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Amazing Civil War Relic! Confederate Medal on 1860 Silver Seated Dollar!

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 21, 2023 5:52PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Just ran across this piece of Civil War history, a worn medal made from an 1860 silver seated liberty dollar, awarded to Obediah V. Garnett, Assistant Surgeon.

Heritage said:
Exquisite Silver Medal Presented by Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston to Surgeon Obediah V. Garnett. Certainly among the most important pieces of Confederate related insignia we have ever cataloged. All silver. The 1/4" X 1 3/4" top bar, with T-bar pinback, is unengraved but decoratively cut with additional engraved scrollwork and geometric designs. Suspended from a three link chain attached to loops on the bottom of the bar is a beautifully engraved eaglehead saddle with chevrac, skirts and stirrups. Suspended from that, again by three chain links is an 1860 US seated liberty silver dollar. there are two separately affixed silver scrolls at the top of the coin to attach the chains. The piece bears to following inscription on the back of the coin, in a combination of old English, script and block letters; "PRESENTED TO / O. V. Garnett / ASSISTANT SURGEON P.A.C.S. / At Charlotte, N. C. / BY GEN. JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON COMDR / OF THE ARMY OF TENN. / As a token of Esteem for his Fidelity / TO THE CONFEDERATE CAUSE / Having Remained Steadfast / UNTILL (sic) THE COMMAND / WAS SURRENDERED / APRIL 26TH 1865." P. A. C. S. of course referring to the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. The condition of the face of the silver dollar itself is superb demonstrating the piece had very little wear.

The history of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston requires no elaboration. Obediah V. Garnett apparently entered Confederate service Oct. 11, 1862, and served throughout the remainder of the war at various sites and with various organizations, primarily in the deep south. He surrendered at Charlotte, N. C. on May 3, 1865 and subscribed to the oath of allegiance on May 27, 1865. He is elsewhere listed as having been given a North Carolina parole on April 26, 1865 as Asst. Surgeon & Medical Director of Wheeler's Cavalry Corps. Obviously at some point during his term of service Garnett formed a personal relationship with Johnston, prompting the presentation of this medal. The medal overall is in perfect condition with nice patina.

A wonderful piece of Confederate history and certainly worthy of lengthy and detailed research.

From Heritage:



From E-Sylum:

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2023 11:38AM

    Here's some info on General Joseph Eggleston Johnston from Wikipedia. Click through for more.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_E._Johnston

    Wikipedia said:
    Joseph Eggleston Johnston (February 3, 1807 – March 21, 1891) was an American career army officer, serving with distinction in the United States Army during the Mexican–American War (1846–1848) and the Seminole Wars. After Virginia seceded from the Union, he entered the Confederate States Army as one of its most senior general officers.

    Johnston was trained as a civil engineer at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating in the same class as Robert E. Lee. He served in Florida, Texas, and Kansas. By 1860 he achieved the rank of brigadier general as Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army.

    Johnston's effectiveness in the American Civil War was undercut by tensions with Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Victory eluded him in most campaigns he personally commanded. He was the senior Confederate commander at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861, but the victory is usually credited to his subordinate, P.G.T. Beauregard. Johnston defended the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, withdrawing under the pressure of Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's superior force. He suffered a severe wound at the Battle of Seven Pines, and was replaced by Robert E. Lee.

    In 1863, Johnston was placed in command of the Department of the West. In 1864, he commanded the Army of Tennessee against Union Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign. In the final days of the war, Johnston was returned to command of the few remaining forces in the Carolinas Campaign. Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and Sherman both praised his actions in the war, and became friends with Johnston afterward.

    After the war, Johnston served as an executive in the railroad and insurance businesses. He was elected as a Democrat in the United States House of Representatives, serving a single term. He was appointed as commissioner of railroads under Grover Cleveland. Johnston died of pneumonia 10 days after attending Sherman's funeral in the pouring rain.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2023 12:26PM

    Obediah V. Garnett is listed as a Famous New Jersey Mason:

    FAMOUS NEW JERSEY FREEMASONS

    The following New Jersey brothers, selected for their excellence in some chosen field of endeavor, not necessarily Masonic, contributed to the betterment of the Craft, of the State, and of the Nation. The reader will gain an appreciation of the impact Freemasonry has made on the quality of life in New Jersey and in the World, through the interesting and significant service of these brothers. Their outstanding significance honors the State, and the Craft, of New Jersey.

    This list is dedicated to all other worthy and exceptional, but un- reported, brothers whose outstanding service is lost in the mists of time.
    [...]
    OBEDIAH V. GARNETT (1834-1905). Born in Kentucky, he served as Surgeon, Confederate States Army, Civil War, 1861-65. Wounded at Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. Lodge: Paterson-Orange 43 (now Benevolent-Orange 45). Residence: Paterson.

    Ref: http://www.njlore1786.com/images/books/History_of_Freemasonry_in_New_Jersey.pdf

    He's also on mastermason.com. Looks like the same text as the PDF above.

    Famous New Jersey Mason
    Obediah V. Garnett
    (1834-1905)

    Born in Kentucky, he served as Surgeon, Confederate States Army, Civil War, 1861-65. Wounded at Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.

    Lodge: Paterson-Orange 43 (now Benevolent-Orange 45)
    Residence: Paterson

    Ref: http://www.mastermason.com/acacia/famous/bios/G/obediah_V_garnett.htm

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2023 12:50PM

    Here's an obituary entry for Obediah in the March 11, 1905 issue of American Medicine: A Weekly Journal Founded, Owned, and Controlled by the Medical Profession of America. It indicates he graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

    Ref: https://books.google.com/books?id=R4ZMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA385&lpg=PA385#v=onepage&q&f=false

    He's listed as graduaring from Jefferson Medical College in 1855 according to their records published in 1992.

    https://jdc.jefferson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=wagner1

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2023 11:49AM

    Obediah was known as "Obe" according to the Harrodsburg Herald:

    Obediah V. Garnett Jr. (1836 - 1905)
    Born 1836 in Mercer, Kentucky, United Statesmap
    Son of Obediah V. Garnett and Elizabeth Robards (Davis) Garnett
    Brother of Mary Jane Elizabeth (Garnett) Bishop
    [spouse(s) unknown]
    [children unknown]
    Died Feb 1905 at about age 69 in Paterson, Passaic Co, New Jersey

    Biography
    Obituary

    Harrodsburg Herald issue of 23 Feb 1905

    Dr. Obe Garnett died at Paterson, N. J. a few days ago, after submitting to an operation. He married Miss Mary Harris, of this city, who survives him. He was about 70 years of age and was a surgeon in the Confederate army. At the close of hostilities he went to Paterson and has since been engaged in the drug business in that city.

    His body was brought from NJ to Harrodsburg & he was buried in Springhill Cemetery in Harrodsburg, Mercer Co., Kentucky

    Sources

    Obituaries from The Harrodsburg Herald (Weekly Newspaper published in Harrodsburg, Kentucky). Files of the Harrodsburg Historical Society

    Ref: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Garnett-1632

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    Pnies20Pnies20 Posts: 2,059 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some of those paintings in that auction were super cool!

    BHNC #248 … 108 and counting.

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    AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,536 ✭✭✭✭✭

    amazing the information that is at our fingertips. Great acquisition!

    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    good find. :)

    reading that is interesting in its' many aspects, including its' ability to send chills down my spine!

    i hope many out there realize that there was much more at stake than just people but our country. i truly can't fathom how things would have gone over the long haul had there been a different outcome so while i do appreciate how dedicated and loyal the confederates were to their cause, i'm glad it wasn't enough for the sake of all.

    @Zoins do you have any more info on the hispanic libertad gold with the confederate payment notation? if it is in the auction descript, i'll just look there but figured i'd asked since you researched this.

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,973 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Incredible piece of history!

    (Sold for $15,535 ten years ago.)

    I wonder who owns this now

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,670 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wonderful way to express ones gratitude. He must have displayed amazing medical acumen. Thanks for sharing a significant historical item. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2023 5:52PM

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:
    @Zoins do you have any more info on the hispanic libertad gold with the confederate payment notation? if it is in the auction descript, i'll just look there but figured i'd asked since you researched this.

    This Mexican 8 Real coin may be part of the $37,679 in coins the Confederacy in Greensboro, NC to pay Johnston's army. General Johnston is the one that awarded the medal above.

    There seem to be theories on this:

    1. That General Johnston wasn't supposed to distribute this money to his soldiers and he did it in defiance of Davis
    2. The money was intended for the soldiers and Johnston was doing is duty

    This is described in this E-Sylum article:

    https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n15a21.html

    This coin is in Alan V. Weinberg's collection and more information is posted by him, also on E-Sylum:

    https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v14n01a14.html


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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:



    wuderbar, danke. ;)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow... Great medal and thanks for the amazing history lesson. Cheers, RickO

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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,973 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Engraving sure is an art that we've lost to the ages

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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