The G.A.R. Hall was built in 1902 by Marshall Civil War Veterans as a meeting place for their organization, the Grand Army of the Republic.
The Sons of Union Veterans (S.O.U.V.) was founded in 1920 to carry on the traditions of the G.A.R. Its membership was make up of male offspring of the Civil War vets.
A new camp was formed in Marshall in 1992, called the Colegrove-Woodruff Camp #22, named after Marshall soldiers killed in the Civil War.
Calvin Colegrove, a color sergeant (flag bearer), was killed in July 1861 at the First Battle of Bull Run. He was a member of the first volunteer company from Marshall, First Michigan Infantry Company I. Originally formed by Captain DeVille Hubbard of Marshall, his company of volunteers were greeted by President Abraham Lincoln when they arrived in Washington, and were declared the 'first from the West.'
George Woodruff, a West Point graduate, saw much action during the first two years of the war. He was ultimately killed on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. He commanded a U.S. Artillery Battery, and was shot from his horse while leading his men in repulsing the famous charge of Confederate General, George Pickett. His father, Judge Woodruff, went to Gettysburg and returned his body home where he is buried in Marshallís Oakridge cemetery.
The building was obtained from the City of Marshall in 1976, and is now the Marshall Historical Society's archival Center and Military Museum. There are artifacts from the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, along with other Marshall memorabilia. The majority of the displays are from the Civil War era, and are of or from Marshall veterans.
The museum is open June-August on Saturdays, noon to 4:00 p.m. and hosted by the Sons of Union Veterans, Colegrove-Woodruff Camp #22.
Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce · 323 W. Michigan Ave. · Marshall, MI 49068
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