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Badge of Honor

This clean-shaven soldier sports a crocheted patriotic badge with tassels pinned to his distinctive uniform. His jacket, trimmed with a taped outline around the chest, and McDowell-style forage cap mark him as an Ohio cavalryman pictured soon after the outbreak of hostilities. Contributing Editor Mike Cunningham suggests, “Since the soldier undoubtedly joined up in the first flush of public enthusiasm for the war, I suspect that the badge was given to the soldier as an expression of the town appreciation for his enlistment. Although it might have been made by the lad’s mother, chances are that all of the first volunteers from the town were given similar badges by the local women’s relief society.”

Sixth-plate ambrotype by an anonymous photographer. Joe Normandy Collection.
Sixth-plate ambrotype by an anonymous photographer. Joe Normandy Collection.

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