1863 Gilmore Medal


Jr. Member
Mar 25, 2007
New Jersey
I have a friend who has in his possession an 1863 General Quincy Gilmore medal for valor in the recapturing of Fort Sumpter. As we all know, Fort Sumpter was never "recaptured" until 1865, but a little known fact is that General Gilmore actually sent a small force of about 500 marines in little row boats out to the fort and tried to retake the fort in July summer of 1863. OF course the attack failed, but still it was a glorious effort. Here it what I know; the medal was not an official army medal, it was issued by Gilmore himself only. There were somewhere in the vicinity of 400 made and only about half of them issued. This one is issued to a man from Bucks county PA. The on-line encyclopedias were wrong in the fact that it was given to all the men who served under Gilmore in the Charleston area. It was in fact only given to the men who helped "retake" fort Sumpter. The medal itself is only a bit bigger than a half dollar, and topped by a bar with the man's name and regiment on it. It had no ribbons of any sort and is in excellent condition, made of solid brass. On the medal itself, there is a sketch of the fort and it says that it is for valor in the recapturing of Fort Sumpter. On the back is General Gilmore's name. Pictures of the medal were taken and then shown to a park ranger and tour guide at the fort, they were particularly excited over it and immediately wanted to know where it was located and wanted to put my friend in front of the board of the historical society the next day. With that, he assumed it was pretty valuable and he left as to not get tangled up with the historical society. He asked me to try and do a bit more research on it and try to figure some value. Everything I said is all that I know, besides that, I have the soldier's personal info from the National Archives. Does anyone on here know anything more about this? Maybe some kind of Value? Any help at all would most definitely be appreciated.
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Gold Member
Oct 12, 2006
Herndon Virginia
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Looks like a rare one. You might do better on your research if you spell Gillmore with 2 L's and Sumter without the 'P'.

You might get a couple grand for it from a collector, but since it is NOT an official military decoration, who knows.

It will be most valuable to the museum at the fort - especially if you have documentation with it.


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