The following article is posted on
this site with permission of its author
Civil War "Dog Tags"
by Mike Brown
Soldiers in the First and Second World Wars,
were unknown in the Civil War. Soldiers were concerned that their
bodies would not be identified in the aftermath of a battle, so they
would often pin a piece of paper bearing their name inside their
uniform. Later in the War, various merchants and sutlers (itinerant
suppliers who followed the armies, selling directly to the soldiers)
began to sell tokens which could be stamped with a soldier's name and
unit, and perhaps home town. With a hole drilled on one edge, they
could be worn on a lanyard around the soldier's neck or attached to his
Tags like these have recently (late 2000 to
early 2002) been sold on eBay for $500-700.
|Many Civil War tags were made from old
coins, stamped with the soldier's name - A.B. Miner's tag at
right is one example of this kind of tag. It appears to be made
from a foreign coin of some kind. (collection of webmaster Mike
below are three tags, stamped "C.H. Smith, Co. K, 76th Reg.
N.Y.S.V., Springfield", and "E. J. Efner, Co. I, 76th Reg. N.Y.S.V.,
Middleburg", and "Geo. Moore, Co. A, 76th Reg. N.Y.S.V., Virgil".
Given that the tags are nearly identical, it's probably safe to assume
they were made by the same sutler.
Photos of Erastus Efner's ID disk (above) by Don Chase,
who notes, "I bought this tag at an outdoor market in Shupps Grove,
PA in 1970 or 1971."
Photo of Charles Smith's tag at left was sent by B. Conrad Bush,
The picture of the dog tag was made by Tom Turner,
Granite City, Illinois. He had it in his collection as of Feb. 1998. He
gave me the picture for my information on who C H Smith was.
|George Moore's dog tag (left) was offered
for sale on eBay in February of 2002 by Robert Fernbacher, who said in
"The 76th New York saw severe action in support of
the Iron Brigade at Brawner's Farm on Aug. 28, 1862. There were 32 men
killed and 75 wounded. Capt. Grover and two of the skirmishers were
wounded. Private Moore found himself in one of the hottest parts of the
Battle of Brawner's Farm when he along with 7 other men were picked by
Capt. Andrew Grover to be skirmishers. Capt. Grover's men reached a
rail fence about 50 yards ahead of the main line where they could hear
the commands of the rebel officers in the distance. The skirmishers
shouted back the rebel orders to the main line which in turn got
relayed to Gen. Doubleday. The skirmishers were caught in the middle of
the rebels and main line with firing coming from both sides. "
|For a picture of Allen Boyce see Images (A-N)
For information on Allen Boyce, see Roster (B)
Image contributed by a reader of this site.
This article, its photos and all the
information contained herein are copyrighted
and may not be reproduced in any form without
written permission of the editor and its authors.
Contents Section One / History
Contents Section Two / Contact
Designed by Dixie Myst