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Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Marksman Badge


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Hello All!

 

I hope you are well and healthy.

I've been long collecting these very distinct qualification badges for some time. I really enjoy the design, with date numbered bullets. Many are numbered on the back of the pin area and I've been wondering if there is any resource that connects those numbers to the veteran who earned it. I'm doubtful, but if there's a chance of finding such a resource it would be on this forum.

 

Any input or clue would be greatly appreciated!

 

Best wishes to all, a very Happy July 4th Holiday to all, be safe and enjoy!

 

Joe

 

 

MVM.jpg

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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Hi Kat!

 

Thank you for stopping by! They are really intriguing. I'm hoping that there is a database out there that might connect these badges to those who earned such a distinction.

 

My best to you!
 

Joe

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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JMAR,

Thanks for posting these. You really ought to give us some detailed images of a couple of the badges. Also, just having that (Ho Hum) 1st Class Gunner badge there in the corner.... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? That piece deserves its own thread.

 

The good news for you is that these marksman badges are from Massachusetts. To me, that means that there are records SOMEWHERE. Mass. is very good about having veteran records and being able to trace numbers as I understand it.

 

Thank you again for sharing!

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Hello Allan!

Thank you for your interest. Originally I had only posted seeking info on these, but you make a very good point that I should show some detail photos. I did a random scanning of some of the badges so they would be a bit clearer. Note the differences in the "Marksman" lettering as well as the height of the suspension bar itself. These variations are no doubt the result of different makers. Some are maker marked, most are not. So far I have silver and bronze examples, not sure there was a gold, if there is I hope to obtain one some day.

 

These are very well made badges, quite hefty. The dates that I have on the "bullet" pendants range from the 1880s through the early first decade of the 1900s.

 

I have only one that is attributed and that is the one shown on the bronze scan in the upper left. It is attributed to Sgt. J. H. Foster, 8th Infantry. The cabinet photos of the two fine looking militiamen sporting their marksman badges are attributed to Privates in the 8th Mass. Vol. Militia Co. 'M'. I just acquired these recently.

 

I didn't scan all, but tried to show a good sampling. If there are any particular badges that you'd like to see close up and personal, just let me know, I'll be happy to scan it for you.

 

Heh heh, noticed that 1st class Gunner in the corner, that's just where it lives, but a fine suggestion of a separate thread!

 

Thank you again for stopping by and for your interest, my best wishes to you!

 

Joe

 

MVM_Silver001LO.jpg

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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Reverse of silver

 

 

MVM_Silver002LO.jpg

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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Bronze obverse

MVM_Bronze001LO.jpg

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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Bronze reverse

 

MVM_Bronze002LO.jpg

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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MVM_Men001LO.jpg

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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MVM_Men002LO.jpg

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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45 minutes ago, skypilot6670 said:

I’ve never seen one of these.  They are very nice and a great collection.  My compliments and thank you very much for posting.  Fraternally Yours. Mike

Thank you Mike, I appreciate you stopping in and commenting. I was really captivated by their design and construction. After I acquired my first MVM Marksman badge I was bit by the bug!

 

My best wishes to you!

 

Joe

 

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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11 minutes ago, jmar said:

Thank you Mike, I appreciate you stopping in and commenting. I was really captivated by their design and construction. After I acquired my first MVM Marksman badge I was bit by the bug!

 

My best wishes to you!

 

Joe

 

I know exactly what you mean. The civil war identification devices bug bit me hard. Again let me compliment you on some very nice and I expect rare badges.   Fraternally Yours.     Mike

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Thank you Andrew!! I appreciate the input! Very interesting that the silver grade wasn't until 1892, which happen to be the earliest date on my silver examples.

 

This info is very helpful, my best to you always!

 

Joe

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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Massachusetts had a very active marksmanship program. One of the aspects of it that is little-known is that the MVM changed its badge designs about every five years. In some cases, it was a completely new design, in other cases, it was adding silver or gold classes above the bronze basic award. That's why you don't see 15-bar marksmanship badges for Massachusetts. Usually, upon the fifth requalification, you jumped up a class.  There are a couple of very small-run publications (25-30 copies) that contain the known rolls.  More later as I get a chance to clear some rubble from my desk.

Jeff Floyd

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

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11 hours ago, JBFloyd said:

Massachusetts had a very active marksmanship program. One of the aspects of it that is little-known is that the MVM changed its badge designs about every five years. In some cases, it was a completely new design, in other cases, it was adding silver or gold classes above the bronze basic award. That's why you don't see 15-bar marksmanship badges for Massachusetts. Usually, upon the fifth requalification, you jumped up a class.  There are a couple of very small-run publications (25-30 copies) that contain the known rolls.  More later as I get a chance to clear some rubble from my desk.

Thank you Jeff,

If I recall correctly I obtained my only attributed example from you! I appreciate the input, thanks for stopping in and commenting.

Best wishes to you, have a safe and great July 4th holiday!

Joe

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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JMAR,

 

THANK YOU for posting such great photos of the Marksman bars in your collection. I would also say that even though you have come to the forum looking for answers, it has been your knowledge and experience that has prompted some great discussion, to include some awesome input from two of the stalwarts in our community, Jeff Floyd and Andrew Lipps. Who can ask for more?

 

My sincere hope here is that more members will stop by to see your awesome collection of badges and perhaps, we will get even more information than what has already been shared. I cannot wait to see the 1st Class Gunner thread.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Joe,

 

The books I referenced are:

 

    McDougall, Thomas D.  Marksmanship Awards of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia (MVM), Part 1 "The First Family".  Sterling, VA, 1997.
    McDougall, Thomas D. and Jeffrey B. Floyd. Marksmanship Awards of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia (MVM), Part II, “A Concise Medallic History”.  Sterling, VA.  1999
    McDougall, Thomas D. and Jeffrey B. Floyd. Marksmanship Awards of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, 1880-1915. Round Hill, VA, 2007.
 

There's some duplication in text, but the key is that they contain the rolls of many of the badges.  I don't have any copies left other than what's in my library, but I'd be happy to look up numbers for you (I just need to badge type and number).

 

Jeff Floyd

Jeff Floyd

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

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On 7/4/2020 at 11:26 AM, Allan H. said:

JMAR,

 

THANK YOU for posting such great photos of the Marksman bars in your collection. I would also say that even though you have come to the forum looking for answers, it has been your knowledge and experience that has prompted some great discussion, to include some awesome input from two of the stalwarts in our community, Jeff Floyd and Andrew Lipps. Who can ask for more?

 

My sincere hope here is that more members will stop by to see your awesome collection of badges and perhaps, we will get even more information than what has already been shared. I cannot wait to see the 1st Class Gunner thread.

 

Allan

Hello Allan!

 

Thank you for your very kind words, I'm very glad that you enjoyed this thread. Yes, I've long dealt with both Jeff and Andrew over the years, buying from and selling to them (much more buying than selling on my part..ha!).  Both are very honest and  impeccable dealers, many fine pieces in my collection has come from them. My highest recommendation and regard to both.

 

I'll most certainly post the 1st Class Gunner, just need a little time to get to it.

 

Thank you again, such feedback as yours is what keeps us all posting!

 

Joe

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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On 7/5/2020 at 3:22 PM, JBFloyd said:

Joe,

 

The books I referenced are:

 

    McDougall, Thomas D.  Marksmanship Awards of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia (MVM), Part 1 "The First Family".  Sterling, VA, 1997.
    McDougall, Thomas D. and Jeffrey B. Floyd. Marksmanship Awards of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia (MVM), Part II, “A Concise Medallic History”.  Sterling, VA.  1999
    McDougall, Thomas D. and Jeffrey B. Floyd. Marksmanship Awards of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, 1880-1915. Round Hill, VA, 2007.
 

There's some duplication in text, but the key is that they contain the rolls of many of the badges.  I don't have any copies left other than what's in my library, but I'd be happy to look up numbers for you (I just need to badge type and number).

 

Jeff Floyd

Hello Jeff!

 

Thank you very much for your kind offer, I'll compile a list and post the type, year and number here so that the Forum may also benefit from your generosity!

 

My best wishes to you always,

 

Joe

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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