|William De Haven's|
Second Corps Badge
Courtesy Jay Graybeal
|Joshua A. Gage's |
Second Corps Badge
Courtesy Dennis Gregg
Corps badges made out of colored cloth were issued to soldiers and typically worn on top of kepis. In addition to these many soldiers privately purchased higher quality badges, which were often worn over the left breast pocket. These were often engraved with the soldier's name and regiment and doubled as identification. These additional privately purchased badges were not officially approved.
The first example is a Second Army Corps badge worn by Sergeant William De Haven of Company C of the 116th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. It has been repaired. Originally the lower part was rotated 180 degrees and suspended from two chains that attached together at the center of the upper part. An original image of a similar style badge (but one for the Third Corps) appears as Union image number 15 in Philip Katcher's Civil War Uniforms: A Photo Guide. It appears that the chains broke and the badge was repaired in this fashion. The 116th Pennsylvania was part of the famed "Irish Brigade" and contained mostly Irish-Americans. The badge was manufactured by William H. Warner of Philadelphia.
The second example is an entirely different style worn by Second Lieutenant Joshua A. Gage of the 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company D. He was killed in action during the battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia.
These badges exist in nearly endless variations and were jeweler made in small numbers. They have been faked and are also subject to confusion with badges made for veterans after the war. The book Echos of Glory: Arms and Equipment of the Union has a nice group of them pictured on pages 172 and 173. In addition Stanley Phillip's Civil War Corps Badges and Other Related Awards, Badges, Medals of the Period is a serious reference on the topic.