MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMAN MEDAL OF JOHN FIRTH: 3rd BATTALION OF RIFLES, MASS VOLUNTEER MILITIA

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Item Code: 844-17

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Authorized in 1902, the two-piece bronze medal consists of a rectangular pin-back bar reading “MASSACHUSETTS MINUTE MEN OF 1861” and a circular drop with the Seal of the State of Massachusetts at center of the obverse and the reverse reading,  “THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS TO THE MEMBERS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER MILITIA WHO WERE MUSTERED INTO THE UNITED STATES SERVICE IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S FIRST CALL FOR TROOPS APRIL 15, 1861.” Approximately 3,800 of these were struck, stamped on the rim with the soldier’s name, rank, and unit and available for the veterans and family members.

The edge of this one is stamped “JOHN FIRTH. PRVT. B. 3d BTN. RFN.” This is company B of the 3rd Battalion of Riflemen, Mass. Vol. Militia, initially consisting of three companies from Worcester. Firth enlisted for active service with other members of the battalion 4/19/61, having been called up on the night of April 18. They left the state on the night of April 20 and were not even formally mustered into service until May 19. Initially sent to Annapolis, they were posted to Fort McHenry, where they were joined by a fourth company on May 15. They were assigned to garrison duty at Fort McHenry and vicinity, doing guard duty, “dismounting and remounting heavy guns, etc.” They returned to Massachusetts early on 2 August 1861 and were mustered out the next day.    [sr] [ph:L]

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