DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA GAR MEDAL DEPICTING A FAMOUS BUCKTAIL – GAVIN COLLECTION

$100.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 601-157

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Call 717-334-0347,
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Medal is for the 59th Annual Encampment of the Department of Pennsylvania GAR held at Oil City in 1925. The medal has a suspension bar at top that depicts the GAR Coat of Arms at center flanked by laurel leaves. The back of the bar has a working pin. Suspended from this top bar is a solid red ribbon that ends with another bar that reads “Representative.” At very bottom is a round medal with the likeness of a GAR veteran wearing his cap surrounded by the wording “COMMANDER H. H. SPAYD.” Reverse has “59TH ANNUAL ENCAMPMENT DEPT. OF PENNA. G.A.R. OIL CITY JUNE 1925.” The condition of the medal is good, as is the ribbon however there is some light scattered surface dirt from age and storage.

The veteran pictured at the center of the obverse, Department Commander Henry H. Spayd, was a member of the color guard of the 149th Pennsylvania. On the 1st Day at Gettysburg this color guard was over run by the Rebels not far from where the statues of Generals Buford and Reynolds now stand along the Chambersburg Pike. In the melee that took place over the colors Spayd is known to have shot one Reb, clubbed another and then threw his rifle at the Rebel who had taken the State flag from its bearer. Spayd’s action caused the Reb to loosen his grip on the flag, Spayd grabbed it and headed for the rear before being shot and having the flag taken from him. At the time Spayd was only 17 years old!

 

This item is from the collection of the late William G. "Bill" Gavin (1924 - 2010), who was one of the nation's most prominent and esteemed Civil War relic collectors. Following graduation from West Point [Class of 1946], Gavin became a pioneer in applying WWII mine-detector technology to relic hunting. Along the way, he became an avid historian whose collection, with its origins dating back to the 1930's, was enhanced by his acute knowledge of battlefield troop movements. His service to his country included six years in the U.S. Army, followed by a seven year period in which he was a member of the U.S. Army (Ready) Reserve. Mr. Gavin shared his Civil War knowledge via the publication of four books and several magazine articles. In 1963 he authored one of the earliest books on relic buckles (Accoutrement Plates North and South, 1861-65), and in the 1970s established the Rectory Museum in Harper's Ferry, while becoming owner of The Cliffside Inn. He was also the owner of Happy Retreat, the 18th century home of Charles Washington, youngest brother of George Washington, located in Charles Town, WV. The Horse Soldier joins the national Civil War community in mourning Bill Gavin's passing, and is proud to be able to offer items from his exceptional collection.

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