NUMBERED AND INITIALED G.A.R. MEMBERSHIP BADGE

$125.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 286-921

This is very nice looking example of the official membership badge adopted by the Grand Army of the Republic in 1869 and would be a nice addition for a collector looking for the various initialed badges or for someone with an ancestor in the Union army who would like something to display in commemoration of their service.

The clasp is an eagle atop crossed cannons and cannonballs clutching a drawn sword, ready to defend the national flag, which also serves as the ribbon. The reverse bears two 1886 patent dates and a raised image of an army cooking pot suspended over a campfire. On the medal itself the goddess Liberty, representing Loyalty, stands between a soldier and sailor representing Fraternity, and two children receive protection from the soldiers, representing Charity, the three cardinal precepts of the organization. Around the vignette the border reads: "GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC" and "1861 VETERANS 1866,” the dates referring to the official start and end dates of the war that qualified veterans for membership. At the corners of the star are branch of service insignia. On the reverse the national shield at center is protected by rings of the insignia of the various army corps, stars representing the states and departments of the G.A.R. Founded in 1866 and dissolved in 1956 with the death of its last member, the organization reached it highest membership of 410,000 in 1890 and was an influential political force with a natural interest in veterans’ affairs.

One edge of the star is initialed and numbered: V25687. There is no central registry of these numbers, but the initial is that of the Commander in Chief of the G.A.R. for the year it was issued, limiting it to 1882-83 (Vandrwort;) 1890-91 (Veazy;) or 1909-1910 (Van Sant.) Given the 1886 patent dates on the pin, it must be one of the last two. The initial and number were significant in guaranteeing the badge had been officially issued to a legitimate, qualifying veteran.

This is in very good condition with good gold color to the clasp and medal and good color to the flag ribbon, which does have a slight tear at upper right reverse on the fold and a slight bit of wear on the bottom fold, but is stable.  [sr]

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