GAR Badge With Pinback of New York Department Commander John S. Koster - Nice pinback features likeness of Commander John. S. Koster. Red, white, and blue ribbon is attached to the pinback and has "KOSTER" printed in black writing on the white ribbon. Measures approximately 5 5/8 inches in length and 1 3/4 inches wide.
Comrade John S. Koster enlisted in the 21st Massachusets Volunteers and served three years, making a brilliant military record. He was long known as Sergeant Koster of Company K. It was at the Battle of Cold Harbor that Sergeant Koster received his terrible wound in the arm and chest. A strong constitution and able body well cared for, brought him through his trying and painful ordeal safe but not sound, for it was through the roar and din of the battle through which he passed that left him a reminder in the living, speaking presence of the useless empty sleeve.
His regiment was one of the most active of the northern armies and he helped to make its fame. He brought his dying captain from the field one day in the face of the enemy's guns. Many instances of his bravery are recorded by his comrades. He lost his right arm in the charge of Cold Harbor, June 2, 1864. After many months of suffering in the hospital he was able to return home and Governor Andrew of Massachusetts gave him a Major's commission. For five or six years after the war, Major Koster was employed in the Boston Post-office and he rose to a responsible position in the office.
He was one of the oldest and best known Grand Army men and was Commander of his Post in Boston for many years. In 1898 he was Junior Vice-Commander of the Dept. of New York, GAR. At Niagara Falls, in 1903, he was chosen Department Commander. He was also President of the Twenty-first Regiment Mass. Vol. Association.
A man of sterling qualities of head and heart, sound in judgment, upright in character and prominent in the affairs of his country and this State, Major Koster had won the esteem and respect of all who had the please of forming his acquaintance.
Comrade John S. Koster, Past New York Department Commander, Grand Army of the Republic, died August 18, 1921 at the Dr. A.F. Christian Sanatorium in Boston, MA, where he had been a patient for some time. He was in his eighty-first year.
Inventory Number: VET 089