We are pleased and proud to offer a very special military medal from the Civil War era. We have spent a long time researching this piece and have determined it is a rare item in that it is so complete and in such fine condition. The medal represents membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of honorably discharged Union Civil War veterans.
The G.A.R. was founded in 1866 by Benjamin Franklin Stephenson in Decatur, Illinois. Membership was limited to veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service who had served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865. By 1890 they had 409,000 members. The organization was involved in charity causes and politics and they lobbied for soldiers homes and pensions. This organization also began the tradition of Decoration Day on May 30th. This day is now known and celebrated as Memorial Day.
The medal has three main components. At the top is a small rectangular gold pin with a finely cut rope like edge. On the face are black enameled opposing hearts with what appears to be a bird above. Hanging below is a 3 dimensional gold Eagle on a ball with a dangling 5 pointed gold star. The star has patriotic, military and fraternal symbols on both sides done with red, white, blue and black enamel on the gold background.
The condition of this pin is excellent for its age and completeness. There are a couple of dark spots, one on the right heart and one on the right upper point of the star, that look like they could be cleaned off. We leave that up to the buyer. Our extreme closeup photos may leave the impression they are very noticeable. However, they do not stand out when viewed in person.
Dimensions: 2-1/2"H x 1-1/4W Weight: 11.5 grams or 0.41 ounces
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have or for additional photographs.
NOTE: Shipping via USPS Priority Mail with insurance and signature of receipt is required.