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American Civil War Medals

The American Civil War produced valiant acts and tactical brilliance that often resulted in awards or citations. The American Civil War saw both the Union and the Confederacy issuing medals for both campaigns and acts of valor.

The Union issued many medals we still see today, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in the United States to this day. The Confederacy only issued a single medal during the Civil War, known as the Davis Guard Medal. The speed at which the war developed prevented any other medals from being created. The Confederacy placed medals on the back burner, and it wasn’t until well after the war ended that some veterans received medals for valor.


Quick Facts

  • The United States didn’t issue a campaign medal for the Civil War until 1907
  • The Confederacy created an equal of Congressional Medal of Honor called the Confederate Roll of Honor in 1896, but it is not recognized by Department of Defense
  • The Davis Guard Medal was given to Confederate troops who fought in the Battle of Sabine Pass. Residents minted and issued the awards out of gratitude

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