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The Civil War noticed the initially United States military decorations. The Navy Medal of Honor arose from a public resolution signed into regulation by President Lincoln on 21 December 1861. It authorized the planning of 200 medals of honor to advertise the performance of the Navy. It was adopted by a joint resolution of Congress on the same day which authorized the structure and defined need eligibility of the possible recipients. The Army Medal of Honor was set up by a joint resolution of Congress, July 12, 1862 with an effective day of April 15, 1861. The Medal of Honor was initially only to be presented to enlisted adult men for heroic service in the United States Army. Having said that, as the war continued the award of a Medal of Honor was prolonged to consist of Army officers.

Union Officers commenced making unit medals as early as1862 when the officers of Standard Kearny’s division ordered a gold medal just after the General’s loss of life to commemorate serving beneath his command. The following Division commander requested a bronze cross for award to enlisted men of the division. Other private medals have been the Gilmore Medal struck by Typical Gilmore for his troops about Charleston, SC and the Butler Medal for coloured troops in the Battle of Newmarket Heights in 1864. Most of these were compensated for by the commanders and had restricted use.

Following the Civil War, there was an absolute explosion of veterans commemorative medals, reunion medals and badges. The Grand Army of the Republic reunion medals began to so intently resemble the Medal of Honor that Congress was ultimately forced to adjust the Medal of Honor and to patent its new design and style. (See site 58 for case in point.)

In 1905 President Roosevelt authorized campaign medals retroactive to the Civil War. The Civil War Campaign Medal (Army) was issued for any federal army service involving April 15, 1861 an April 9, 1865 (with extended service in the point out of Texas via August 20, 1866). The Navy and Maritime Corps have been also licensed Civil War Marketing campaign Medals, with each and every service possessing a distinctive layout on the reverse of the medal. The original Army campaign medal experienced a pink, white and blue ribbon which was altered in 1913 to match the Navy and Marine Corps Civil War Medal blue and gray ribbon style.

Confederate troopers only gained recognition from the fingers of the United Daughters of the Confederacy who developed and struck a handsome Southern Cross of Honor. The design is a Maltese Cross with the battle flag of the Confederate forces on the encounter, surrounded by a reef of laurel with the inscription, “United Daughters of the Confederacy to the U.C.V.” The reverse of the cross has the Latin motto of the Confederate States’ “Deo Vindice” (God our Vindicator) with the dates 1861-1865. On the four arms of the cross are the words “Southern Cross of Honor”. Commencing in 1900 approximately 80,000 crosses had been awarded, with the previous Cross of Honor offered posthumously in 1959 to Confederate Rear Admiral and Brigadier Standard Raphael Semmes.

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Source by Sam L Smith
army awards

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