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runyan99
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Sherman's Medal

Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:12 am

Here's an obscure question I think.

In at least two different pictures I have seen of General Sherman, he has a medal pinned on the breast of his jacket, hanging from a ribbon. I wonder what it was, because I never see any other generals wearing anything like this.

What is it?

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Henry D.
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Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:47 am

Would You have a picture where it is easier to identify, I mean, not just the ribbon, but the medal itself? :siffle: Knowing when the picture was taken might be useful. too. If it is post-ACW, my WAG would be some GAR-leadership-medal or simply the GAR Veterans Cross (which was actually a five-pointed star).

But on the other hand, Sherman would have been entitled to a GAR Serving Officers Cross, which sported the stars and stripes for a ribbon, So maybe I'm completely of the mark here...

Regards, Henry :)
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Doomwalker
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Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:47 pm

Anyone else have any ideas as to what medal that is. I would like to know for myself also.
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LMUBill
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Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:40 am

Henry D. wrote:Would You have a picture where it is easier to identify, I mean, not just the ribbon, but the medal itself? :siffle: Knowing when the picture was taken might be useful. too. If it is post-ACW, my WAG would be some GAR-leadership-medal or simply the GAR Veterans Cross (which was actually a five-pointed star).

But on the other hand, Sherman would have been entitled to a GAR Serving Officers Cross, which sported the stars and stripes for a ribbon, So maybe I'm completely of the mark here...

Regards, Henry :)


A very similar photo (looks like it might be from the same setting as he has the medal on in that one as well) from this site (National Geographic) looks to be dated 1864. However, the photo you had here is dated on Wikipedia (look up "William Tecumseh Sherman") as May 1865. The same photo on Wikipedia is also available in a VERY high resolution copy. The medal looks like a single star on a shield hanging below the ribbon. There might be a tassel or ball hanging off the bottom of the medal as well.

Might be a medal for the capture of Atlanta.... i.e. the "Thanks of Congress"

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Doomwalker
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Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:39 pm

I can't find anything with facts. I have tried every combination I can think of for searching on the web, I even scanned through all my ribbon & medals sites. On the web I kept getting something about the Ohio Volunteer medal, but it does not look like the one Sherman is wearing.
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Jabberwock
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:27 am

The GAR Serving Officers Cross was very similar to the GAR Veterans Cross - point down, no shield. That does, however, look like the ribbon from a GAR Veterans Cross.
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Jabberwock
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:32 am

How about this: Sherman's united armies insignia - designed by W.T. Sherman.

From "Sherman, Fighting Prophet" - by Lloyd Lewis; p653 (description of Sherman's grave monument)

... at the top the swift arrow, badge of Blair's Seventeenth Corps; hanging from it the shield of Schofield's Twenty-third; on the shield the star of Slocum's Twentieth; hanging below, the acorn of David's Fourteenth; but standing out at the very heart of the design, the badge of the Fifteenth Corps--a cartridge box ...

The book says he designed that insignia in 1868, but I can't see the full text online to find the evidence for that date.

If that is a GAR Veterans ribbon, then Lewis' date is probably closer to correct (the GAR organization was started in 1866), and the photos are misdated.

DW - Found it (eventually) by searching google books for the term 'Tecumseh' and either 'insignia' or 'decoration', with 'Sherman' in the title.

I never would have figured it out without the clues provided by LMUBill, Doomwalker, and most of all, Henry. Thanks again, racker.
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Le Ricain
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:32 pm

Jabber,

Well done. I am sure that I speak for many of us who wracked our brains, scoured our reference books and squeezed Google to try and get an answer. The picture, by the way, is from May 1865. You can tell from the black ribbon around Sherman's left arm, worn in mourning for Lincoln's death.
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Jabberwock
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Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:59 pm

I just found a line drawing of Sherman that includes a fairly clear representation of the medal. From Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, vol. 3 p. 109.
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