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Jackson County, Illinois

Military History Index

The Civil War Campaign Medal is considered the first campaign service medal of the United States military. The decoration was awarded to members of the United States military who had served in the American Civil War 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 while the Navy and Marine Corps versions depicted the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia's battle at Hampton Roads. 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. Civil War Campaign Medal No. 1 was issued to Maj. Gen. Charles F. Humphrey 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., father of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.

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.

Civil War Units--Union

Civil War Units--CSA

Pension Files Civil War

1883 Lists of Pensioners


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