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Society of the Army of The Potomac


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Society of the Army of the Potomac

 

"The object of this Society shall be to cherish the memories and associations of the Army of the Potomac; to strengthen the ties of fraternal fellowship and sympathy formed from companionship in that Army; to perpetuate the name and fame of those who have fallen either in the field of battle or in the line of duty with that Army; to collect and to preserve the record of its great achievements, its numerous and well-contested battles, its campaigns, marches, and skirmishes."

 

The Society of the Army of the Potomac membership was to include every officer and enlisted man who had at any time served with honor in the Army of the Potomac, and who was honorably discharged, or remained currently in service in that Army. It also included honorably discharged, or active officers and men serving on naval vessels which were in active and immediate co-operation with the Army of the Potomac.

 

In a letter by Horatio King, Secretary: "Special attention is called to Amendments of the Constitution making eligible for membership the lineal decedents, male or female, of veterans and collaterals. It is hoped through the active efforts of our members that many of the younger generation may join and continue the existence of this Association. The initiation fee and dues for one year are $3 and annual dues thereafter $2. The badge is the same for the first class members, with the ribbon a different color."

 

Amendment: "Lineal male and female descendants of members of the Society of the Army of the Potomac and of deceased honorably discharged soldiers of the Army of the Potomac, who shall be of full age, shall be eligible for membership in this Society as second-class members and collaterals, and shall be entitled to all the privileges of membership save that of voting. The Executive Committee shall provide a badge and ribbon for second-class members distinct from that worn by first class members."

 

Insignia

 

"The cross is of six arms of branches, red enameled to represent the first of the national colors - red. On each branch and in the centre are the insignia of the several corps of the Army of the Potomac. to wit: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th, 11th , and 12th, and the crossed cannon and sabres from which the badge is suspended represent the artillery and cavalry corps respectively. The whole suspended from a white and blue national tri-color."

 

"The badge of the Society is now manufactured by Mssrs. Bailey, Banks, & Biddle, the leading jewelers of Philadelphia, at Chestnut and 12th Streets, and is furnished at the reduced price of ten dollars. It is of fine gold handsomely enameled, and finished in the best style with cannon, cross sabers and ribbon, complete. Applications for silk bow insignia for the buttonhole (price, twenty five cents) should be made to the Treasurer. Cases to hold the badges, one dollar. Certificate of membership, including engrossing and mailing, one dollar."

 

SAP_membershipbadge_BBB.jpgSAP_membershipbadge.jpg

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have in my collection a badge that resembles the Society of the Army of the Potomac. It differs from the original in that instead of having six red points of the star, it possess alternating points which are red and white. This emblem is superimposed on a eight pointed sunburst pattern. My suspicions are that this version of the Army of the Potomac membership badge was for either the ladies auxiliary, or the lineal and/or collateral descendants of Society members (as mentioned above).

 

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The sunburst measures 1.75" from point to point.

 

A while back I saw a badge similar to this one for sale with a matching set of clip on earrings. This is what suggests to me that it comes from an auxiliary group. But, I have no concrete evidence of this. Does anyone have any knowledge of these membership badges?

 

Kevin

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Hey Kevin . Have owned several and always considered them ladies broaches. I always thought they were jewelry for the wife’s and daughters of vets but not necessarily showing membership in a “ Second class or Collateral “ organization as described in your initial post , it now seems probable they are membership badges. (Similar to Ladies of the GAR) I’am going to Gettysburg in 2 weeks and will try to ask some of the more knowledgeable dealers. Mike

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Mike,

 

I recently attended the Zurko Civil War show in Wheaton, Illinois. A dealer had one of these exact badges and was asking $450 for it. In my opinion, that is a shockingly high price for an item that is not specifically belonging to the Society of the Army of the Potomac.

 

Considering that the stylized "AP", star, and crescent are absent from the center of this type of badge, I think one would be hard pressed to say it definitely belonged to the members of the Society. Add to that the alternating red and white arms of the central star, it clearly is distinct from the all red arms of the Society's badge. As mentioned before, my first thought was that this badge was worn by an Auxiliary. But, it could be that this was what was created following the Amendment stating "The Executive Committee shall provide a badge and ribbon for second-class members distinct from that worn by first class members."

 

Might anyone know which color was selected for the distinct ribbon of second-class members?

 

Kevin

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