G.A.R. POST COMMANDER’S PRESENTATION BADGE AND POST PIN OF G.W. MOURER, BATTERY F, 4th U.S. ARTILLERY, GEN. D.B. BIRNEY POST 63, PHILADELPHIA

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Item Code: 30-2200

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This gold badge has the miniature shoulder strap of a Civil War colonel at top, indicating the wearer was a G.A.R. Post Commander. The eagle is in silver, showing some tarnish, deeply cast and chased, on a blue background, with frame of the strap ornamented with floral terminals at sides and top. The fastening pin is in place on the reverse, which also has a bar or a ribbon, now gone. A red enameled star is suspended from the center of the top bar, indicating the Twelfth Army Corps (and Twentieth) with the unit designation at center in gold lettering: “Battery F / 4th U.S./ Arty.”

Suspended around and beneath this by small chains from the corner of the top bar is a G.A.R. star rendered in gold and nicely engraved on the reverse: “Presented To / Post Comdr. / Geo. W. Mourer / by / Comrades of / Post 63 / Jan. 4th 1893 / Comdr./ 1892.” The badge measures about 2 ½ inches long.

With this badge we also offer an oval gold and blue enamel pin of G.A.R. Post 63, with pin on reverse and engraved on the reverse “G.W. Mourer,” although it might possibly be spelled here as Mower. His name shows up as Mourer, Maurer, and Mower in some records, so he may have been used to the variations. Interestingly, a few scratches below the last part of the name indicate he might have tried to correct it.

Post 63 was the Gen. D.B. Birney Post in Philadelphia, named after General David Bell Birney, who practiced law in Philadelphia from 1856 and commanded the 23rd Pennsylvania, the “Birney’s Zouaves.” Not very congenial, he had political connections and some ability, moving to brigade, division and corps command before he died of illness in October 1864. We know him here in Gettysburg from his command of a Third Corps division that was heavily engaged and badly battered on July 2.

George W. Mourer was born in Philadelphia and enlisted there at age 21 on August 22, 1861, to serve five years in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Battery F of the 4th U.S. Artillery. He was described as having brown eyes, light sandy hair and a fair complexion, and stood 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall. (CWData indicates he may have served in Battery C, as well, but gives no dates and the designation on the badge and his enrollment records would indicate Battery F was his main assignment.) Battery F was assigned to Banks Corps and fought at Newton, Winchester, and Cedar Mountain. Assigned to 12th Corps, it was in reserve at Antietam, but fought hard at Chancellorsville. At Gettysburg it was in action near Culp’s Hill on July 2 and in the center of the 12th Corps line on July 3. Sent west with the 12th Corps in the Fall, it took part in the movement to Bridgeport, Alabama, and then was assigned to garrison duty at Nashville starting in October 1863. Mourer was discharged for disability on 1/2/1864 at the Convalescent Camp in Alexandria, VA, as a private, but later reenlisted as a corporal, and made sergeant, in Co. H of the 7th Regiment Veteran Volunteer Infantry, one of the units intended to form an army corps entirely of veterans under command of Hancock. He married Ansley Abbot Brown in 1863 and in 1870 they are recorded as living in Philadelphia with two children and his mother. He died in Philadelphia 3/20/1910. His obituary suggests he worked at the William Cramp Ship and Engine Building Company, one of the great shipyards of the world, located in Philadelphia, and now gone.   [SR]

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