The G.A.R. Badge

Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa

Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa

ALEXANDER ST. CLAIR

FEB. 24, 1828.

SEPT. 25, 1900.

2ND. LEUT. CO. I. 43, U.S. C. INF.

16TH. PENN. CAV.

No other event in the 19th Century had a larger affect on America than the Civil War.  It tore the country apart and involved people from every corner before it was over.  Over a million people were wounded and killed–625,000 from the North and over 400,000 from the South.

After the war, The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R), a veteran’s organization, was founded April 6, 1866, in Decatur, Illinois.  The organization admitted veteran’s who served honorably in the Union Army, Navy, or Marines between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865.

G.A.R. symbolism and markers can be found throughout American cemeteries marking the graves of the men and women who served during the war.  These take many forms.  In this case, the grave zinc marker recreates the G.A.R. badge worn by veterans of the North–the eagle mounted on crossed cannons and cannon balls, followed by a ribbon United States flag and the insignia of the G.A.R., which was a star.  Inside the star was a circle that depicted a sailor and a soldier clasping hands in front of a figure of liberty in the center looking on.

IMG_6761

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