GOLD G.A.R. PAST COMMANDER BADGE OF EUGENE L. SMITH, LATE 14th NYHA, JOHN E. BEAM POST. NO. 92 BLOOMINGDALE, NEW JERSEY

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Item Code: 30-2258

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The top bar is the standard GAR eagle on crossed cannon pinback, here suspending a red, white and blue ribbon and having two middle bars and the GAR star within a wreath as the drop, suspended from one another by small chains. Both middle bars are lettered in blue enamel, the upper reading, “JOHN E. BEAM POST / No. 92” and the one below reading “PAST COMMANDER.” The GAR star is surrounded by a wreath, with thin green enamel. The band around the central figural portion is filled with blue enamel that highlights the gold lettering: “GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC – 1861 VETERAN 1865 –“ The lower center bar is engraved on the reverse in script, “Won by / E.L. Smith.” (This seems clearly to be “won” rather than “worn,” perhaps being awarded specifically for the number of offices held, or indicating it was presented upon completion of his duties as the current post commander.) The reverse of the drop and lower bar are marked “solid gold” with a Paterson, NJ, maker stamp.

John E. Beam Post No. 92 in Bloomingdale, NJ, was chartered in 1885 with 23 members and lasted until about 1924. E.L. Smith is surely Eugene L. Smith, born in 1841, who had served during the war in the 14th New York Heavy Artillery, enlisting at Benton NY 11/29/63 at age 22 and mustering into Co. G on 12/17/63 as a private. This was at the formation of the regiment, which served in New York harbor until April 1864, when it joined the 9th Army Corps in the field and fought as infantry. It lost 226 officers and enlisted men killed or mortally wounded in battles such as the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg, including the Battle of Fort Stedman. Civil War Data lists over 90 dates on which it suffered losses of some sort, indicating continual service under fire during its service. Smith made corporal 10/1/64 and mustered out 8/26/65. A 1904 report of the annual encampment of the Dept. of NJ GAR, lists Eugene L. Smith as a past commander and the 1890 veteran census lists him with a Pompton post office address and his unit affiliation. He seems to have died there in July 1909.

This is a high quality and very good looking badge. The condition is excellent. With bright metal and enamel. The ribbon has very good color shows just slight fraying at the tip.  [sr] [ph:L]

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