A superb Civil War surgeon's gold society medal grouping, including two medals to his wife.
Dr. William H. Egle served during the war with the 47th and 96th Pennsylvania Infantry regiments and the 116th Colored Infantry Regiment, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Complete biographical details appear below.
All medals in this grouping are name or numbered, or both. They include the Society of Colonial Wars (# PA 37 which traces to Egle), Sons of the Revolution, General Society of the War of 1812, Military Order of the Loyal Legion (# 4164 , which traces to Ege. The ID of the other number is unknown but was probably a family member.), Army of the Potomac, and the Society of Military Surgeons. Egle’s wife’s medals are the Society of the Colonial Dames of America and National Society, United States Daughters of 1812. (Note that Col. Egle was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, the Pennsylvania German Society, the Order of Foreign Wars and the GAR but the location of these medals is unknown.) All of the medals are in excellent condition with the original ribbons.
These are from the collection of Lee Bishop, co-author of the book “American Society Medals”. Overall, it is a phenomenal grouping of gold society badges. I haven’t seen anything comparable on the market in many years.
An original 8 x 10 inch book plate engraving of Dr. Egle is included with the medals. The biography with photo is a color photograph from a book.
Price $4450 (SOLD)
Entry from Loyal Legion membership register.
WILLIAM HENRY EGLE is a native of Harrisburg, Pa. His ancestors settled in Pennsylvania prior to 1740, coining, on the one side, from Switzerland, and, on the other, from the Palatinate, Germany. A great-grandfather served as an officer in the French and Indian wars. His paternal grandfather and great-grandfather served in the war of the Revolution, while his maternal grandfather served in the war of 181214. His parents were John and Elizabeth (von Treupel) Egle, both natives of Pennsylvania.
The father dying when the son was four years of age, the latter made his home with his paternal grandmother. He was educated in the public and private schools of Harrisburg and at the Harrisburg Military institute, under the famous Capt. Alden Partridge. In 1848 he was tendered the appointment of midshipman in the United States navy, but declined the honor. He spent three years in the office of the Pennsylvania Telegraph, during most of which time he was foreman of the establishment, subsequently having charge of the state printing. In 1853 he undertook the editorship of the Literary Companion, as well as the Daily News, the latter afterward being merged into one of the newspaper ventures of Harrisburg. In 1854 and the following year he was an assistant teacher in the Boys' school and part of the time mailing clerk in the post-office, which latter position he held until the fall of 1857, when he resigned to enter the medical department of the university of Pennsylvania, graduating in March, 1859. The same year he established himself in Harrisburg, and was practicing there when, in 1862, he went to Washington to assist in the care of the wounded. In September he was commissioned assistant surgeon of the Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania volunteers, and arrived at his post on the eve of the battle of Antietam.
In the summer of 1863, during the Gettysburg campaign, Dr. Egle was appointed surgeon of the Forty-seventh regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers. At the close of service with the latter command, he resumed his profession, but in August, 1864, accepted the appointment of surgeon of volunteers by President Lincoln, and was ordered to Camp Nelson, Ky., to examine the colored regiments then being raised in that state. He was subsequently detailed with the battalion under Col. James Brisbin and Col. James F. Wade, in the ill fated attempt to destroy the salt works in southwestern Virginia. Upon his return he was ordered to the department of the James, under Gen. Butler, as surgeon of the Eleventh United States colored infantry, subsequently assigned to the Twenty-fourth army corps as executive medical officer, Gen. William Birney's division. He rendered other efficient service until the close of the war. In 1867 Dr. Egle was appointed medical examiner for pensions, a position he retained four years. For twenty years he was annually elected physician in the Dauphin county prison, which he resigned in March, 1887, when Gov. Beaver appointed him state librarian. Gov. Pattison re-appointed him in 1891, and again in March, 1894, when he was confirmed by the senate and commissioned by Gov. Hastings.
Upon the organization of the national guard, in 1870, Dr. Egle was appointed surgeon-in-chief of the Fifth division, with rank of lieutenant-colonel, and subsequently, in the consolidation of the commands, transferred to surgeon of the Eighth regiment. As a medical officer he was on duty during the so-called "Sawdust war" of 1871 and the railroad riots of 1877, as well as the Homestead fiasco of 1892. In 1885 Dr. Egle was appointed surgeon-in-chief of the Third brigade, which military position he now holds. He is senior medical officer of the national guard of Pennsylvania, having passed his twenty-seventh year of service with the guard.
In December, 1865, Dr. Egle commenced the preparation of his History of Pennsylvania, published in 1876, of which 12,000 copies were sold, when a second edition was issued in 1883. Chief among his other historical publications are: The Historical Register, two volumes (18831884); History of the County of Dauphin (1883); History of the County of Lebanon (1883); Centennial, County of Dauphin and City of Harrisburg (1886); Pennsylvania Genealogies, Scotch, Irish and German (1886, reprint 1896); Harrisburg on the Susquehanna (1892); Notes and Queries, Historical, Biographical and Genealogical, Relating to Interior Pennsylvania, first and second series, two volumes (1878-1882), reprint two volumes (1894-1895); third series, two volumes (1887-1891), reprint (1895), three volumes; fourth series, two volumes (1891-1895); annual volumes, 1896 and 1897. He has also written a large number of biographical sketches for Appleton's Encyclopaedia of Biography, sketches of the members of the constitutional convention of 1776, and of the delegates to the Pennsylvania convention to ratify the constitution of the United States, published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History. Dr. Egle was co-editor of the Pennsylvania Archives, second series, and editor of the third series.
Lafayette college, in 1878, conferred upon Dr. Egle the honorary degree of master of arts. He has also been honored by being elected corresponding member of a number of historical societies of the United States, and several learned societies in France and England. He was one of the founders and first presiding officer of the Pennsylvania German society, and is a member of the military order of the Loyal Legion and the Grand Army of the Republic. By his eligibility through being an original member of the society of the Cincinnati, he is one of that illustrious body; a member of the society of Colonial Wars; of the society of Sons of the Revolution; society of Foreign Wars, and of the War of 1812-14. In addition. Dr. Egle preserves his membership in the American, State and Dauphin County Medical societies; is a member of the academy of Medicine at Harrisburg, and an active member of the association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He was one of the founders of the Dauphin County Historical society, and is its present president, and is also a member of the Genealogical and Colonial societies of Pennsylvania and American Historical association.