IDENTIFICATION PIN OF SEYMOUR S. PELOUBET 39th NEW JERSEY

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Item Code: 1052-131

This identification pin of Seymour S. Peloubet (sometimes, “De Peloubet,”) 39th New Jersey badge is made of a white metal or German silver disk stamped at center with an eagle with raised wings clutching arrows and olive branch, but no U.S. shield on its chest, with a narrow-raised border line setting off a band at the outer rim where the soldier’s name and unit could be added, and a very narrow impressed line running around the edge. The back is plain, showing the reverse impression of the eagle and added details of the soldier, and has a long, straight pin, fixed and coiled at its base to give it spring, the point being caught by separate loop at bottom. The edge is stamped “S.S. Peloubet” along the top and “Co. D 39 REG’T N.J.V.” at bottom.

An identical badge is illustrated in Troiani’s Soldiers of America, page 156, erroneously cataloged as a made from a coin. That badge belonged to a member of  33rd New Jersey, so the maker may have been in that state or at some location where the 33rd and 39th both served, though they could well have been purchased through the mail, from a sutler, or from a camp peddler who took orders. (A member of the 85th NY recorded himself and friends giving fictitious names to one such peddler, perhaps accounting for some of the named badges that do not seem to check out.)

Peloubet was born 2/29/1844 in Bloomfield, New Jersey, son of musical instrument maker. He enlisted 9/29/1864 under the July 1864 call for 500,000 troops and mustered in 10/3/64 as a private in Co. D 39th New Jersey. The regiment was organized at Newark and left the state in two contingents in October. It was posted initially to City Point and Benham’s Engineer Brigade, doing work on the fortifications, and then assigned to the 1st Brigade 2nd Division, 9th Army Corps at Poplar Grove Church, south of Petersburg near the Weldon Railroad. Its battle honors included the Boydton Plank Road and it did duty in the trenches at Petersburg, but its first real engagement was in the final assault on Petersburg April 2, 1865, where it was in the attack on Fort Mahone. In that fighting it lost 91 men according to Bilby: 17 officers and men killed or mortally wounded, and another 74 wounded who recovered. Fox, Regimental Losses, gives their total wartime loss in killed or mortally wounded as 3 officers and 29 enlisted men. Peloubet survived and mustered out at Alexandria 6/17/1865.

After the war he went into publishing and we find him as a publisher living in Brooklyn with wife and 2 year-old daughter by 1870, with real estate valued at $6,500 and a personal estate of $1,500. He specialized in law books and compiled an  1880 volume, “A Collection of Legal Maxims in Law and Equity.” He lived in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan, with an office on Nassau Street for at least thirty years, being associated with Diossy & Co., and then Ward & Peloubet. He died at his home in Brooklyn in March 1914 and was buried in Orange County, where his wife came from and his married daughter seems to have lived.

The government issued no “dog tags” and soldiers had to use private resources to acquire identification badges of various sorts, some resembling medals or using a corps badge, but all giving the hope of avoiding an unmarked grave. Peloubet both purchase one of these badges, but late in life reversed the notion, having his tombstone marked with “G.A.R.” to commemorate his military service.   [sr] [ph:m/L]

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