 02 Mar 1865 Pvt H 15 IL 26 Oct 1865 Pvt H Expiration
Reuban Connelly PA Shannon Clerk 15 May 1864 Pvt D 142 IL 18 Oct 1864 Pvt D Expiration
Christian Fry Ontario Shannon Merchant 07 Mar 1865 Pvt K 15 IL 12 Mar 1865 Pvt K Expiration
Ed Genckermiller PA Shannon Farmer 09 Aug 1862 Pvt G 92 IL 09 Jul 1865 Pvt G Expiration
Henry Hoy PA Shannon Farmer 09 Aug 1862 Pvt K 92 IL 09 Jul 1865 Pvt K Expiration
Henry Burket PA Shannon Farmer 08 Mar 1862 Pvt D 14 US 08 Mar 1865 Pvt D Expiration
George C. Byers PA Shannon Farmer 15 May 1864 Pvt D 142 IL 26 Oct 1864 Pvt D Expiration
B. Brisline PA Shannon Farmer 14 Aug 1862 Pvt D 93 IL 23 Jun 1863 Pvt D Expiration
Jacob Fry Ontario Shannon Farmer 07 Mar 1865 Pvt K 15 IL 02 Aug 1865 Pvt L Expiration
John Dunman England Shannon Farmer 25 Feb 1865 Pvt H 15 IL 08 Aug 1865 Pvt H Disability
John I. Smith Ontario Shannon Physician 01 Aug 1862 Pvt G 92 IL 22 Apr 1865 Pvt G Wounded
William H. Fleisher PA Shannon Merchant 24 Sep 1861 Pvt E 11 IlCav 04 Jan 1864 Pvt E Expiration
B.G. Straw IL Shannon Farmer 07 Mar 1865 Pvt H 15 IL 17 Sep 1865 Pvt H War Closed
Ed. Straub PA Shannon Farmer 01 Feb 1864 Pvt B 17 PA 09 Aug 1865 Pvt B Expiration
Ed. Flory PA Shannon Farmer 23 Aug 1864 Pvt D 81 PA 29 Jun 1865 Pvt D Spec. Order
David Payne England Shannon Farmer 15 Aug 1861 Sgt B 26 IL 20 Jul 1865 Sgt B War Closed
H.L. Hummbert PA Shannon Farmer 10 Apr 1861 Pvt K 15 IL 17 Jun 1864 Pvt K Expired
Pat McGuiness Ireland Shannon Farmer 07 Oct 1864 Pvt E 11 IL 13 Sep 1865 Pvt E Expired
B.G. Kramer OH Shannon Farmer 02 Feb 1864 Pvt D 26 IL 12 Jul 1865 Pvt B Expired
G.J. Sizer NY Shannon Carpenter 02 Jan 1864 Sgt J 17 IL 31 Oct 1865 Sgt J Disability
Jacob Sturtevant IL Shannon Farmer 15 Aug 1861 Pvt B 26 IL 12 Aug Pvt B Expired
John Rogers IL Shannon Farmer 15 Apr 1864 Pvt D 142 IL 18 Oct 1864 Pvt D Expired
John Bowman IL Shannon Farmer 18 Aug 1861 Pvt B 26 IL 20 Jul 1865 Pvt B Expired
George M. Lashelle PA Shannon Merchant 10 Aug 1862 Pvt J 93 IL Unknown Pvt J Expired

Installation of the Holden Putnam GAR Post Number 646 & WRC members at Shannon

The comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic and their families, the Women’s Relief Corps and a few invited guests assembled at the Grand Army Hall Saturday evening for the annual installation of officers of the G.A.R. and W.R.C. and a jollification in general. The officers of the G. A.R. were installed first by the past Commander J.A. Leonard as follows: Commander, George Byers; Senior Vice Commander, David Payne ; Junior Vice Commander, Henry Burkett; Adjutant, T.J. Sitzer; Quartermaster, Jacob Fry; Chaplain, Benjamin Straw; Officer of the Guard, E.A. Machamer; Officer of the Day, Thomas Elder; Judge Advocate, Henry Hoy. The newly elected commander then introduced: Mrs. J.I. Smith who was chosen to install the officers of the W.R.C. and the gavel was transferred to her. The officers installed were: President, Inez Humbert; Senior Vice President, Mrs. Anna Yordy; Junior Vice President, Mrs. E. Cheeseman; Treasurer, Mrs Elizabeth Fry; Chaplain, Mrs. Susan Straw; Conductor, Mrs. Belle Heisler; Guard, Mrs. Lucy Payne.

After the installation all repaired to the dinning room where refreshments were served in army style, to which all did ample justice. Then social games were indulged in until a late a late hour, when a good program was carried out. Owning to the lateness of the hour the addresses of the newly elected commander and president were dispensed with and a quartette composed of Mrs. M. Baum, Mrs. Bird Leonard, and Messrs. David Leonard and Clayton Good rendered beautifully “The Star Spangled Banner”. A gavel was then presented the president of the W.R.C., the gift of Mrs. R.D.Cheeseman, comrade Leonard making the presentation with a neat speech which was responded to by Inez Humbert. The gavel was carved out of wood by the son of Mrs. Cheesman who died some time ago, which makes it the more highly prized by the W.R.C.

R.M. Cook then made a stirring address, which was warmly applauded. Mrs. Lou Booth followed with a recitation of “Samantha Allen in the Street of Cairo”. Only those who have heard Mrs. Lou recite know how well it was rendered. Milton Fry then gave an eloquent address which was followed by another selection from the Quartette. Comrade Leonard then recited a pathetic incident of the encampment at Louisville and taps were sounded and all retired to their homes.

PS “Samantha Allen” I had to look this one up but after some digging found that Samantha Allen was creation of humorous and satirical writer; Marietta Holly 1836-1922. Holly’s character, Samantha, was a wise small town lady who poked gentle fun at the pretentious in church and politics. She is sometimes referred to as the “female Mark Twain”.

From the Freeport Daily Democrat January 9, 1896