PRESENTATION GOLD G.A.R. BADGE TO DEPARTMENT COMMANDER H. T. DUNBAR WITH 5th CORPS BADGE AND BUCKTAILS BAR

$2,950.00

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Item Code: 30-2236

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This very attractive gold G.A.R. badge has the red-bordered flag of a department level officer and the miniature shoulder strap with two silver stars on black indicating a department commander. The medal is cast and chased with the standard G.A.R. crest and is beautifully engraved on the reverse: “Presented to / Dr. Harry T. Dunbar / Past Dept. Commander/ of the / Potomac G.A.R. / 1928.”

In addition to that, suspended from the officer’s rank bar is a smaller bar engraved “FIRST PA / BUCKTAILS,” from which hangs a small red enamel Maltese cross, the badge of the 5th Army Corps.

Some preliminary research shows that he had service as a private in the 38th Pennsylvania, enlisting 2/28/62. The regiment had lots of combat experience in the Army of Potomac, with time in the 5th Corps, suffering battle losses of 114 in killed or died of wounds and more than 300 wounded. His name appears on the PA state monument at Gettysburg as present on the field as a private in Company F.

The 38th was the 9th Reserves and when it mustered out in May 1864, its veterans and recruits with time left, were combined with those of some other reserve regiments, including the 13th (First Bucktails, 42nd PA) to form the 190th PA, from which records list him discharged as a private 3/1/65. His pension index card lists the 190th and the 38th but does not mention the 42nd. Perhaps in later recollections of his service the “Pennsylvania Reserves” was confused with the Bucktails, which he was content to let ride, though we should note that Pennsylvania records, usually derived from Bates, are incomplete and might well miss a transfer into the 42nd at some point.

After the war we find him as a physician and surgeon in 1880 in Liberty, McKean Co., PA, with wife and three daughters. He seems to have remarried and moved to New York some time thereafter, where we find him as a physician in Candor, Tioga Co, and delegate from Post 59, Owego (Tioga Co.) NY to the 1917 Dept. of NY encampment. By 1924, however, he is in Washington, DC and Post Commander there of the Burnside Post, which would put him in the Dept. of the Potomac. He died in Washington 8/24/1937.

This is a beautiful badge of a high ranking officer of the G.A.R. with an interesting record. [sr] [ph:L]

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