1885 PORTLAND MAINE 19th NATIONAL G.A.R. ENCAMPMENT MEDAL

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Item Code: 1097-84

The medal has a buff ribbon indicating it deals with something on the national level. The top bar reads “Portland 1885” and the planchet has the state seal of Maine at center and “19th Annual National Encampment.” The G.A.R. held annual national “encampments” in different cities around the county every year from its founding in 1866 to its last gathering in 1949. This is in very good condition, with just a couple of tiny age spots and very, very slight fraying to the edge at one spot.

This comes from the large archive of material preserved by family of Brevet Brig. Genl., Isaac Dyer (1820-1913,) Colonel of the 15th Maine. The group was published in North South Trader 11.1 (Nov-Dec 1983,) purchased in its entirety by a collector about the same time, and only recently dispersed. (The NST article wrongly reported it had been broken up in 1983.) Dyer, a native of Skowhegan, joined the 15th Maine as Lt. Colonel in late 1861, became Colonel in September 1862 and commanded it to the end of the war. The regiment took part in Butler’s expedition against New Orleans in early 1862, transferred to West Florida later in the year, and then returned to Louisiana in mid-1863 for Banks’s campaign along the Texas Coast and his Red River Campaign of 1864. In mid-1864, as part of the 19th Corps, they moved north, part of the regiment going to Bermuda Hundred and part to Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, where they were reunited in August. The regiment remained in service after the war ended, doing occupation duty in South Carolina until 1866. Dyer mustered out in September 1865. He received a brevet to Brigadier General as of March 1865, and reportedly had actual command of a brigade at Martinsburg in late 1864. The regiment took part in several active campaigns and expeditions, seeing action at Fort Esperanza, Sabine Crossroads, Pleasant Hill, Cane River Crossing and Mansura Plains. Dyer was well liked and very active in the G.A.R. and the regiment’s veteran association.  [SR]

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