GAR Photograph

The Case:

A Civil War enthusiast owns a striking vintage photograph that depicts about 20 older white men in full dress uniform, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with two black men.

In Reconstructionist-era America, association between blacks and whites was frequently taboo. So what brought them together for this portrait?

Their bond, it turns out, was the Grand Army of the Republic, a remarkable fraternal order organized for war veterans. In fact, integration was actually a GAR standard. The reason? The men had in common an affliction that transcended race – a struggle with post traumatic stress.

History Detectives investigates the first national social group to challenge the color barrier.

Discuss this story

Season 5, Episode 3
Season 6, Episode 6

Elyse Luray Location:
Cazenovia, NY and Washington D.C.

Related Content

Related Links


This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.


blog comments powered by Disqus