MEDAL OF HONOR
The Medal of Honor was first awarded in the American Civil War (April 1861 – May 1865). President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill containing a provision for the medal for the Navy on December 21, 1861. It was "to be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen, and Marines as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry and other seamanlike qualities during the present war." Legislation to include the Army was signed into law on July 12, 1862.
The medal was first authorized in 1905 for the fortieth anniversary of the Civil War's conclusion. The blue and gray ribbon denotes the respective uniform colors of the U.S. and Confederate troops. The Army Civil War Campaign Medal was established by the United States War Department on January 21, 1907, by General Orders Number 12. To qualify, a soldier had to serve between April 15, 1861, and April 9, 1865. The closing date was extended to August 20, 1866, date of President Johnson's Proclamation ending the war. The corresponding Navy Civil War Medal was established on June 27, 1908, by Navy Department.