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GPS Coordinates: 38.893583 by -77.021583
Benjamin Franklin Stephenson and GAR Memorial
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Dr. Benjamin Franklin Stephenson (1823-1871) practiced medicine in Iowa and Illinois. He studied medicine in his brother's office in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. From 1855 to 1857 he was a lecturer at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Keokuk, Iowa. He became the Surgeon for the 14th Illinois Infantry. After the War, he founded the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The first post was established in Decatur, Illinois on April 6, 1866. Dr. Stephenson was truly the founder of the organization as he drafted the constitution, regulations, rituals and the famous motto, "Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty." This impressive monument was dedicated in 1909. The front panel shown represents "Fraternity" while "Charity" and "Loyalty" are shown on the other sides. The sculptor was John Massey Rhind. The monument is at 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue near the National Archives and National Gallery of Art. The first two photos were taken May 21, 2010.
On August 11, 2016 there was a memorial service to honor Dr. Stephenson at his gravesite in Petersburg, Illinois. 2016 is the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the GAR. Members of the SUVCW, holding their National Encampment at nearby Springfield, conducted the memorial service. The third and forth photos were taken at this ceremony. The gravesite is located in Rosehill Cemetery on the east side of Petersburg.