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Reference Book Recommendations


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Gentlemen:

 

Let's start a list of recommendations for good reference books to help collectors of veteran gear. What books have you found useful? think.gif

 

I will start off with a couple of books that I have found useful for determining just how to find information on the owners of identified Civil War items:

 

Groene, Bertram Hawthorne. "Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor." Blair Publishing, Winston-Salem, NC. 1981. ISBN# 0-89587-026-6 $14.95

 

Neagles, James C. "Confederate Research Sources, A Guide to Archive Collections." Ancestry, Salt Lake City, UT. 1986. ISBN# 0-916489-16-7 $12.95

 

Another little inexpensive pamphlet for GAR items is:

 

Long, R. Brad. "Collecting Grand Army of the Republic Memorabilia." Pap-R Products Printing, Martinsville, IL. 1990. Library of Congress# 90-61054 $6.95

 

 

What are your recommendations? thumbsup.gif

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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  • 2 months later...

Okay, finally making some time to offer my contributions to the reference list.

 

I primarily collect Civil War Veteran materials. Here's a quick list of some titles that fill my reference shelf. I'll add others later when time permits.

 

A Collector's Identification and Price Guide for Grand Army of the Republic Memorabilia
, Dennis M. Gregg, Full House Publications, 2005, 97pp. A good survey of the various GAR memorabilia - with estimated pricing.

 

Civil War Veterans' Organizations, Reunions, Badges
, Turner E. Kirkland, Pioneer Press, TN, 1991, 32pp. A short but useful look at UCV & GAR organizations and memorabilia. Usually availble at shows or on eBay.

 

Union Civil War Veterans' Organizations in Maryland
, Daniel Carroll Toomey, Toomey Press, 2004, 58pp. Fantastic information on Maryland Veteran Organizations. Great photographs! FYI, Daniel has a number of other publications focused on Maryland in the Civil War. If you're looking to learn about Maryland in the CW - his works are a great source!

 

Union Veteran Legion, 1884-1939
, George G. Kane, Self-Published, 2005, 30pp. As far as I know the only book on the UVL - which was MUCH smaller than the GAR because of its strict membership requirements. At it's peak it only had 9,256 members. Available from George directly - or from him on eBay.

 

Organized Camps of the United Confederate Veterans
, compiled by George G. Kane, self-published, 1997,90pp. A great reference for tracking down individual UCV Camps.

Wanted to throw this one in here - another of George Kane's books - United Spanish War Veterans (USWV). For the record - George's books are fantastic - printed on heavy-stock, in color usually, with an amazing amount of information. His works (and he has others I haven't listed here) aren't widely circulated because he self-publishes - which is a real shame because his works are very valuable references for collectors.

The History of the United Spanish War Veterans Through National Encampment Memorabilia
, George G. Kane, 2005, 216pp. The ONLY reference on the USWV reference I've ever seen - I actually bought two copies because I was worried I'd wear-out my first copy using it constantly! I would rate this as the best Collector reference I've ever owned - seriously. It's fantastic reading - and a great reference book! In the interest of full-disclosure, there are a few items from my collection in this work <g>.

 

Badges and Ribbons of the United Confederate Veterans and the Sons of Confederate Veterans
, Lynn jackson Shaw, 1989, 120pp. I actually have a second printing copy from 1996. All B&W photos but a great reference on UCV and SCV badges. You can find this one at most CW shows, and I've seen it on eBay before.

 

Membership and National Encampment Badges of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1866-1949
, Kenneth R. Johnson and Jeffrey B. Floyd, Orders and Medals Society of America Monograph No. 11, 1997, 79pp. Photos of National Encampment Badges from 1866-1949, membership/attendance information for each Encampment, and general GAR Badge (membership) information.

 

The Southern Cross of Honor: Historial Notes and Trial List of Varieties
, Peter Bertram, 2003, 59pp. If you want to know anything about the Southern Cross - this is the reference. Amazing number of detailed photos showing all the variations in the medal.

I hope you find these listings useful.

 

P.S. One of these days I hope to have a title or two listed on a list like this - with myself listed as the author. I've started a reference on UCV collecting - one of these days maybe I'll get around to finishing it!

Mickey
Southern Cross Farm

 

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Always Looking to Purchase Gettysburg Related Veteran Items

1888/25th - 1913/50th - 1938/75th Reunions, Regimental Reunions, Monument Dedications

Medals, Badges, Ribbons, Photographs, Souvenirs, Programs, etc

mcintire_scf@yahoo.com, Mobile: (804) 306-8321

 

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  • 6 months later...
[/i]
The History of the United Spanish War Veterans Through National Encampment Memorabilia
, George G. Kane, 2005, 216pp. The ONLY reference on the USWV reference I've ever seen - I actually bought two copies because I was worried I'd wear-out my first copy using it constantly! I would rate this as the best Collector reference I've ever owned - seriously. It's fantastic reading - and a great reference book! In the interest of full-disclosure, there are a few items from my collection in this work <g>.

 

I would very much like to track down a copy of this book, but after searching using Google, Amazon, and Abebooks, I can't find any contact information for the author (Mr. Kane) or anyone that offers the title.

 

Can anyone here offer some suggetions or provide info?

 

Thanks,

Mike

"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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  • 11 months later...

The reference I use the most for identifying medals from Veterans' Organizations is entitled American Society Medals by Lee E. Bishop, Jr. and J. Robert Elliott, II. It is a 320 page hardcover book which is a summation of the knowledge of these two collectors obtained over a lifetime of collecting. It contains hundreds of black and white photographs of membership medals and information of the various societies to which they belong.

 

This book does lack information on at least two dozen organizations pertaining to veterans. And, it also has incorrect information on several groups that it does feature. That notwithstanding, it is probably the best reference book on this subject one will ever find. At the time of this writing, both Mssrs Bishop and Elliott have passed away. That sadly means that a second edition of this book will never be published. An undertaking of this magnitude will most likely never occur again.

 

This book is a must have for anyone who is seriously interested in the insignia of American societal organizations in general and Veterans' organizations in particular.

 

AmericanSocietyMedals.jpg

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Bob Elliott is very much alive today, but is not likely to do a second edition. The photo on the back of the dustjacket of the book shows a glass-topped coffee table Bob had in his living room in a previous residence. It's a spectacular collection of US society medals.

Jeff Floyd

The universe is made up of neutrons, protons, electrons and morons

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Bob Elliott is very much alive today, but is not likely to do a second edition. The photo on the back of the dustjacket of the book shows a glass-topped coffee table Bob had in his living room in a previous residence. It's a spectacular collection of US society medals.

 

Apparently my reports of Mr. Elliott's passing were premature. A friend had told me that he passed away in 2006 and a google search of the name "J. Robert Elliott" confirmed this. I apologize for confusing the living with the deceased Mr. Elliott!

 

Mr. Elliott, if you're reading this, your book is fantastic.

 

Kevin

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  • 4 years later...

Brad longs book is full of errors! When he came to the Mansfield civil war show. A few years back and we confronted him about the errors, he said that he would correct them in the second printing. He did not! Also beware of Turner Kirland book as well It also has errors about the GAR death Badge. Which is a Hoax!

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Apparently my reports of Mr. Elliott's passing were premature. A friend had told me that he passed away in 2006 and a google search of the name "J. Robert Elliott" confirmed this. I apologize for confusing the living with the deceased Mr. Elliott!

 

Mr. Elliott, if you're reading this, your book is fantastic.

 

Kevin

Although, Mr. Elliott, may still be alive. Lee Bishop is not. I spoke with Mr. Bishop just shortly before his passing. He admitted to me that they too got it wrong about the GAR death badge / Knights Templar Malta Jewel mix up. He said that he had used Brad Longs book and not bothered to double check the source. He gave me a letter of retraction on this issue.

Peter M.Coulton

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Peter,

 

Thanks for the correction on the "GAR Death Badge". I have seen photographs of these badges being worn by uniformed GAR members at funerals and I suspect this is one reason it was a subject of confusion.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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very interesting topic. My great-great grandfather was in the GAR. Can you please post a photo of this particular "death badge"? I wished I had his GAR medal. Did every member get one automatically?

I SEARCH FOR, RESEARCH, AND PRESERVE WWII USMC COMBAT GROUPINGS; NAMED AND PATCHED BLUES AND ALPHA UNIFORMS; MEDALS; SWORDS; AND CLASS RINGS FROM THE CITADEL MILITARY COLLEGE IN CHARLESTON, SC.
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very interesting topic. My great-great grandfather was in the GAR. Can you please post a photo of this particular "death badge"? I wished I had his GAR medal. Did every member get one automatically?

 

Here are a couple of photos of the so-called "GAR Death Badge" that is also sometimes called a "GAR Mourning Badge". There are photographs of GAR members wearing this badge at funerals so the assumption at the time was that they were in fact official GAR badges. This particular badge is highly vaulted and has a fairly early style eagle. Other variations exist but they all follow this same format.

 

Each GAR member could get a small round lapel button for wear with civilian clothing and/or a badge. The GAR membership badges could be simple for a member or very ornate for various officers in the organization. The GAR badges are a collecting field in themselves. Here is an example of the standard GAR members badge from a period postcard. This is what your GGGF would have worn in all probability.

GAR Mourning Medal.JPG

GAR Mourning medal back.JPG

GAR medal postcard.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Let's be clear on this. The badge depicted in Sarge's post is ERRONEOUSLY referred to as a "GAR Funeral Badge". It is, in fact, entirely unrelated to the GAR. It is the Malta Jewel of the Knights Templar, a Masonic organization. While many GAR members were Masons/Knights Templars, the badge was solely connected to the Knights Templar.

 

This "Funeral Badge" myth needs a stake driven through its heart every time it pops up.

Jeff Floyd

The universe is made up of neutrons, protons, electrons and morons

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