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Reference Items
5th Michigan Cavalry Reunion Memorabilia

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Following the Civil War, soldier reunions held by those who fought for both North and South became big events in the lives of veterans; a time for reminiscing past glories, reuniting with fellow comrades and remembering fallen friends. Organizations like the Grand Army of the Republic became effective lobbyists for veteran’s benefits. Reunions, both grand and small, began to be held annually shortly after the close of hostilities. Ribbons, badges and other memorabilia were made to help commemorate these reunions. Two announcements for such reunions may be seen here in the Veterans section of this website.

Presented here are veteran’s memorabilia of the 5th Michigan Cavalry. (left) A ribbon commemorating the 15th reunion of the 5th Michigan Cavalry Association which was held in Detroit on September 25, 1906. (center) A magnificent ladder badge once belonging to a member of Co. A, 5th Michigan Cavalry. A photograph of Company A which was taken at one such gathering is also displayed here. Lieutenant Samuel Harris who is instrumental in organizing many of the company's reunions is seated in the center row at far right. (right) A generic reunion ribbon once given to a member of Company K 5th Michigan Vol Cavalry.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-227

Michigan Cavalry Brigade Reunion Flyers

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The Michigan Cavalry Brigade, consisted of the 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiments. According to Fox's Regimental Losses the brigade sustained the highest percentage of casualties of any mounted brigade during the war. Their numerous exploits and associations cause many historians to place them as the premier Cavalry brigade in the Union service during the Civil War. The Brigade held its first reunion on October 19, 1869 in Detroit and the second on the same date, a year later, in Grand Rapids.

It is worth noting that the first reunion flyer names the unit "The Michigan Cavalry Brigade” and the second names them "Custer’s Michigan Cavalry Brigade.” Members of the Brigade obviously wanted to closely identify with their famed Brigadier, whom they idolized. Both flyers are from the Major Robert C. Wallace, 5th Michigan Cavalry collection.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-202

1873 Silk Reunion Ribbon

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Silk reunion ribbon for the Cal Hundred and Cal Battalion, for the the 7th reunion held in the year 1873. The small swallow tailed ribbon is 2 5/8" X 5 7/8" with vibrant colors, 36 stars on blue canton with 13 stripes, alternating red and white. The crossed sabers insignia in screened in black with "Veterans of the Cal 100 and Battalion". Across the top of the ribbon in fine print is "7th Anniversary, April 9, 1873". Rare reunion ribbon from an interesting unit.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-143