Possibly a unique badge, fashioned in brass, and made during the war, much larger than any other encountered to date.
This unusual, wartime made Army of the Cumberland badge is personalized to “George Webb Aylsworth” on reverse of the pin-bar. The badge is of larger dimensions and different material compared to most I have come across for the Army of the Cumberland which may be due to it being wartime made or by a private jeweler who was unfamiliar with the standard design. It has no makers marks and the complete badge measures approximately 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches.
Official records show that Aylsworth initially enlisted on 4-24-1861, in Clinton, Iowa, as a Pvt. in the 1st Iowa Infantry, and discharged on 8/21/61. In the same year, he again enlisted, this time as a sergeant in the 6th Missouri Cavalry, and deserted on June 29, 1862 near Jackson Port, Ark. That regiment becoming aware he had changed his name to the alias “Richard J. Darling” shortly after.
He enlisted in the 33rd Missouri Infantry on Sept. 1, 1862, possibly coming to his new regiment under the alias to collect another bounty. He was now serving as a quartermaster sergeant in that regiment. In the summer of 1863 he took medical leave of absence. And then in July of 1864, he takes a commission as 1st Lt. in the 72nd U.S. Colored Infantry, but very soon after was transferred in July of 1864 to the 18th U.S. Colored Infantry as a captain commanding company “C” (later “K”), and was found absent and under arrest in August of that year, but was returned to duty commanding said company. He was discharged in August of 1865 at Chattanooga, now in charge of the military prison there.
An interesting aspect regarding the Army of the Cumberland badge, is that he placed his birth name “Aylsworth” on the back of the pin bar, and not the alias which he used the the only regiment that had served in the Army of the Cumberland. In his time of service with the 18th Regiment, he participated in the battles of Nashville and the pursuit of General Hood.
The condition is very good to fine overall. The brass is heavily patina’d and shows wear from use. The ribbon shows heavy wear and fading, but all intact.
Included with the badge, are some photo copied documents pertaining to his service.
A very rare example, possibly a unique item, with an interesting history. There must be more to the story, but that is up to you.
USPS Priority 8.50