664: 1863, Union League Medal, With Original Ribbon
Union League Medal Silver One of Six Struck At The United States Mint And With Its Original Ribbon1863, Union League Medal, With Original Ribbon, One of 6 Struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1868, Silver, Julian RF-10, Choice Extremely Fine.
This rare, original, Union League Medal was struck at the United States Mint in 1868. The 34 mm medal is suspended from a hanger attached to a now somewhat faded red, white and blue ribbon. The obverse inscription reads: Union League - July 4th - 1776 1863 - Philadelphia." The center design consists of an American heraldic shield with "E Pluribus Unum" on a ribbon draped across it. The reverse reads: "Organized December 27, 1862" probably referring to the founding of the first Union League Club. The 1863 date likely refers to the founding of the Philadelphia chapter of the Union League. According to Julian’s catalog of medals made at the United States Mint, this medal was awarded to high ranking political and military leaders. According to mint records, this medal was first struck in 1868, when 1 gold and 6 silver versions were produced. The next record of production was not till 1879 when 3 gold strikings were produced. The medals were struck from time to time as needed afterwards, and during the remainder of the 19th century, only 4 more gold strikings were produced. Julian indicates that the medals were still being made into the 20th century, usually in gold. The medal offered here is in excellent condition, with lovely original toning. The ribbon is also in good shape, though faded a little with age, with evidence of once having been pinned and worn. A search of Philadelphia Union League records might reveal who received the six silver medals in 1868. An exceedingly rare and historic medal, struck at the United States Mint in Philadelphia.
Union League Clubs were organizations formed throughout the North during the Civil War following the military defeats and Republican election losses of 1862, and to counteract antiwar Copperheads. Also known as Loyal Leagues, their goal was to promote loyalty to the Union side and the policies of Abraham Lincoln. They comprised upper middle class men who supported the United States Sanitary Commission which helped treat wounded soldiers after the battle had ended. The Clubs also supported the Republican party, with funding, organizational support, and political activism. A convention at Cleveland in May, 1863 provided for a national headquarters of the Union League at Washington, D.C. The Union League clubs distributed war literature, raised money for soldiers’ relief, and recruited both White and Black volunteers for the army."