The Army Civil War Campaign Medal was established by paragraph (a) of War Department General Orders Number 12 dated January 21, 1907.


This medal was awarded for qualifying service between the inclusive dates of April 15, 1861, and April 9, 1865 (extended to August 20, 1866 for service in Texas).


Awarded for military service between April 15, 1861 and April 9, 1865; or in Texas, to August 20, 1866.


The Civil War is the earliest military service recognized by a campaign medal; therefore, this medal is worn before all other Army campaign medals.


The only device authorized for the Civil War Campaign Medal was the Silver Citation star, a five-pointed star three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter. When authorized for gallantry in action during the Civil War, the Silver Citation Star could be worn on the ribbon of the Civil War Campaign Medal. 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., 1Lt, Michigan Volunteer Infantry

  • Goldthwait, George F., 1st Sgt., 31st Maine Infantry

  • Harris, William T., Private, 179th New York Volunteer Infantry

  • Kress, John A., Lt Col, 94th New York Volunteer Infantry

  • Wheeler, Alar M., Capt., 21st New York Volunteer Infantry

  • Willi, William, Bugler, Missouri Volunteer Infantry


The Civil War Campaign Medal was designed by Francis D. Millet (1846-1912).


Civil War Campaign Medal No. 1 was issued to Major General Charles F. Humphrey on May 26, 1909.



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 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 1862-1865; 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.

Ribbon (First Type)

This medal has had two ribbons. The first was used from January 11, 1905, to August 12, 1913. It consisted of two sets of red, white and blue stripes of equal width, separated in the center by a white stripe. These colors were selected because they represent the national colors.

Ribbon (Second Type)

The second ribbon consisted of equal widths of blue and gray, representing the two sides of the conflict: the Union (blue) and the Confederacy (gray).


The medal was initially manufactured by the Philadelphia Mint and was serially numbered with an No.prefix. The Mint also mades strikes that could be purchased by out-of-service veterans that were numbered with the M.No. prefix. Ssubsequent strikes were made by various contract manufacturers and were numbered without prefix.


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