GAR Records
McPherson Post #18
Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan

Organized May 21, 1881

It is possible (although there is no definitive proof) that this Post was named to honor Major General James Birdseye McPherson who was born, on November 14, 1828, in Clyde, Ohio. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1849 at the head of his class. This earned him a post as Brevet Second Lieutenant of Engineering and as assistant instructor of practical engineering at the Academy. He held a number of engineering assignments in New York, San Francisco and Boston. By 1861 he was promoted to Captain and, upon appointment of Major General Halleck, to command the Department of the West. As an aide-de-camp to General Halleck he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and then to Colonel. He was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers and appointed superintendent of military railroads in West Tennessee. In September 1862 he held a position on the staff of General Grant and for gallantry at Corinth was promoted to Major General. During the siege of Vicksburg he commanded the center of the Federal army. On the recommendation of General Grant he was confirmed as a Brigadier General in the regular Army. He was second in command to General Sherman in the expedition to Meridian and during the Atlanta Campaign his command was the Department of the Tennessee. In supervising the advance of his skirmish line before Atlanta on July 22, 1864, he had ridden from left to right and was returning when confronted by a party of the enemy. He was shot in the breast, causing almost instant death.

We have recorded 18 Charter Members for this Post in the Member data base. There is no report of the Mustering Officer, but that is the number of veterans (noted who paid their dollar to join) listed on the application letter for a Charter. The Muster Report for June 30, 1881, the first quarter a report would have been required, is not in the file. The first Report actually filed, September 30, 1881 lists the first new member as Consecutive Number 16. This would seem to indicate that only 15 of the 18 men on the Application were present when the Post was mustered. There is no way to ascertain which fifteen may have been in attendance at that time, or if this was a simple clerical error, so, all eighteen were included.

The first Post Commander was Samuel Wood, Jr. who served in Company B, 102nd Pennsylvania.

The Post first met at the IOOF Hall on Front Street in 1881. In 1883 they met at the Grange Hall on Front Street. In March of 1885 they indicate meetings at Holdsworth Hall on Union Street. Later in 1885 they met at the IOOF Hall on Union Street and by 1888 the IOOF Hall on State Street. In 1890 they are at the Grange Hall on Union Street, but in 1891 they indicate the Grange Hall on Cass Street. In 1909 they report meeting at the G.A.R. Hall – Court House on Washington Street. The 1926 Report indicates, under meeting location; “Not any more.”

The Last Post Commander was Charles D. Webster. It appears that his membership was never reported by the Post by way of the Muster Reports. He shows up, however, as Junior Vice Commander in 1920. He was first elected as Post Commander in 1921 and served in that capacity through 1927. No military record is found in the Post records. There is, however, a Charles D. Webster who enlisted as a Private in Company E, 58th Pennsylvania Infantry on October 1, 1861.He was promoted to Sergeant on February 18, 1862, Second Lieutenant on July 11, 1862 and 1st Lieutenant May 1, 1863. Promoted to Captain of Company E October 21, 1864, He was mustered out on January 24, 1866. This may be the man, but further research will be needed to confirm this.

The Post was disbanded in 1929.

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Last updated on June 18, 2007 8:43 PM - webmaster