Skip to main content

William H. Cornwell Grand Army of the Republic badges and cuff links

Identifier: MSS-009

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1895-1911
  • Creation: undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with Archives & Special Collections staff.

Biographical / Historical

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.


0.42 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contains six Grand Army of the Republic commemorative badges and a pair of cuff links.


There are seven items arranged in one box.

Physical Access

There are no physical restrictions on this collection.

Technical Access

There are no technical restrictions on this collection.

Physical Location

Bridgewater Public Library Historical Room

Custodial History

Unknown, but based on the original storage envelope, items appear to have been in the custody of the Taunton Public Library at one point.

Immediate Source of Acquisition



The following materials have been removed from the collection: Envelope from the Public Library in Taunton, MA that originally housed the badges and was inscribed with “From William Cornwell Soldier”


Accruals are not expected.

Related Archival Materials at the Bridgewater Public Library

The following materials may also be of interest:

Lewis L. Simpson and Maria D. Simpson Civil War papers Andrew T. Pratt Civil War papers John P. Townsend Civil War artifacts

William H. Cornwell Grand Army of the Republic badges and cuff links
Allyson Sekerke
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bridgewater Public Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

15 South Street
Bridgewater MA 02324 USA