The Civil War Campaign Medal
is considered the first campaign service medal
Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces...
of the United States military. The decoration was awarded to members of the United States military who had served in the American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...
between 1861 and 1865.
The medal was first authorized in 1905 for the fortieth anniversary of the Civil War's conclusion. The blue and gray ribbon denotes the respective uniform colors of the U.S. and Confederate troops. The Army Civil War Campaign Medal was established by the United States War Department on January 21, 1907, by General Orders Number 12. To qualify, a soldier had to be in the Union army between April 15, 1861, and April 9, 1865. The closing date was extended to August 20, 1866, for those men who served after the war in Texas. The corresponding Navy Civil War Medal was established on June 27, 1908, by Navy Department.
The Army Civil War Campaign Medal displayed an engraved image of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...
while the Navy and Marine Corps versions depicted the USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...
and CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, built during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and steam engines of the scuttled . Virginia was one of the...
's battle at Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...
. The medal was designed by Francis D. Millet, a noted sculptor who perished on the RMS Titanic
in 1912. The medal was struck at the Philadelphia Mint
The Philadelphia Mint was created from the need to establish a national identity and the needs of commerce in the United States. This led the Founding Fathers of the United States to make an establishment of a continental national mint a main priority after the ratification of the Constitution of...
. Civil War Campaign Medal No. 1 was issued to Maj. Gen.
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...
Charles F. Humphrey
Charles Frederic Humphrey, Sr. was a major general in the United States Army and a Medal of Honor recipient.-Biography:...
on May 26, 1909.
The medal was originally intended as a commemorative decoration, but was almost immediately granted status as a military decoration authorized for wear on active duty uniforms. This was due in large part to the fact that several senior military officers, still on active duty in 1905, were veterans of the Civil War. In 1918, for those who had been cited for gallantry in action, the Silver Citation Star was authorized as a device to the medal. Only six Citation Stars were awarded.
One of the most famous recipients of the Civil War Campaign Medal was Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr.
Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. , was a United States Army General. He became the military Governor-General of the American-occupied Philippines in 1900 but his term ended a year later due to clashes with the civilian governor, future President William Howard Taft...
, father of General of the Army
General of the Army is a military rank used in some countries to denote a senior military leader, usually a General in command of a nation's Army. It may also be the title given to a General who commands an Army in the field....
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...
Current units in the U.S. Army that trace their heritage and lineage to the Civil War are entitled to display a battle streamer for the Civil War on their flagpoles. This streamer is half blue and half gray, the color theme of the second ribbon design.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, the head of Lincoln surrounded by the raised inscription, WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE WITH CHARITY FOR ALL.
According to designer Francis Millet, "The head of Lincoln was selected because it is the only thing which can be used on the medal without offense to the sentiment now happily prevailing over the whole country in regard to the Civil War, and the portrait of Lincoln must be acceptable to everybody, particularly when accompanied by the noble phrase which so tersely and accurately expresses his attitude during the war."
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, the words THE CIVIL WAR over a bar, under which appear the dates 1861-1865; this central theme is surrounded by a wreath composed of a branch of oak on the left and a branch of laurel on the right, joined at the base by a bow. The oak represents the strength of the Union and the laurel represents victory.
The Silver Citation Star, a five-pointed star three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, was authorized as a device to accompany the medal and ribbon. However, only six Silver Citation Stars were retroactively authorized for gallantry in action during the Civil War. They were awarded to the following individuals:
- Conn, Charles G.
Charles Gerard Conn was a U.S. Representative from Indiana.-Biography:Conn was born in Phelps, New York but moved with his parents to Elkhart, Indiana, in 1851...
, 1st Lieutenant, Michigan Volunteer Infantry
- Goldthwait, George F., 1st Sergeant, 31st Maine Infantry
- Harris, William T., Private, 179th New York Volunteer Infantry
- Kress, John A., Lieutenant Colonel, 94th New York Volunteer Infantry
- Wheeler, Alar M., Captain, 21st New York Volunteer Infantry
- Willi, William, Bugler, Missouri Volunteer Infantry