WIRICHLA-L ArchivesArchiver > WIRICHLA > 2007-05 > 1179958219
From: "Bruce W. Linz" <>
Subject: [WIRICHLA] Civil War Medal
Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 17:10:19 -0500
First, let me say that it is truly a small world. My wife, Wendy, is
the Great great great granddaughter of Comfort Carpenter Walker who
enlisted as a Private in Company D of the 11th Regiment of Wisconsin
Infantry Volunteers. Sadly, he died of small pox at Camp Patterson,
Missouri on 12 November 1862.
I believe the medal in question is either a Grand Army of the Republic
(GAR) membership medal or a Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Serving
Officer's medal. I have attached a colored drawing of the membership medal.
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was founded in 1866 as a men's
Civil War veteran's group. It remains the largest Society, military or
civilian, that has ever existed in this country. Honorable service in
the Union forces during the Civil War was the prerequisite for
membership. In 1890, the membership peaked at 409,489. It was an
extremely political organization. Its legions were a feature of every
parade in every city and town for over two generations. Their annual
meetings were called encampments. The GAR was very insignia conscious
and thus evolved an elaborate system of medals and badges to denote rank
and area of responsibility within the organization.
If the top bar or brooch of the medal in question does not look like an
eagle sitting atop crossed canons but instead looks like a rectangle
with something inside the rectangle then it is most likely a GAR serving
Officer's medal. These medals were authorized in 1873. The brooch was
in the form of a "rank strap" containing an insignia which could be in
the form of army rank badges for captain, major, lieutenant colonel,
colonel, or a star for Commander-in-Chief. The color of the strap
indicated the serving level: i.e. black for national or state and blue
Since membership in the GAR was strictly volunteer no record of this
society membership would be in a Civil War veteran's papers. Unless, by
some chance, an individual would mention his membership in the GAR as
part of his pension claim.
If you want to see a wide variety for GAR medals and insignia, just go
to eBay and type GAR medal, GAR badge, or GAR insignia in the search field.
I hope this is the information you are looking for. If you have any
further questions please email me at .
|[WIRICHLA] Civil War Medal by "Bruce W. Linz" <>|