Tassin commanded the Pontoon Trains for the Army of the Cumberland during the Atlanta Campaign.
This fine quality gold (14k unmarked) Army of the Cumberland badge belonged to Colonel Augustus G. Tassin, commanding the 35th Indiana Vols during the Civil War. The style is similar to most of the badges of this type encountered, but varies somewhat. The star is rounded slightly to the points, cast as one piece without any of the corps insignia applied. Within the raised borders is a tooled surface.
The reverse is engraved “Commanding 35th Indiana, VET. VOLS., Acting Chief Engineers, Commanding, Ponton Trains, Army of the Cumberland.” I have to assume that the engraving was commissioned by Tassin himself, as the word “ponton” is not misspelled if you are using the French spelling; Tassin being French by birth. The medal has been altered from its original configuration and customized, having a bar for suspending the ribbon from the star badge, which in photos can be seen removed. In its place a ring has been applied for suspending from a new bar with Tassin’s engraved name, to which the ribbon supports, and suspends from the pin bar engraved “Army of the Cumberland.” When all of this was done is not known, but probably done after the war.
Col. Tassin’s history with the 35th Indiana is lengthy, but good material can easily be found on the net.
According to his official biography, he was a descendant of the first governor of Louisiana, and a French officer had served in active duty in America during the American Revolution. After serving with the 35th Indiana Volunteers during the Civil War as a lieutenant, rising to the rank of Colonel, he received a commission as Captain in the 12th U.S. Infantry, first stationed in Virginia, then out west at Camp Halleck, Nevada until December of 1870. At that time he requested a discharge so he could take a colonelcy in the French Cavalry during the Franco-Prussian War. Returning to the states in 1872, Tassin enlisted as a private soldier in the Signal Corps, shortly after discharged to accept a new commission as 2nd Lt. in his old 12th Infantry once again.
Reunited with his regiment, Lieutenant Tassin was stationed at Fort Mojave, Arizona, 1875-1878. As a first Lt. at Fort Grant, Arizona the new 1st Lieutenant commanded a company of Indian scouts. Tassin took command of Co. “H” 12th Infantry at Fort Thomas in Sept of 1880. In 1885, he was assigned as an aid to Gen. John M. Schofield during the ceremonies where President Cleveland accepted the gilt of the French Government, The Statue of Liberty. Promoted to captain in 1890; took sick leave in 1892 and was sent to the Colorado River Reservation as the acting agent, and died there on October, 19, 1893. (Cavalry Yellow & Infantry Blue, Altshuler, Ariz His. Soc., 1991).
Army Register 1881: Augustus G. Tassin, June 28, 1878, 12th Infantry, [Born in Paris, France; Appointed from Indiana]- 1st Lieutenant, 35th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Oct 9, 1861; Captain, June 17, 1863; Lt. Colonel, August 9, 1864; Colonel, March 4, 1865; mustered out September 30, 1865. Captain, 12th U.S. Infantry, July 28, 1866, [brevet Major, March 2, 1867 for gallant and meritorious service in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Tenn; brevet Lt. Colonel, March 2, 1867, gallant and meritorious service in the capture of Atlanta, Ga.; Brevet Colonel, March 2, 1867, for gallant and meritorious service in the Battle of Nashville, Tenn. Honorably discharged April 3, 1870; Enlisted as Private in Signal Corps, June 18, 1872; 2nd Lieutenant, 12th Infantry, March 19, 1873, 1st Lieutenant, June 28, 1878.
A very desirable Civil War badge with a great history. Condition is excellent.
I have included a photocopied history from the Arlington National Cemetery on Tassin, and a photocopied 1877 account of the Mohave Indians.
USPS Priority Mail $7.00