Reference Code: MSS009
Title: William H. Cornwell Grand Army of the Republic badges and cuff links
Date: 1895-1911, undated
Creator(s): William H. Cornwell
Extent: approximately 0.42 linear feet
Languages and Scripts: Materials are in English.
Scope and Content
This collection includes six Grand Army of the Republic commemorative badges and a pair of cufflinks. Most badges are inscribed with the name William H. Cornwell, and all items are assumed to have been collected and owned by Cornwell.
William Henry Cornwell was born on November 12, 1844 to Flushing Cornwell (spelled Cornwall or Conwell in Vital Records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Volume 1), a laborer, and Harriet (Brooker) Cornwell. Flushing was reported to be the son of Mansfield and Hannah (an Indigenous woman), and Harriet was reported to be the granddaughter of Caesar Russell, a soldier in the American Revolutionary War.
On December 14, 1863 at the age of 19, William enlisted in the Union Army and mustered January 9, 1864. At the time of enlistment his residence was Bridgewater, MA (also believed to be his birthplace) and his occupation was farmer. He served as a Private in Company A of the 5th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry (referred to as a “colored” unit at the time of the American Civil War) until May 29, 1865 when he was discharged for disability at Petersburg, VA. He later joined the Taunton, MA chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Item identification. Box #. William H. Cornwell Grand Army of the Republic badges and cuff links (MSS009). Bridgewater Public Library Archives & Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.