By Anna von Reitz
It’s strange to think back to the first moment that I became aware of The Grand Army of the Republic. I was about seven and found some pamphlets among other Civil War Memorabilia in the back of my Mother’s antique shop.
“It’s a veteran’s fraternal organization,” my Mother told me, “like the VFW, but especially for veterans of the Civil War and their families.”
I already knew all about the Veterans of Foreign Wars because my Mother was a member and regularly made the rounds to the Gold Star Mothers and war widows in our community. It wasn’t hard to imagine the members of the GAR doing the same kinds of things, quietly making sure that the children of the dead got school shoes and nobody went hungry.
So I read the pamphlets as best I could, and I salted away the knowledge, but something seemed odd to me even then. Why call a veteran’s organization The Grand Army of the Republic?
And what Republic?
Picture a little girl in a ponytail scratching behind her ear and making an odd quizzical face. Those questions would remain unanswered for many years, but everything comes full circle.
They called it The Grand Army of the Republic because besides being a fraternal organization, it was an Army of veterans, eventually including members from both the North and the South. The war never really ended.
And the Republic was our American Federal Republic, which ceased functioning during the Civil War.
By the time I was in college, I met a few boys in college ROTC who were members of the GAR. It didn’t sound like the VFW to me. No spam and sweet relish sandwiches. They played war games on chess boards and had an altogether different more somber cast to their thinking.
I didn’t get too close to them.
Then there was an elderly man on a train from Algonquin, Illinois. I don’t know why but it was a hot day and the train was delayed on its usual run into Chicago. I asked him if he knew anything about the GAR? His face immediately softened and then hardened.
“Who’s asking?” he replied.
“Just me,” I said. “I never understood why they called it an “army” when the war was over— and I never knew what Republic they were talking about, either.”
“The Federal Republic,” he said with great intensity, “don’t they teach you that in school?”
As a recent graduate of Black River Falls Senior High, I could confirm that they didn’t say a word about any Federal Republic. He shot me a look of consternation I never forgot.
“The Federal Republic,” he explained, “is what we lost during the Civil War. It ran the Federal Government. It was our Foreign Service. It handled international diplomacy, ran the US Mint….”
“But we still have a Federal Government that does those things,” I said.
“It’s not our government,” he snapped. “That’s not our Federal Republic.”
He was white-haired and frail-looking and by then quite red in the face, between the heat and the obvious upset he felt, so I sat silent and let him lapse into his thoughts.
“When I was your age,” he finally said, “they taught us about the Federal Republic.”
He was, I guessed, around eighty at the time, so “my age” translated as somewhere around the 1920’s. The train gave a lurch and began inching forward. The beleaguered Steward came by assuring us that we’d be leaving Glendale Station momentarily.
“And as for the GAR, they called it an Army, because that’s what it was, and maybe still is,” he said, and he fell silent again.
That was my first glimpse of something that at the time seemed unimaginable: a standing army of veterans committed to, obviously, restoring and defending the Federal Republic — whatever that might be.
So, not at any great rate, I tugged on that string and read old American History books that described the Federal Republic in detail, as part of the Federal Government.
Then, years later, I ran across old, odd, Naturalization and Immigration codes that described a lengthy and purposeful process by which an American might choose to become a United States Citizen. To do so, you had to be of age and of good character and standing in your community, and you had to declare and publish your intention, and you had to wait over a year and do numerous other things including taking a Public Oath to at last become a United States Citizen.
I was every kind of confused until I figured out that this was the process by which the vanished Federal Republic acquired new employees. They wanted only the best and brightest and most committed to serve. That’s why all the hoops and hurdles to become a United States Citizen…. as opposed to a British Territorial U.S. Citizen.
Suffice it to say that I eventually tracked down the full meaning and scope of the lost American Federal Republic and I met members of the modern day GAR.
Yes, Virginia, it’s still an Army. They call themselves the White Hats now and the effort includes veterans from many other times and places, not just the Civil War veterans, and not just this country, either. Now, you can finally understand why there’s all this talk about restoring The Federal Republic.
But they’ve forgotten where the American Federal Republic came from, how and by whom it was organized, and some people have even forgotten that it was uniquely American, with no British Territorial citizenry involved.
The Federal Republic was organized and operated by the equally “lost” Confederation of States initially formed in 1781 under The Articles of Confederation.
So, we are faced with a two-step process. First, we have to restore the Confederation, which is the job of the States, and second, the Confederation has to restore the American Federal Republic.
Fully a third of the American Government was destroyed in the Civil War and has awaited Reconstruction for 157 years, because nobody put the pieces of information together and told the American People (1) what happened, and (2) what needs to be done. Instead, even the information about the Federal Republic was dropped from the schoolbooks published after the Second World War.
Part of the problem has been identifying who “We, the People” are. The States of the Union were not in Session at the end of the Civil War. After five years of utter havoc, many of those circuit riders responsible for summoning the States into Session were dead, disabled, or dislocated. Everyone was confused, and to add to the confusion, certain members of the victorious Union Army set out to destroy what remained of the Federation of States.
With both the American Federation and the Confederation gone, there would be no American Government operating in international jurisdiction. The Brits and the Pope and the Lord Mayor could waltz in very quietly and do whatever they pleased with the vast resources and manpower of this country.
So they stole the Great Seals and they attacked, murdered, and caused the survivors of the Federation and the Federal Republic, both, to flee westward into the Indian Territories — and then, they simply lied about the whole circumstance to the rest of the world.
According to the Perpetrators, the American Government just vanished into thin air. It was presumed to be held in abeyance, presumed to be in interregnum.
As late as 2015, I had Karen Hudes tell me (with an incredulous look on her face) that the American Government was “in interregnum”. Later that same year we found the Great Seals at the Federal Reserve Offices in New York. Still later, they surfaced in the Philippines in the possession of the Central Bank of the Philippines.
Despite all this, the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the Federation of States never forgot the Federation — and we eventually fulfilled our mission to call the States of the Union back into Session in 2015.
Meanwhile, in their endless and relentless quest to restore the Federal Republic, the White Hats have arrived on target — only to have forgotten what the Federal Republic is. Let us remind them.
The Federation gave rise to the Confederation and the Confederation gave rise to the Federal Republic. All three of these organizational structures belong uniquely to the American Government — not the British Territorial Government, not the Papist Municipal Government.
Vestiges and offices of the Federation have kept alive in the West and far Northeastern corners of America, and similar vestiges and offices of the Federal Republic have been kept alive by the GAR, but the Confederation of States standing between the Federation and the American Federal Republic has not survived at all.
Only “the Federation Men” — the survivors — remember that the members of the Confederation were American States-of-States, chartered by each State of the Union to conduct commercial business for the States. Only they remember that the Confederation was responsible for the administration and “good order” of the Federal Republic.
The modern day Federation of States has cause to know that there are only two ways to resurrect the actual long-lost American Federal Republic:
(1) We (meaning the States of the Union) undertake the long-overdue Reconstruction with a vengeance and resurrect both the Confederation of American States-of-States and the Federal Republic; or, while we are doing that, (2) the Federation of States as the source of all the powers delegated to both the Confederation and the Federal Republic, can run the Federal Republic directly.
Of course, we are in sympathy with the GAR and the White Hats. We are White Hats ourselves, simply at a different level and with a different mission, which we have pursued — like them — for six generations. But we should all still understand the danger of letting British Territorial U.S. Citizens claim that they are rebuilding “a” Federal Republic, because the result will be a British Territorial Federal Republic, not an American Federal Republic.
The Brits would be able to play cuckoo-bird again, as they have all these years with the States-of-States — substituting their States-of-States for ours, and proposing to conduct our business “for” us — again.
We don’t propose that that kind of substitution scheme is ever going to happen with the Federal Republic.
We are competent to resurrect the Federal Republic without any British Territorial U.S. Citizenry spearheading the action and we additionally hope to peaceably return the administration of the States-of-States to American control, too.
Let this stand as a message to the GAR, the White Hats, their Allies, and everyone else concerned whose intent is honorable, and whose wish is to see an honest and restored American Government in place and taking its seat among the nations of the world.