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50th Anniversary Reunion - Battle of Gettysburg


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Since Mickey posted his 1913 Delaware badge, I thought I'd post mine for discussion. Mine is obviously not in as good a shape as his.

 

Several dealers have told me that, like Mickey's, the standard Delaware badge had a blue/white ribbon. As you can see, mine has a black/yellow ribbon and the dealer who sold it to me swears that he's seen at least two others like it. Has anyone here ever seen a Delaware badge with Maryland colors on the ribbon?

 

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I've seen Mickey's badge before but it wasn't until just now that I noticed that his says "Veteran" and mine doesn't. Could that mean that mine as worn by a Commission member or other non-veteran and could that leave room for a legitimate explanation for the modified ribbon?

 

BTW, the official State colors of Delaware are Colonial blue and buff (not white).

 

-Bob

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SCF-Collector

You know something Bob - I didn't notice the difference (Veteran) in our two pieces either. Isn't that interesting. I'm pretty sure all of these I've owned over the years had "Veteran" on the top bar. I've once again learned something new from this forum!

 

Could be a variant for the State Commission/Committee I suppose, why not. That certainly could explain the ribbon variant as well. Another possibility is that it was made without "Veteran" for sale to other-than Veterans, or even as a souvenir. In my collection I have a New Hampshire State medal, but also an identical medal but with "Souvenir" stamped on the ribbon. Maybe this is Delaware's version of the same thing? I'll try to photograph those and post them. It's another theory anyway.

 

Rats, that's another piece to add to my "needed to complete my collection" list!

 

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  • 5 months later...

I suspect they are confusing the "commemorative Congressional Medals of Honor for service" with reunion badges. A lot of reunion badges were made in the general form of the Medal of Honor so memory may fade or simply a mistaken viewer.

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SCF-Collector

I have to agree with Sarge on this one. I've never seen any information to indicate such a medal was issued for the 50th. .

 

Perhaps the 155th Pennsylvania had a 1913 piece that resembled the MOH or had an image of one on a ribbon? The wording in the link provided tends to make me think it was a regimental piece:

 

".....he and other survivors received commemorative Congressional Medals of Honor for service."

 

That wording, in my experience anyway, tends to be in reference to "survivors" of the regiment.

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It seems perhaps that the market is being flooded with Indiana ribbons. The fifth one in a week is on eBay.

 

Anyway, here's a photo of a veteran wearing one:

 

post-276-0-60784100-1428380237.jpg

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  • 3 months later...
SCF-Collector

As a follow-up to a previous post I thought I'd share a picture of what has to be one of the most prized pieces in my 50th Anniversary Gettysburg Reunion collection. I just received it and can't help but just stare at it. Disclaimer: That is a REPRODUCTION Medal of Honor you're looking at!

 

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Seeing the two pieces married together like this convinces me that my theory about what was supposed to fill the large blank area on the ribbon is correct! It fits perfectly IMO!

 

Here's a picture of the back of the ribbon, showing the re-enforced cardboard/fabric backing that really adds credibility to my theory. Why else would this heavy-duty backing material be sewn into the top of the ribbon bar if not to pin a heavy piece to without tearing the ribbon?

 

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BTW, there's a strip of the same material at the bottom of the back of the ribbon as well. It almost looks like perhaps the piece originally had the re-enforced backing the entire length of the ribbon and someone cut a chunk of it out - perhaps to save weight or to make the thing hang better when worn? And if you're wondering, no, it does not appear that anything was ever pinned to the ribbon. But who knows - the fabric of the ribbon is such that I think it could be pinned without damaging it (leaving any evidence of the holes that is).

 

So what do you think - does it look right to you?

 

 

 

 

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I think Mickey is correct. It looks right as reign to me. This Medal of Honor Legion ribbon is about as rare as they come. The condition is remarkable. This piece just literally blows me away!

 

Kevin

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  • 2 months later...

In order to keep this thread alive, here's a photo of my PA Commissioner badge for the 1938 reunion.

 

post-152774-0-17348000-1444860779.jpg

 

This one belonged to PA Governor George H. Earle and is engraved with his name on the reverse. The Governor appointed the nine members of the Pennsylvania Commission to oversee and organize the reunion. The Commission's official report doesn't list the Governor as an actual member of the Commission but he got a badge anyway. :P

 

[it has a replacement/repro top bar for display purposes and is engraved to that effect on the reverse.]

 

Here's a photo of Governor Earle wearing this very badge at the ceremonies (from the PA Commission report):

 

post-152774-0-11537000-1444861355.jpg

 

Does anyone else have (or have you seen) any other surviving example of a 1938 Commissioner's badge?

 

Thanks.

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SCF-Collector

Congratulations Bob! Besides being the rarest of rare official 1938 badges, it's engraved! I've only ever seen two other engraved 1938 badges (besides Veteran & Attendant badges of course) - both Distinguished Guests.

 

I've seen one other Commissioner's Badge - it sold at a Heritage Auction a number of years ago.

 

You have a truly amazing piece of history! Congrats on the addition to your collection!

 

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I came across these interesting references in "Hand Grips: The Story of the Great Gettysburg Reunion" by Walter H. Blake (Vineland, NJ: G.E. Smith, 1913):

 

post-152774-0-31698400-1445619393.png

 

and this:

 

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and this:

 

post-152774-0-52576100-1445619421.png

 

It is worth noting that this book was published just five months after the reunion.

 

-Bob

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Never having heard of this book before, I downloaded a PDF of this book from Google. It should be a very interesting read.

 

Has anyone seen the above referenced badges before?

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  • 1 month later...
SCF-Collector

The best part about collecting 1913 & 1938 Gettysburg Reunion materials is never knowing what I might find or where. There seems to be no end to the possibility of finding something I've never seen before. Case in point, the last Gettysburg Show in October.

 

It was Sunday, things were slow, and I was trolling tables - again. I had been around the room I don't know how many times. I run across this large riker box full of attractive ribbons (a dozen or more) - all for the 6th NYHA. I don't collect this regiment, but they were nice looking ribbons so I pick up the tray to look. The dealer says the price is X - but wait, there's more with the group. He brings over this wooden box - I open it - it's packed with ribbons, badges, and papers. Always curious, I start digging. There are some more nice ribbons, a few interesting badges, then I run across this badge:

 

post-1293-0-77771800-1448502432.jpg

 

Okay, that catches my interest for the the obvious reasons, so I keep digging. All-in-all, with the tray of ribbons, there are over 25 ribbons and badges, a tintype, pension papers, telegrams, and some really intriguing other paper items. Here's a picture of the box and contents - less the 19 or so ribbons I must admit I sold to another dealer to defray my costs.

 

post-1293-0-08031400-1448502417.jpg

 

Does anyone see the paper items that I was focused on? It's a cool group regardless, but these pieces made my day. Please check the next post for more pictures.

 

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SCF-Collector

I'll let these photos speak for themselves. Something I've never run across in 30+ years of searching for 1913 Gettysburg Reunion memorabilia.The pictures represent unfolding the flaps on the pieces to reveal what's inside.

 

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Imagine my surprise. Two ID'd photographs from the 1913 reunion - and the owner of all these pieces! The papers in the box bear-out the ID on the photograph. There's a telegram notifying I assume the son of Seymour H. Reynold's death, correspondence from the Veterans Home in which he passed away, etc. There's even an old photo of his headstone. If you put a loop on the photos you can clearly see the NY State 1913 badge - with ribbons behind them that I can't quite decipher yet. There's no question these photos were taken at the reunion.

 

Has anyone ever seen anything like these? I sure haven't, but they make perfect sense. There was a vendor there taking pictures of the attendees as souvenirs. Why wouldn't there be?

 

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SCF-Collector

I have to end this particular series of posts with an "What are the odds?". It always seems to happen this way. I find this great ID'd group - with two souvenir photos I've never seen before for 1913. Not two months later I run across another one - no ID - but clearly the same photographer/souvenir format - same covers - identical.

 

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I'm looking for opinions, I haven't done any photographic research - does this look like a young soldier (many in attendance at the event - participating in various demonstrations), or, is it perhaps a Boy Scout? I can't honestly tell - no identifying insignia that I've found so far (as I would expect on a soldier's uniform) - but none identify him as a Boy Scout either.

 

I'm certainly not complaining - but what are the odds of finding another example of something I've never seen before - so soon after finding the ID'd grouping with two such souvenir photos?

 

 

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SCF-Collector

BTW, forgot to post before. These souvenir photos were intended to be mailed. The back of the paper sleeve has a place to address it - and a place for the stamp. $.01 - how's that for a postal rate?

 

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  • 1 month later...

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In order to follow this thread; and I am pretty sure that the young man in the photo is a Boy Scout, I wanted to post a picture of my official Commission Scout Badge. According to the Commission Report, 350 Scouts were invited to the 1913 Reunion and each Scout was to be presented with a badge after their tour of duty. I imagine that not many of these badges survived and wonder how rare they may be. The badge came together with may be an official blue and gray 1863-1913 pin.

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attachicon.gif1913 Scout Badge.jpg

In order to follow this thread; and I am pretty sure that the young man in the photo is a Boy Scout, I wanted to post a picture of my official Commission Scout Badge. According to the Commission Report, 350 Scouts were invited to the 1913 Reunion and each Scout was to be presented with a badge after their tour of duty. I imagine that not many of these badges survived and wonder how rare they may be. The badge came together with may be an official blue and gray 1863-1913 pin.

 

Jam62 can u contact me at campmoreland@gmail.com about the 1913 Gettysburg Scout Medal. Thx Larry

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  • 1 month later...
SCF-Collector

JAM62,

 

You are correct. There were 350 Boy Scouts to be invited to assist at the 50th reunion - they were to be drawn from an area no more than a 150 mile radius of Gettysburg, as the Commission's Report states. The report also indicates that a total of 385 actually participated. Here's a link to the page in the report that has this information - so we're all on the same page (couldn't resist..).

 

Commission Report - Boy Scouts

 

I'm not sure if the increased count was due to the Scoutmasters that were to attend with each troop of 24 Scouts - or if there were 35 more Scouts. I also do not know if the Scoutmasters received the medal as well.

 

I read the text as saying they'd receive the medal at the Reunion - "to present each Scout with an appropriate badge, which becomes his after his tour of duty and commemorative thereof". I'm pretty sure I've seen pictures of Scouts at the reunion wearing the badge - but I couldn't find one to post here.

 

I like the reference in the report "to be from among the larger boys..". Obviously they wanted Scouts big enough to haul luggage and push wheelchairs. That makes sense considering that I believe I've read that the average age of a Veteran attending the reunion was 72!

 

Whatever the numbers, I can tell you that the Scout medal is pretty darn rare! You can find the Guest medal - not plentiful, but you can find them. The Scout, I've seen maybe 3 or 4 in all my years of collecting. The Press badge is also very hard to find. I suppose the small number of these that originally existed - plus the fact that there are Boy Scout collectors who'd also love to have one of these, is what makes them so scarce.

 

BTW, if you post a picture of the pin that this Scout medal came with - we can probably confirm for you that it was from the 50th.

 

Congrats on having such a rare piece of the history of the 50th reunion.

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  • 2 weeks later...
SCF-Collector

Today I want to post a piece from the 50th Reunion that until now I've been reluctant to post. Ever since I acquired it I've had a theory as to what it represented, but I had never proven it. But now, thanks to the research efforts of two other passionate collectors and historians of these reunions, Mr. Doug Redding and Mr. Bob Velke, I have the confidence to post this piece for viewing and discussion.

 

These two collectors deserve all the credit for ferreting out the information necessary to identify this piece - filling in the missing information to complete the story.

 

Here's the piece as it came to me.

 

post-1293-0-10345300-1457302902.jpg

 

Now here's a close-up of the two sides of the coin.

 

post-1293-0-27579700-1457302922.jpg post-1293-0-69767700-1457302943.jpg

 

The coin is sterling silver, so marked on the rim (pic to be posted separately). I think the case might be original to the piece - seems about the right style and age.

 

My theory all along has been that this coin was issued to Commission Members to commemorate their service in support of the reunion. The only documentation I had to support my theory was that the coin was pictured in the official Reunion Report - on page 236.

post-1293-0-89552200-1457303357.jpg

 

But there is NO mention of it anywhere in the accompanying text - at least that I've found so far. For example, there's no mention in any of the correspondence included regarding thanks and praise for the reunion. It appears just before a map of the Great Tent (fold-out) but it's not listed in the List of Illustrations for the book - yet there it is.

 

Bu Doug & Bob have found the documentation that we collectively think might document exactly what this piece is - and represents. (continued in next post).

 

 

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SCF-Collector

Part II - Mystery Coin/Medal

 

Before revealing the proof, some more details.

 

Here are some pictures of what appears on the rim of the coin.

 

It's numbered - "70". It appears to be a medal/coin number and not associated with the Sterling mark.

 

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It is also marked Whitehead & Hoag, and Sterling

 

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I can't ever remember seeing another Whitehead & Hoag piece in sterling - but maybe someone else has?

 

BTW, if the coin/medal looks familiar - it should. It's the same as the drop on the official Commission-issued Guest/Scout/Press medals. Here are pics of the two Guest medals to refresh your memory.

 

post-1293-0-95110300-1457304013.jpg post-1293-0-81539900-1457304028.jpg

 

This similarity, and the picture on page 236, along with my assumption that the Commission might well have issued something to commemorate service in support of the reunion were the basis for my theory. But I had no other evidence.

 

Then along came an email query from Bob & Doug. They had uncovered letters in the archive that referenced receipt of a "silver medal". They wanted to know if I had any information on such a piece associated with the 50th reunion. Neither of them was aware of the piece in my collection - I had kept it under-wraps while I researched it. I sent them pictures - and it all clicked! Here's the first letter they sent me a copy of. I'm sure you'll recognize the signature!

 

post-1293-0-86401700-1457304556.jpg

 

It all fits! The State of Pennsylvania had sent him a silver medal in recognition of the State of Maine's participation in the 50th reunion!

 

Then I read the next letter they sent me.

 

post-1293-0-00043100-1457304780.jpg

 

This one specifically references the recipient being a member of the Commission!

 

There was finally supporting evidence for my long-held theory - right there in these letters (and others they've sent me).

 

I can't thank Bob and Doug enough for sharing their research with me. It just goes to show you what passionate collectors working together can do in terms of telling the story of this historical event. This forum has always provided a mechanism for this kind of collaboration, and the sharing of information.

 

I'll leave it to Bob and Doug to post other letters in their possession - and to add their perspectives in terms of what this piece is and represents, including any unanswered questions we still need to work on to document this piece of history.

 

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Thanks, Mickey. It is great to see this info immortalized here for others to enjoy.

 

It is worth noting that Doug and I went to the archives to browse through material related to the reunion - but with no intention of researching a silver medal. It wasn't until we starting encountering letters from dignitaries that referenced a "commemorative silver medal" that we starting giving each other funny looks and wondering what the heck they were talking about. When Doug starting asking around, it was a stroke of luck (but no great surprise) to find that you had one in your vast collection. I was glad to see you be able to finally identify it and close the loop on that mystery.

 

It just goes to show you: one makes his own good luck. There's an awful lot of information online but there's no substitute for getting your nose into the dusty recesses of the archives.

 

-Bob

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  • 8 months later...
SCF-Collector

I have been lucky enough to add the other known example of the 1938 Gettysburg Reunion Commissioner Medal - Member of the Commission - to my collection.

 

post-1293-0-12175600-1480732826.jpg post-1293-0-75835200-1480732862.jpg

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The piece is engraved to Harry Luther Haines (1880-1947). He was one of five (5) members of the Federal Commission appointed by President Roosevelt. Here's his biography from the Congressional biography web site:

 

Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Red Lion, York County, Pa., February 1, 1880; attended the public schools, the State normal school at Lock Haven, Pa., and Patrick’s Business College at York, Pa.; engaged in the manufacture and brokerage of cigars 1906-1934; Burgess of Red Lion 1921-1930; delegate to the Democratic State convention in 1918; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-second and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1931-January 3, 1939); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1938 to the Seventy-sixth Congress; served in the office of the State treasurer in 1939 and 1940; elected to the Seventy-seventh Congress (January 3, 1941-January 3, 1943); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1942 to the Seventy-eighth Congress; editor of the plant magazine of the York Safe & Lock Co. from 1943 to 1944, when he retired; died at Red Lion, Pa., March 29, 1947; interment in Red Lion Cemetery.

 

Haines was very active in terms of his contributions to the reunion, including helping to push through the legislation that led to the minting of 50,000 of the 1936 half-dollars commemorating the anniversary.

 

I've found photographs of Representative Haines - but so far none of him wearing the medal. I'm still hoping there's one out there somewhere I'll eventually find. If anyone can point me at one it would be greatly appreciated!

 

It would appear that there were a total of at least 15 of these medals at some point - the 9 member Pennsylvania Commission, the 5 member Federal Commission, and of course the one in Bob's collection given to the Governor of Pennsylvania. I hope one day we can find some of the others that are still out there.

 

 

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