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[268] presented for distinguished gallantry, worn by a few. They are not numerous and are seldom to be seen — for this reason, if for no other, they are of precious value to the owner, and are therefore carefully treasured.

In nearly every corps whose badge I have referred to, the plan was adopted of having the first three divisions take the national colors of red, white, and blue respectively. These corps emblems were not only worn by the men,--I refer now to the Army of the Potomac,--but they were also painted with stencil on the transportation of a corps, its wagons and ambulances. And just here I may add that there was no army which became so devotedly attached to its badges as did the Army of the Potomac. There were reasons for this. They were the first to adopt them, being at least a year ahead of all other corps, and more than two years ahead of many. Then, by their use they were brought into sharper comparison in action and on the march, and, as General Weitzel says, “they looked upon their badge with pride, for to it they had given its fame.”

These badges can be seen in any parade of the Grand Army, worn on the cap or hat, possibly now and then one that has seen service. I still have such a one in my possession. But at the close of the war many of the veterans desired some more enduring form of these emblems, so familiar and full of meaning to them, and so to-day they wear pinned to the breast or suspended from a ribbon the dear old corps badge, modelled in silver or gold, perhaps bearing the division colors indicated, in enamel or stone, and some of them inscribed with the list of battles in which the bearer participated. What is such a jewel worth to the wearer? I can safely say that, while its intrinsic value may be a mere trifle, not all the wealth of an Astor and a Vanderbilt combined could purchase the experience which it records, were such a transfer otherwise possible.

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Godfrey Weitzel (1)
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