The Navy Civil War Medal was established on June 27, 1908, by Navy Department Special Orders Number 81 for the Navy, and by Navy Department Special Orders Number 82 for the Marine Corps.
The Navy Civil War Medal was awarded for qualifying service between the inclusive dates of April 15, 1861, and April 9, 1865.
The Navy Civil War Medal was awarded for qualifying active service in the Navy or Marine Corps between the inclusive dates of April 15, 1861, and April 9, 1865.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The Civil War is the earliest military service recognized by a Navy campaign medal; therefore, this medal is worn before all other Navy campaign medals.
No devices were established for the Navy Civil War Medal
The Navy Civil War Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878-1960) of Bailey, Banks & Biddle.
Navy Civil War medal #1 was issued to Admiral George Dewey, and Marine Corps Civil War Medal #1 was issued to Quartermaster Sergeant Artimus F. George.
Description and Symbolism
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, two ironclad naval vessels are shown engaged in combat. To the rear of both ships (and to the viewer's right), two wooden vessels appear, one of which is sinking. In the sky, a bomb is bursting in air. Above this scene, and following the upper contour of the medal, the words THE CIVIL WAR appear in raised letters. The exergue contains the dates 1861-1865.
The battle scene is a representation of the fight between the ironclads Monitor and Merrimac at Hampton Roads, Virginia on March 9, 1862. The Monitor in the right foreground closes with the Merrimac at left center. In the background, to the right, are two wooden ships, one of which is sinking. In a sense, this scene also marks the end of the old (wooden) Navy and emergence of the new, modern Navy. The inscription and dates denote the conflict and the period during which it was fought.
In the center of a bronze medallion, an eagle with its wings displayed is shown alight upon an anchor with draped chain, over the words FOR SERVICE in raised letters. At the base of the medal, and following the contour of its rim, there is an elongated wreath composed of oak on the left and laurel on the right. Following the contour of the upper portion of the medal, the words UNITED STATES NAVY (or UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS) are shown in raised letters.
The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States. The anchor and draped chain allude to naval service. Oak represents strength and laurel represents victory.
The ribbon consists of equal parts blue and gray. These colors represent the two sides in the conflict: the Union (blue) and Confederacy (gray).
This medal was originally manufactured by Bailey, Banks and Biddle of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was serially numbered without prefix on the rim at the 6:00 o'clock position.