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Civil War Veteran’s GAR Medal from the MOLLUS Museum, Philadelphia (SOLD) 2

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Product Description

This is another nice piece being offered, it is a Civil War Veteran’s GAR Medal. The badge has a five-pointed star suspended from a flag; a facsimile of the Medal of Honor granted by Congress and is made of bronze (some were made from cannons captured at major engagements in the War). On the medal is ”Grand Army of the Republic / 1861 – VETERAN – 1866”.

What is truly unique with this medal is that it was recently de-accessed from the Military Order of The Loyal Legion of the United States Museum in Philadelphia PA (MOLLUS). On the reverse of the medal is the very distinguishable inventory number from the museum “86-43-77”. I was fortunate to get three medals from the museum collection, one I kept for my own collection, one I sold, and this is the last one. Being in the museum for 100 years, the ribbon became separated from the bronze badge, probably because it was an old building with no climate control.

Also, on the rim of the medal is the number “R44053”. The purpose of this number was simply to verify that the badges were authentic and had been purchased from the Quartermaster General, rather than from an unauthorized source. One of the duties of Department Inspectors was to check badges to verify that they were issued by headquarters. A discovery of a fake badge during an inspection could result in the dishonorable discharge of the GAR Comrade who wore it.

The “MOLLUS” museum is one of the oldest Civil War museums in the country founded in 1886. The museum was the repository for a world-class collection of artifacts housed since 1922 in a Philadelphia townhouse. Almost all of the museums’ collection was donated by members of the Loyal Legion who were also veterans of the war, and this medal has been in that collection for many years. A large number of the artifacts in the museum were donated by Pennsylvania veterans, many who fought at Gettysburg.

The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization for Union Civil War Veterans. It was established in 1866 and saw its' heyday in the very late 1800s. The group held annual national reunions and most states and departments held reunions and events at their level. The individual veterans would join a post and attend regular meetings. The group was involved in politics by lobbying Congress for Veteran benefits and supporting political candidates.

The museum closed in 2008. Many of their holdings made their way to other institutions, but some pieces went up for auction, as did this medal. I was very fortunate to acquire several items from the auction, some I am keeping for my personal collection, and a few others I am putting on the website. Although this one separated, it displays fine being in the case. Artifacts from this museum are limited and very desirable – they are true pieces of history. It comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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