I knew that my Great-Great-Grandfather, Zophar Skinner was a member of Ballou Post #3 of the GAR based in Central Falls, Rhode Island. According to one of his grandsons, Zophar attended many of the encampments and held positions as an officer of the Post. His obituary in the Pawtucket Times, 15 November 1926, page 6, states that
"The ritual of the G.A.R. was read by Commander Henry Clark of the Ballou Post, G.A.R. As the body was borne from the house, former comrades representing the Ballou Post, G.A.R., the Prescott Post, G.A.R., and the State Department [of the G.A.R.] acted as a guard of honor."Zophar died on what was then called Armistice Day (now Veteran's Day) on 11 November 1926 at the age of 83. I don't imagine there were many other veterans left in the post to participate in his funeral. The obituary states that Members of S.B. Hiscox Camp, No. 14, Sons of Veterans officiated in the firing squad and three volleys were fired as the casket was lowered into the grave.
What I found tonight while doing a google seach on "Zophar Skinner" was that he was actually one of the founders of Ballou Post! Google books had a copy of an 1887 publication listing -
"An Act to Incorporate Ballou Post, No. 3, G. A. R."
Ballou Post obviously got off to a great start since a large advertisement was placed in the local paper in 1889, advertising the Third Grand Fair of the Ballou Post.
"Send $1.00 and your address to Zopher Skinner, Treas., P.O. Box 521, Central Falls, R.I., and receive a ticket in return."I think I need to do more research in the Pawtucket Times and the Providence Journal to see who won some of these big prizes! I'm also interested in researching more of the history of Ballou Post as well as the other Rhode Island posts that some of my other Civil War ancestors probably joined.