FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SERVICE MEDALLION FOR THOMAS THORNE 9th NYSM, 83rd NY VOLUNTEERS, PRIVATE, LIEUTENANT, AND CAPTAIN - WIA ANTIETAM AND GETTYSBURG!

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Item Code: 1054-2466

The obverse has prominent Maltese Cross, the badge of the 5th Corps in the center, which is superimposed on a disk, indicating its prior service in the 1st Army Corps, which was dissolved in March 1864. At top in an arc is “NINTH REGIMENT N.Y.S.M.” and at bottom, “83rd NEW YORK VOLS.” (The regiment was an old NY militia regiment in New York City and was initially mustered into federal service under special authority of the War Department, but then turned over to the state in September 1861 and assigned its numerical designation as part of the volunteer force, the “83rd” NY Vols, in December 1861.) The face of the medal includes its original date of organization, May 27th, 1861 at top, and the fact that it was mustered in “for the war,” at top, and at bottom that it returned on June 11, 1864. Between the lower two lines is the date of the 50th Anniversary, for which this medal was struck.

The reverse reads, VETERAN’S SOUVENIR / WAR FOR THE UNION” at top, “GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY” at bottom, with the regimental motto above: “RATIONE AUT VI” (By Reason or Force.” In the center is a wreath with “COMRADE” over an engraved name “Thomas W. Thorne Co. G” and a small “116” at bottom, which might be the issue number of the medallion.

The regiment was hard-fighting unit, seeing action first with Pope in the Second Bull Run Campaign, and then joining the Army of the Potomac, with whom it fought at South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. Despite being “mustered for the war,” it was honorably discharged and mustered out in June, having lost 8 officers and 103 enlisted men killed in action, another officer and 53 enlisted men who died of their wounds, and 390 officers and enlisted men who were wounded, but recovered, though many bore scars for the rest of their lives.

Thorne enlisted and mustered into Co. C of the regiment at New York City 5/27/61. He was wounded at Antietam (9/17/62) and commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of Co. G 11/11/62 with rank from 10/19/62, and mustered 12/17/62. He was wounded again at Gettysburg (7/3/63.) On 12/10/62 he was commissioned first lieutenant, with rank from 10/1/63 and mustered in as of that date. In the meantime, he was promoted to Captain and commissioned 12/15/63 with rank from 10/2/63, and mustered in as such 12/17/63. (Army book-keeping!) He mustered out with the regiment 6/23/64. We show a vigneted bust view of Thorne from his CWData file, wearing his captain’s insignia on his collar. Thorne was born in New Rochelle, NY, 3/31/1841, and was a stock broker after the war. He died, unmarried, in New Rochelle, 2/3/1913 and is buried in the Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery there. He was a member of MOLLUS and there is likely more interesting service information on him out there.

This has wonderful condition and a deep bronze patina. Table medals and medallions were often seen as a more suitably American token than European medals and orders worn by members of the nobility. This is a interesting souvenir kept by a veteran who was obviously in touch with his wartime comrades, and a tribute to his service.  [SR]

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