Past Post Commander’s Gold Badge- Hiram H. Shumate


This gold G.A.R. badge was presented in 1909 by Winfield Scott Post 445, Chicago, Illinois.

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Hiram H. Shumate enlisted at Springfield on May 9, 1861 as a private into Company “C,” 13th U.S. Infantry, and after serving three years was discharged on May 1, 1864.  He took a month to recuperate, and re-enlisted in the 133rd Illinois Infantry to serve three months.

This presentation past post commander’s badge in gold is a bit out of the normal from what is commonly seen on the market.  At first glance, the style and appearance is very similar to most badges, but upon closer inspection there is a lot more personal hand work by the jeweler.  The G.A.R. star has the same branch insignias at the corners surrounded by a great deal of hand chasing of the metal. The interior G.A.R. scene at the center of the star is completely cut and engraved with a sunburst in the background. The commanders eagle bar has the same hand chased border, and a silver hand made rendition of the rank eagle is nicely done without legs or claws holding the olive branch and arrows.  The eagle brooch looks to have been made from the mold of an original, but again shows the same hand work of bring out additional details.

The blue rimmed flag ribbon for a local post is lightly soiled but fine,

A bolding engraved presentation on the reverse reads, “Presented / TO / H.H. Schumaker / P.P.C. / BY / WINFIELD SCOTT POST / 445 / G.A.R. / JAN 2. / 1909.”  

Overall some excellent workmanship for a gold badge in pristine condition.

I had a few headaches over this one when researching Schumaker. It turned out that the spelling was incorrectly done by the jeweler. The correct version is as seen in the title above, “Shumate.” Pouring through the post commanders list I found Shumate as post commander in the years, 1940- 1943, 1945-1946.  No 1909!  I proceeded to eliminate all other post commanders from Winfield Scott Post through the entire list, and discovered there was no listing for 1909. Now back to the Civil War data lists, I found no other “Shumate” other than this Hiram from Illinois. The only “Schumakers,” 4 of them are all east coast soldiers, and don’t have the initial “H” for first name.

There is Henry H. Shumake (with a “K”) who served in the 42nd Illinois Infantry, and lived in Lodi. That place name no longer exists, but the counties associated with Lodi are near to the Chicago area.  I did not eliminate Henry, but I’m taking a shot in thinking that the omission of the 1909 PPC from the G.A.R. list may have been left out since the same name cropped up 31 years from those enters for Hiram in the 1940’s.  Confussed? sorry. Those are the only two names out there, and my money is riding on Hiram.

The 1900 U.S. Federal census showed Hiram Shumate as beening 51 years of age, making him 60 years old as post commander in 1909.  The 91 year old Hiram served 6 years in the 1940s, ages 91 to 97.

There is more to research, but not by me only if I stumble over it.

A great quality Grand Army of the Republic piece.

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs