John C. Robinson
John C. Robinson, past Commander-in-Chief,
was graduated from the United States Military
Academy and commissioned Second Lieutenant,
5th Illinois Infantry, August 27, 1839. In 1857 he
was in active service against the Indians in
Florida. He was appointed Colonel of the 1st
Michigan Volunteers on September 1, 1861 and
Brigadier General, United States Volunteers,
April 23, 1863. He was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army, July 1, 1863,
for gallant services at Gettysburg, and brevetted Colonel, United States Army, May 5, 1864, for
gallant services in the Wilderness. He was later
brevetted Major General, United States
Volunteers, June 27, 1864, for gallant services
during the war, Brigadier general, March 16, 1865 for services at Spotsylvania and brevetted
Major General, United States Army, in 1865. He was commander in many battles and while
leading his division in Spotsylvania and Todds
Tavern he was seriously wounded in the knee, resulting in the loss of his left leg.
After the war he held many military assignments until he finally retired as Major General on
May 6, 1869. He served one tern as Lieutenant Governor of New York State. In 1870 he was
elected Department Commander of the New York Department, Grand Army of the Republic
and in 1877 was elected Commander-in-Chief presiding in Springfield, Mass., June 4, 1878.
Commander Robinson died February 18, 1897 and was buried in Binghamton, NY, where he resided for many years. He was the 7th Commander-in- Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, serving two terms.
Additional information: At the 11th National Encampment in Providence, R.I., June 26-27, 1877,
there were 96 representatives present from 12 Departments. President Rutherford B. Hayes and
his cabinet were guests. 2,567 badges were made from captured cannons. Outstanding
entertainment included a boat trip and lunch on the river and a clambake at Rocky Point, at
which over 20,000 persons were present. At the 12th National Encampment held in Springfield,
Mass., June 4, 1878, there were 14 Departments represented by 85 Brothers. The first record of
total membership was disclosed, the total being 36,016. At the 13th National Encampment, held
in Albany, NY, June 17, 1879, Commander-in-Chief Robinson presided for the second time.
There were 19 Departments present and 114 representatives. The code and manual were
adopted. The soldier’s home in Bath was dedicated that year. Two Provisional Departments
were established, Washington Territory and Utah. Membership was 44,752.
Submitted by, Lorraine Orton, PDP, Woman’s Relief Corps, Aux. to the GAR.
Source: Final Journal of the GAR, March 12, 1957, compiled by Cora Gillis, PNP, Daughters of Union Veterans of
the Civil War and last National Secretary of the Grand Army of the Republic.