The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was founded on April 6, 1866 as a national organization with membership open to honorably discharged Union veterans of the Civil War. The GAR served as a fraternal, social and patriotic association for its members but also was politically active in advocating for federal pensions, founding soldiers' homes and supporting Republican party candidates. At its height in 1890, the GAR had over 400,000 members. The national organization was divided into Departments by state and into posts at the community level. Posts in Lebanon County belonged to the Department of Pennsylvania established in Philadelphia in 1867. Each post was generally named in honor of a deceased person and assigned a sequential number by its Department. At least eight posts were active in Lebanon County from 1866-1923: General John Sedgwick Post No. 42 (Lebanon), 1867-ca. 1923; Post No. 76 (Annville), 1867-1869 and reformed as George D. Coleman Post No. 467 (Annville) 1874-ca.1922; Captain William Tice Post No. 471 (Myerstown), disbanded ca.1911-1912; John A. Wiemer, Sr., Post 494 (Lebanon), disbanded ca. 1919; Post No. 82 (Jonestown), 1867-ca.1874 and Post No. 85 (Palmyra) that disbanded prior to 1870. Annual national and department encampments were multi-day events featuring social and formal activities. Representatives from posts and departments met at encampments to create and modify the organization's rules and governance. The 1893 Department of Pennsylvania encampment was held in Lebanon, Pa. The final national encampment of the GAR was held in 1949. Lebanon County posts appear to have disbanded during the mid to late 1920s. The Sons of Veterans of the United States of America began as a Cadet Corp created by the Grand Army of the Republic in Philadelphia in 1878 and formed as an organization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1881. Initially a military organization, the Sons of Veterans trained and served along with state militia units during the Spanish American War. In 1925, the Sons of Veterans was designated the succesor organization to the Grand Army of the Republic and changed its name to the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. The Woman's Relief Corp was formed as an auxilliary organization to the Grand Army of the Republic in July 1883. Both the WRC and the SUVCW remain in existence.