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    US/Mexican Border War Rememberance Medal

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    I just happened upon this little medal on Ebay and was wondering if anyone else has seen anything like it? Interesting obverse to this item for it is a special rememberance piece issued after the Campaigns. I love the eagle and the crest which still exhibits the hand painted flag. The reverse details all of the events of this particular soldier and his unit including the death of their officer, Capt. Boyd? (Whom, I'll have to research) Your thoughts are always welcome.

    Kind Regards,


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    Kudos to you my friend! Capt. Boyd seemed to be quite a revered Commander. Brings an interesting perspective to the medal thats for sure.

    Here is a bit of additional information....Obtained from the Arlington National Burial Registry





    DATE OF DEATH: 06/21/1916

    DATE OF INTERMENT: 06/21/1916



    Edited by buellmeister
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    Stratton, of Chattanooga, and Schwaab , of Milwaukee, were two of the major manufacturers of unofficial medals commemorating Mexican Border Service. This is the most common of the Stratton designs. They made several variations of this design, but I was never able to get much info on the company itself, or who their target markets were. However, it appears that these were sold to men on the Border who wanted something to show for their service.

    This is something I write some time ago as a first hack at a chapter in what became Tony Margrave's OMSA monograph on Mexican Border medals:

    "While a few states and cities awarded medals to the National Guardsmen who answered the president's call in 1916. there was scant federal notice. The Mexican Border Service Medal wasn't approved until July 1918, and then over the objection of the War Department. By then, many of the Border Service veterans were in combat in France. Before the states and federal government recognized the National Guardsmen, many of the regiments and private companies filled the gap with their own creations.

    Many of the National Guard units mobilized for Border Service had a history of developing their own medals. To augment the state long service and marksmanship awards of the time, National Guard units often had elaborate systems of service medals and badges. Photos of the time often show National Guardsmen also wearing unofficial badges and pins to commemorate their summer training camps or visits to other National Guard units for training or competition. Within this context, many National Guard units established their own medals for Mexican Border service. These ranged from simple bronze medals, such as that of Troop F, 1s' New York Cavalry, which had a top bar for engraving the recipient's name; to the 7th Regiment, New York National Guard Medal, in bronze and enamel, which was given for the annual regimental games held on the Border (a known example is engraved ''Inter-Company Roller Skating Relay" on the reverse); to the medal of the Medical Detachment, 2nd Missouri Infantry, with is gilt and enameled; to the medal of the 74th New York Infantry Medical Detachment medal which is gold.

    In a category between regimental and private purchase awards lies the Mexican Border Service medal awarded by the John Wanamaker Company, a department store headquartered in Philadelphia. This two-piece bronze badge was given to employees of the store who served on the Mexican Border. Most of these employees would have served in Pennsylvania and New Jersey National Guard units.

    Entrepreneurs of the time struck their own medals and badges and sold them to the soldiers. A wide array of these medals and badges appear in the collector's market. Probably the most commonly found of the unofficial medals is one produced by Arthur Killean, of Grand Haven, Michigan. This two-piece bronze badge, which is very close to the design of Veterans of Foreign Wars membership badge, is common enough that many collectors believe that it was awarded by the town of Grand Haven. Because one version of the badge has the struck inscription "A. Killean/32nd Regt/MNG/Grand Haven/ Mich" on the otherwise blank reverse, it appears that Killean is the recipient, not the manufacturer. A second version lists the major engagements along the border. Killean also produced several other badges for those who served on the Mexican Border. Two poked fun at the life of the average soldier with inscriptions like "I'm In The Army Now" below crossed mallet, pick and shovel, or the same device with the inscription "How We Cleaned Up On The Border". These appear to have been fobs.

    Another very common type of privately purchased badge was a rectangular pendant struck by the Lincoln Manufacturing Works, of Boston. These bronze pendants were used as fobs or mounted on ribbons for wear. The obverse usually had three lines of block-letter text, which was simply the unit designation. The reverse had a variety of design elements, but the most commonly found style depicted a scroll inscribed "For Service on the Mexican Border". Lincoln fobs or medals are known from Troop G,1st Colorado Cavalry; Company F, 5th Maryland Infantry; Machine Gun Company, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry; Companies B, F and H, 1st North Dakota Infantry; and Company A, 8th Pennsylvania Infantry. There were certainly others produced for commercial sale. These fobs, with different reverse inscriptions, are later seen for units departing for service in World War I

    A series of fobs shaped like Mexican sombreros was also sold to soldiers. These were bronze, with variations in the wording and location of the inscription. Some had reverse inscriptions as well, but most Sombrero Fobs had blank reverses. A smaller version was suspended from a top bar inscribed "Souvenir".

    One badge appears to have been targeted at all Mexican service veterans. Struck in bronze or white metal, these badges usually depict an eagle with upstretched wings standing on a national shield or the letters "US". This pendant, hangs from a pin-back top bar which might refer to service at Vera Cruz in 1914 or to specific locations along the Mexican Border. This basic design is seen marked by Schwaab, Marston and Walter & Son.

    Several companies produced generic Mexican Border Service badges. These often appear with minor variations in the inscription on the top bar or pendant and were struck in brass, bronze and white metal. While most appear to have been targeted at the soldiers, some were clearly meant to be sent home to family and friends."

    The death of Captain Boyd was a big deal at the time. The action at Carrizal had other sidelights, including the performance of black troops. A New York Times article of the day covers a bit of the story:


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