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Commander of the Iowa Department
of the Grand Army of the Republic,
Jan. 1870-Feb. 1880

Hurlbut Edward Griswold

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Among the early members of Sam Rice Post No. 6, at Atlantic, Iowa, few men were more active or more faithful than Hurlbut E. Griswold. He was the first Post Commander, and was twice reelected to that office. In 1878, he was appointed Senior Vice Commander of the Iowa Department. The following year, when the reorganization of the Iowa Department was completed, he was elected Department Commander.

Griswold was born in Hancock County, Illinois, on April 12th, 1842. At the age of twenty he enlisted as a private in Company C, One Hundred and Eighteenth Illinois Infantry, where he served for thirty-four months and until the close of the war.

As a strong advocate of the Grand Army of the Republic and the principles for which it stood, Commander Griswold did much to build up membership in the organization. The Grand Army, he said, was designed "to preserve and strengthen the kind and fraternal feelings which bind together soldiers and marines who united to suppress the rebellion; to assist our needy and destitute comrades in arms, and the widows and orphans of those whose ties with use were welded in the fire of battle". It was Commander Griswold, too, who received and welcomed ex-President Grant, at Council Bluffs in 1879.

Mr. Griswold died at St. Joseph's Hospital, Keokuk, on September 19, 1908, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery at Hamilton, Illinois.

Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass, August, 2018 from "The Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic" by Jacob Armstrong Swisher. Iowa City, Ia.: The State Historical Society of Iowa, 1936, pp. 62-63.