Medal of Honor Just for Reenlisting


Just as Southern battle flags were captured after failed assaults when blue-clad soldiers simply left the defensive wall to pick up a regimental flag amid dead men – and earn the Medal of Honor for this – simply re-enlisting could win the same.

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"


Medal of Honor Just for Reenlisting:

“Medals and promotions came much more frequently [in the Northern military] than in the Confederate service – too often for many observers. When the 27th Maine’s tour of duty was about to expire just prior to the battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln authorized the award of the Medal of Honor to each soldier who would reenlist.  Three hundred agreed to remain on duty as “emergency troops,” but medals were issued in error to all 864 members of the regiment. The 27th had seen no battle before Gettysburg; its remnant played no role at

Similarly, so many brevet (i.e., honorary) promotions were awarded, Augustus Meyers complained, that they “seemed to lose dignity” and became objects of ridicule. His friends in the ranks began to refer to mules as “brevet horses” and to camp followers as “brevet soldiers.”  Such awards, moreover, seemed seldom to recognize battlefield bravery.”

(Embattled Courage, the Experience of Combat in the Civil War, Gerald F. Linderman, Free Press, 1987, page 163)