Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Bear

America's First Medals

Recommended Posts

Hello,

These medals are reproductions that can be purchased on Ebay. I doubt that I would be able to find any originals so these will have to do. These were my grandfathers.

It also comes with a nice book on the medals.

Edited by Bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Medal awarded to Lt Col Louis De Fleury

for the storming of Stony Point 1779

Inscription

A memorial and reward for bravery and boldness--The American Republic presented this award to M. de Fleury, a French officer, who as the first scaled the walls.

Edited by Bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reverse

Inscription

Fortifications, marshes, and the enemy overcome--Stony Point retaken by assault, July 15th, 1779.

Edited by Bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My pics are tooooo big so Ill finish up tomorrow........ :banger:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are any of the three original Purple Hearts awarded by George Washington "For Merit" still around?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Paul,

Here is a thread on a document that I have for faithful service.

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=21658

Jean B. Dupere has been honored with the BADGE of MERIT for five Years faithful Service.

Moses Hazen

Brig General

thanks,

barry

Edited by Bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A picture from the book

Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Amer. Rev.

by George Neumann & Frank Kravic

page 98

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing!! I wonder who has it now? I would love to see it in color.

A little to moth eaten for my taste though! (LOL sarcastic joke).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A picture from the book

Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Amer. Rev.

by George Neumann & Frank Kravic

page 98

Very nice,

Do all known examples have the word merit embroidered on them?

The reason for asking is that in the book The Call of Duty, page 106 there is a colour pic of what they claim to be an original Badge for Military Merit without it.

Regards Eddie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there was much standardization. Or maybe they just had more important things to worry about? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing!! I wonder who has it now? I would love to see it in color.

A little to moth eaten for my taste though! (LOL sarcastic joke).

The pic shows the Badge of Military Merit awarded to Sergeant Elijah Churchill of the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons on May 3rd, 1783.

He and Sergeant William Brown of the 5th Connecticut Regiment of the Connecticut Line received their awards from General Washington himself.

On June 10, 1783 Sergeant Daniel Bissell of the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of the Connecticut Line was also awarded this decoration, these are the only three, American Revolutionary War awardings of the Badge of Military Merit all to NCO's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brown, a veteran of 18, had won praise for his bravery in the storming of Stony Point in 1779 and was cited for gallantry in the trenches before Yorktown. Churchill had distinguished himself during attacks against two forts on Long Island.

On 3 May 1783, these men left the Continental Cantonment at New Windsor and reported to the nearby headquarters of Washington at the Hasbrouck House in Newburgh. There, before a guard mount of the 1st New York, the Commander-in-Chief awarded Sergeant Churchill (pictured on the right) and Sergeant Brown their badges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are any of the three original Purple Hearts awarded by George Washington "For Merit" still around?

Sergeant William Brown's badge was discovered in a Deerfield, New Hampshire barn in the 1920s and is in the possession of The Society of the Cincinnati, New Hampshire Branch. It is now displayed at the American Independence Museum in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Sergeant Churchill's badge, is owned by New Windsor Cantonment, National Temple Hill Association. Churchill's badge was discovered when a Michigan farmer who was the great grandson of Churchill wrote to a New York historical society saying he possessed the badge. It was proven authentic and now is on display at the National Temple Hill Association in Vails Gate, New York.

Sergeant Bissell's badge was lost in an 1813 house fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the detailed information and colored images, Taz! Any rumors as to who made them? These are definitely National Treasures. I bet that the Smithsonian would pay big bucks to get one of these!

I wonder why Bissell is left out of the painting? What did he do to get his award?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Paul,

Here is a thread on a document that I have for faithful service.

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=21658

Jean B. Dupere has been honored with the BADGE of MERIT for five Years faithful Service.

Moses Hazen

Brig General

thanks,

barry

I am confused now... there were more than three?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Paul,

Badge of Military Merit awarded for Valor

I think only three soldiers were awarded the actual badge/heart.

Badge of Merit awarded for Faithful Service

I think thousands of soldiers were awarded merit certificates(not a badge) who served more than three years.

thanks,

barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Medal awarded to General George Washington

For the Liberation of Boston 1776

Inscription

The American Congress to George Washington, Commander in Chief of the armies, the defender of liberty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reverse

Inscription

The enemy put to flight for the first time--Boston retaken, March 17, 1776.

Edited by Bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder why Bissell is left out of the painting? What did he do to get his award?

Paul,

H. Charles McBarron's painting from 1974, shows the awarding of Churchill and Brown on the 3rd May. Sergeant Daniel Bissell was awarded on a seperate date June 10th, 1783.

Bissell's award critaria only became public after the war because of the threat of retaliation.

He had volunteered to spy on the British Army in New York City. In August of 1781, when Washington was seriously considering an attack on the city, Sergeant Bissell, then 28 years old, dressed in civilian clothes and slipped into the city. After nearly a year, and now in the service of Benedict Arnold's Loyalist Regiment, he slipped away and was promptly captured by the American forces surrounding the city. In chains he was taken to Newburgh where General Washington personally vouched for him. From memory he drew maps of all of the fortifications and troop deployment on Manhattan and Staten Island ? information vital to Washington.

Regards Eddie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice,

Do all known examples have the word merit embroidered on them?

The reason for asking is that in the book The Call of Duty, page 106 there is a colour pic of what they claim to be an original Badge for Military Merit without it.

Regards Eddie.

The answer to my question is probably that the three awardings in the war, to Brown, Churchill and Blissell had the wording merit, the later awardings for faithfull service did not.

While these three soldiers were most likely the first to receive the Badge of Military Merit, discharge certificates of other Revolutionary War soldiers indicate that they also received the "Badge of Merit" for their years of faithful service. Microfilmed images of these discharges bearing Washington's signature can be found in the individual records of soldiers at the National Archives.

George Washington's papers show that he also referred to the Badge of Military Merit as the Badge of Merit. This is evident in his orders to award the above-mentioned Sergeants Brown, Churchill and Bissell.The "book of merit" or orderly book mentioned by Washington in his general orders of August 7, 1782 in which the awards were to be recorded has never been found.

Regards Eddie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Medal awarded to Lt Col Louis De Fleury

for the storming of Stony Point 1779

Inscription

A memorial and reward for bravery and boldness--The American Republic presented this award to M. de Fleury, a French officer, who as the first scaled the walls.

LT. COL. FRANCOIS LOUIS TEISEDRE DE FLEURY

Lt. Col. Fleury (1749- ?)

was a French volunteer who arrived shortly after the war started.

He served the American cause well and on September 13th, 1777 he was the subject of a Congressional Resolution praising him for his gallantry during the Battle of Brandywine and giving him a horse to replace the one that was shot out from under him. He was one of the three officers honored with Congressional Medals for their extraordinary conduct at the Battle of Stony Point. He returned to France shortly thereafter.

His medal has as a devise a helmeted soldier standing against a destroyed fort. In his right hand he holds a sword, and in his left hand he holds a flag. The legend reads: "Virtutis Et Audaclae Monum Et Praemium. D. D. Fleury Equiti Gallo Primo Muros Resp. ?A memorial and reward of valor and daring. The American Republic has bestowed on Colonel D. de Fleury a native of France, the first over the walls." On the reverse are two three-gun artillery battery, a fort on a hill and in front six ships of the line before the fort. The legend "Pt. Expung. , XI Jul.. MDCCLXXIX. ? Stony Point stormed, 15th of Jul 1779".

In April 1850 a medal identical to this one was found by a boy at Princeton, New Jersey. Congress had been in session in Princeton and perhaps the "first" medal was lost. Andre Lasseray in his Les Francais sous les treize etoiles 1775-1783 says that four years later Benjamin Franklin had a medal made by Benjamin Duvivier, of Paris, and sent it to Fleury with a letter dated 15 August 1783.

Edited by Taz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Medal awarded to General George Washington

For the Liberation of Boston 1776

Inscription

The American Congress to George Washington, Commander in Chief of the armies, the defender of liberty.

GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON

The medal presented to General Washington was for his victory over the British in Boston. The front of the medal depicts General Washington, in profile, and the legend says: "Georgio Washington, Supremo Duct Exercituum Adsertori Libertatis Comitia Americana ? The American Congress to George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of its armies, the assertors of freedom".

On the reverse: A mounted George Washington and his staff overseeing the British evacuating Boston while the American troops enter the city. The legend says: " Hostibus Primo Fugatis ? The enemy for the first time put to flight". The exergue under the devise reads: "Bostonium Recuperavium XVII MARTH MDCCLXXVI ? Boston recovered, 17th March 1776".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul,

H. Charles McBarron's painting from 1974, shows the awarding of Churchill and Brown on the 3rd May. Sergeant Daniel Bissell was awarded on a seperate date June 10th, 1783.

Bissell's award critaria only became public after the war because of the threat of retaliation.

He had volunteered to spy on the British Army in New York City. In August of 1781, when Washington was seriously considering an attack on the city, Sergeant Bissell, then 28 years old, dressed in civilian clothes and slipped into the city. After nearly a year, and now in the service of Benedict Arnold's Loyalist Regiment, he slipped away and was promptly captured by the American forces surrounding the city. In chains he was taken to Newburgh where General Washington personally vouched for him. From memory he drew maps of all of the fortifications and troop deployment on Manhattan and Staten Island ? information vital to Washington.

Regards Eddie

Bissell's story is amazing!! He was lucky he was not strung up before Gen Washington could vouch for him. Did these men get any sort of pension or prolonged benefit from receiving this award?

Thank you all for answering my questions and for starting this awesome thread. You guys have some real treasures!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bissell's story is amazing!! He was lucky he was not strung up before Gen Washington could vouch for him. Did these men get any sort of pension or prolonged benefit from receiving this award?

Thank you all for answering my questions and for starting this awesome thread. You guys have some real treasures!

Paul,

I think, just the normal pension, although they had privileges while serving:

"The name and regiment of the person with the action so certified are to be enrolled in the book of merit which will be kept at the orderly office.

Men who have merited this last distinction to be suffered to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do. The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus opened to all"

Regards Eddie

Edited by Taz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eddie,

So in other words, they were given the same privileges as officers, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×