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Pards,

Throughout recorded history, one of a combat soldier's worst fears was the inability to have his body properly identified should he be killed. During the American Civil War, soldiers facing impending doom often sewed pieces of cloth bearing their names, units, hometowns, etc. to the inside of their jackets. Some wore their vital information carved onto objects fashioned from wood or lead around their necks suspended by string or small chain. When soldiers become painfully aware that the rebellion was to last far longer than initially presumed, they sought a better solution.

To meet such a demand, sutlers often sold an identification disk --- the grandfather of the military dog tag. The small disk was made of stamped brass with a martial design on the obverse and a blank reverse. It was slightly bigger than a modern quarter, and the blank side could be stamped with the soldier's information. Such disks became quite popular, especially in the Eastern Theatre.

Here is an example of such. It was worn by Martin W. Preston, a nineteen year old corporal serving in Co. B, 6th New Hampshire Infantry. Preston fell with many of his comrades on August 29, 1862 at the Second Battle of Bull Run.

On that day, the "Bully Sixth" was advancing in line against Gen. T.J. Jackson's troops lying covered by woods. The regiment to their left (2nd Maryland) fell back in disarray, leaving the 6th exposed to both flanking and frontal fire. The 6th NH was cut down by withering fire and sustained 210 casualties. Young Martin was one of them.

 

Mark Warren

http://iamilitarycollectors.freeforums.net

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Very nice piece! All too often, people tend to forget that the dog tag really had it's origin in the Civil War. They were always private purchase, typically obtained from the camp sutler, and I have also seen these in period advertisements.

 

What I find most intriguing is that there are a number of these that have come from New Hampshire. In the past year, I have seen 3 come from the 15th New Hampshire alone - all being "right as rain". It's one of those anomalies in collecting I suppose.

 

Though I collected Civil War for around 20 years, I have never really pulled the trigger on one of these. I think it might be time to renew my search.

In memory of Lance Corporal Jeremy S. Lasher, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. Killed in Action July 23, 2009, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Semper Fi

Lance Corporal's 2/8 challenge coin was STOLEN from his grave. Please see the following forum link for details: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/210650-challenge-coin-stolen-from-marine-kia-grave/&do=findComment&comment=1654270

 



My eBay Auctions: http://shop.ebay.com...s/m.html?_dmd=1

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Very, very nice piece w/ great background-Thanks for posting

Looking for: Fourth/ Seventh Rhode Island Infantry items


Purple Heart : Robert L. Freitag KIA ETO 2/11/45


Any US/German items with the last name "Freitag"


also, war-related posters



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Very nice piece! All too often, people tend to forget that the dog tag really had it's origin in the Civil War. They were always private purchase, typically obtained from the camp sutler, and I have also seen these in period advertisements.

 

What I find most intriguing is that there are a number of these that have come from New Hampshire. In the past year, I have seen 3 come from the 15th New Hampshire alone - all being "right as rain". It's one of those anomalies in collecting I suppose.

 

Though I collected Civil War for around 20 years, I have never really pulled the trigger on one of these. I think it might be time to renew my search.

 

I've also noticed a preponderance of discs relating to Vermont Brigade Regiments. I relic hunted for many years and my most treasured piece is the id disc of a young 6th Corps soldier from the 93rd Pennsylvania Inf. Regt. that Ifound 20 years ago just outside of Berryville, Va. in a camp of the 6th Corps.

I'll take some pics and post later.

I love these! Thanks for sharing yours.

Paul

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally here are the pictures of one of my most treasured pieces, the id disc of Franklin M. Lebo, Co. G (and H) 93rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 6th Corps. I dug this disc 20 years ago this past fall in the 6th Corps camps outside of Berryville, Va. Through a great chain of events, a signed cdv of Lebo was located in a collection in Pennsylvania which I was able to trade for. Notice his veterans stripes which gives us a good clue as to when the photo was taken and the disc hanging from his coat. Also look closely and you can see the scar on his left cheek where he was hit at the Battle of Williamsburg. I have his pension records and they clearly state where all of his wounds were and his facial wound is described.

Enjoy!

Paul

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Very nice group!

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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That is incredible! What are the odds of digging up an ID disc, and then finding the soldier in the flesh wearing it? That's wild!

In memory of Lance Corporal Jeremy S. Lasher, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. Killed in Action July 23, 2009, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Semper Fi

Lance Corporal's 2/8 challenge coin was STOLEN from his grave. Please see the following forum link for details: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/210650-challenge-coin-stolen-from-marine-kia-grave/&do=findComment&comment=1654270

 



My eBay Auctions: http://shop.ebay.com...s/m.html?_dmd=1

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Very nice piece! All too often, people tend to forget that the dog tag really had it's origin in the Civil War. They were always private purchase, typically obtained from the camp sutler, and I have also seen these in period advertisements.

 

What I find most intriguing is that there are a number of these that have come from New Hampshire. In the past year, I have seen 3 come from the 15th New Hampshire alone - all being "right as rain". It's one of those anomalies in collecting I suppose.

 

Though I collected Civil War for around 20 years, I have never really pulled the trigger on one of these. I think it might be time to renew my search.

 

For the number of 15th NH disks, could their manufacture and wear have been a unit policy? Just an example of forward thinking in the Union Army at the time?

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Member, ASMIC.

Editor, ASMIC's The Trading Post

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  • 6 years later...

I am a distant relative of Martin Preston. In my search, I found this excerpt from the book "History of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment in the War for the Union" by Lyman Jackman. On page 91,

 

" Firing to the End. Corporal M.W. Preston of Company B, was wounded in the thigh, the ball cutting an artery. He knew that he must die, but he kept on loading and firing. Corporal Talbot tied a handkerchief about the limb so as to stop the flow of blood somewhat, but as the enemy had flanked our left, Talbot was obliged to leave the wounded man as he was requested by him to do, and the last the boys saw of the plucky Preston, he was firing his last charge at the advancing foe."

He had 3 brothers who also served during the US Civil War:

 

John Earl Preston, Private, Co. H, 15th New Hampshire Volunteers

Nelson Sylvanus Preston, also a Corporal in Co B, 6th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry

Marcellus Ezra Preston. Co I. 112th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

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