WIRICHLA-L ArchivesArchiver > WIRICHLA > 2007-05 > 1179958820
From: "Barbara Lance" <>
Subject: Re: [WIRICHLA] Civil War medal
Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 15:20:20 -0700
Thanks to all of you who responded to my query. Based on your e-mails, I
did google GAR, and found medals very similar to the one I had asked about.
The photo I have is of my great-grandfather, Judson Albert Cook, of Richland
County Wisconsin. It was taken when he was well-past his army years, and he
is wearing a suit with a bow tie, in other words, civilian clothes. The
medals I found on-line had the same upside-down star shape, but they varied
in the ribbon and pin portion.
I did find out that he participated in Civil War reenactments, as well.
I'm guessing this was some sort of participation medal. The fun part is, in
my searching I discovered pictures of GAR buttons. I have a set of 4 of
those buttons, and never had any idea what they were. One mystery solved!!
Thanks again for your help. I'm going to check around the (large) family
and see if anyone has the medal.
----Original Message Follows----
Subject: [WIRICHLA] Civil War medal
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 22:21:34 -0500
I'm checking my e-mail from out of town, so I don't have
all my research at hand. However, I recall reading that
some Civil War units distributed medals at the end or
after the war to each member. These were not necessarily
for any type of rank, etc. but for a sort of
"participation memento," for lack of a better description.
I also know that many of the veterans were at various
"encampment" reunions throughout the years. There are
sometimes listings of the members present in memorial
books published for the occasion. I've seen these books
at the State Historical Society in Madison, but again,
since I'm out of town right now... no references. They
have descriptions of the various activities, minutes of
meetings, and probably descriptions or pictures of any
medals issued. I have seen a ribbon type medal which were
distributed at these as well. It often says something
like "1885 Encampment Reunion" or something similar.
Looks just like a military medal to me!
These two types of medals would NOT likely have a
reference in the service record or pension papers, etc
because medals do not always represent a commendation or
advancement in rank or service recognition, but sometimes
these other types of medals. While service records are a
good place to look for some sort of commendation given,
it's not always the definitive answer to your question. I
think I may have found some of this information on general
internet searches--try www.dogpile.com and search on
something like "identifying Civil War medals" (Dogpile
combines several good search engines) Cyndi's List is also
a good starting point (www.cyndislist.com). You might
also try the Wisconsin Veteran's Museum in Madison-- they
have many, many types of medals, uniforms, etc. displayed.
Incidentally, I think there may be an 11th medal on
display at the Richland County History Room at the Brewer
Library in RC in case you want to compare it to your
picture. The sword of my ancestor from the 11th is also
displayed, and they have an 11th roster on the decorative,
illustrated paper as well. I'm sure they must have more
there on the 11th also. Is the man wearing civilian
clothes or a uniform in the picture? That might also give
Lastly,several years ago the State Historical Society at
Madison opened the Series 1200? (not sure of the number)
documents which were all the papers of Wisconsin units,
including the bursar records, individual records, daily
camp reports-- everything official from the unit. It's
very long and tedious to search through these, but if all
else fails it might help.
I also have two relatives in the 11th, and have quite a
few notes from my research in this series (at my home, of
course). If you post the name of your ancestor, I could
certainly look to see if I have anything on him.
GOOD LUCK! I hope you get many more helpful suggestions
on this mystery!
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