NEW YORK FIFTIETH GETTYSBURG ANNIVERSARY MEDAL

$85.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 766-1444

This bronze badge is in very nice condition. The upper pin bar features a wreath surrounding an oval cartouche with two soldiers shaking hands and a furled flag, flanked by the dates “1863” and “1913” over a scroll reading “New York – Gettysburg.” Suspended from that is a cross bearing crossed rifles, sabers, and cannons on its arms and central round medallion with profile busts of Meade and Lee with their names at left and right. Attachment pin is missing from back of the top bar.

The 50th anniversary brought some 50,000 veterans to the field and was billed as a joint reunion of Union and Confederate veterans, and billed as a demonstration of reconciliation and a “peace jubilee,” although that monument was not officially dedicated until 1938 and there was at least one fight with several people stabbed at the Hotel Gettysburg after some uncharitable remarks about Lincoln. On this medal the two soldiers on the top bar are somewhat reminiscent of the soldier and sailor shaking hands on the G.A.R. medal, but are in fact a Union and Confederate soldier. The one flag evident symbolizes a reunited nation, but is also a reminder that many previously attempted joint reunions had faltered on the issue of displaying the Confederate battleflag.

Veterans’ badges and reunion badges are a really interesting area of collecting, not least because of how they show the country attempting to come to terms with its history. This badge shows a mix of darker tarnish and some lighter areas from handling, but is in very good condition and bears the maker’s stamp on the reverse.  [sr]

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