To most folks I’m sure that this simple G.A.R. badge has little significance, and in essence they are correct. The badge is about 2 1/2 inches high, made of what appears to be a mixture of brass/bronze-tin metal. It was made by John Harriott, Boston. The badge reads, “ISAAC DAVIS POST NO. 138, 1890,” and on the pin bar “ACTON, MASS.”
Now where insignificance is overwhelmed by the significant is the intrinsic value of this piece. Isaac Davis was the captain of the Acton, Massachusetts militia company, in the town just west of Concord. In the days leading up to armed conflict in the Massachusetts Bay Colony against the British Army, Davis’s minuteman company was chosen to be the lead company against any action against the British due to his entire company armed with bayonets.
When the Acton minutemen responded to the Alarm of April 19th, 1775, that the “Regulars were out,” Davis and his men marched to Concord. When the first volleys had been fired at Old North Bridge, and the acrid smoke began to dissipate Captain Davis was counted among the first to fall in the war for American Independence; he was the first American officer to die in the Revolutionary War.
In his honor, the old volunteers of the Civil War from Acton named their Grand Old Army post after their famous heroic captain of old. Even more historical significance falls onto this badge, as the cherished old date of April 19th once again had great importance to the American Cause in the opening days of the American Civil War.
On April 19th 1861, These Middlesex County soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts Volunteers marched through the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, on their way to fortify Washington, D.C. in response to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops shortly after the firing of South Carolina artillery batteries on Fort Sumter; the opening guns of the Civil War.
The 6th Mass. was met with a mob of rioting southern sympathizers, that hurled rock, bricks, struck at the soldiers with clubs, tools, etc, and many were armed with weapons that were fired at the unsuspecting troops. Eventually the order was given to return fire, and the first casualties of the war once again were the same descendants of those who had fallen in 1775.
If this doesn’t give you goose bumps, then you need a huge shoot of red-white & blue patriotism!
Now, a friend of mine gave me this to give to someone who might be stirred to appreciate our nations history more. I could not do that, and I know he will like what I am attempting to do. This badge will be offered for auction to the highest bidder. The badge will open with 150.00. IT IS MY GREAT HOPE THAT BIDDERS WILL TELL ALL THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ANYBODY ABOUT THIS, BECAUSE EVERY DOLLAR WILL GO TO A DISABLED VETERAN IN NEED IN THE ACTON, MASS AREA.
It really now is not about the monetary value of the badge now we are concerned with anymore, but the value we place on our veterans, and how they have bravely answered their nations call to serve in our Armed Forces.
To make a donation more substantial I am offering in auction my relic ruler and box, which I have listed previously and now make available.