SILVER SHIELD ID BADGE OF JAMES ORLANDO MEALLS, CO. G, 99th OH INFANTRY

$895.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: M26067

Here we have a fine example of a jeweler engraved Civil War soldier’s identification badge of a Union shield with a patriotic eagle motif and an attractive beveled edge. The badge measures 1 inch by about 15/16 of an inch. It is inscribed “J.O. MEALLS/ Co. G/ 99th O.V.I.”

The badge is in great condition with no detracting marks or pitting. There is a very small push in the bottom right-hand side into the bottom of the “V” in O.V.I. However, this is so small one has to be searching for it to detect it. The silver is beginning to tarnish around the edges of the badge but the center remains bright. The standard T-bar pin is missing on the back.

James Mealls enlisted in company G of the 99th Ohio Infantry on August 26th 1862. He was described as a dark haired, light-eyed pump maker from Putnam County, Ohio. Private Mealls served with the 99th OH until the regiment was combined with the 50th OH at the tail end of 1864. Medical records for Private Mealls state that he was sick in hospital with a reaction to vaccine and later with abscesses. Mealls transferred from Co. G of the 99th OH to Co. A, 50th Ohio in December, 1864. While serving in the 50th, Mealls was detailed as regimental pioneer. Mealls mustered out with the regiment on June 26th 1865 at Salisbury, North Carolina.

The 99th Ohio spent its service in the western theater with the Army of Ohio and the Army of the Cumberland; upon their transfer, they served with the Department of North Carolina. The regiment saw action at Perryville, Stone’s River, Chickamauga, and battles which enabled Sherman’s march to the sea such as Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, and Kennesaw Mountain, and the siege of Atlanta among many others. Before being combined with the 50th Ohio, the 99th took part in the battles of Franklin and Nashville before pursing Hood to the Tennessee River. During Mealls’ final year of service with the 50th Ohio, the regiment was present at Johnston’s surrender at Bennett Place.

Mealls married Sarah Williams in his hometown of Putnam County, Ohio on Independence Day in 1866. They had four children. James died at age 43 on July 8th 1886 from the effects of a vaccine he received while he was in the service. Depositions in Mealls’ pension file give detailed information regarding his lasting struggle with syphilis, which was contracted from a tainted smallpox vaccine. He is buried in Harman Cemetery at Gilboa, Putnam County, Ohio.

Service records, pension records, and medical records come with this ID badge.    [cls]

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