HONORABLE DISCHARGE MEDAL OF JACOB LAYMAN, CO. A, 5th WEST VIRGINIA INFANTRY

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Item Code: 844-11

The state of West Virginia authorized medals for its Union veterans in 1866. Some 26,099 were produced by A. Demarest of New York, die-sinker and engraver, with J. Sigel finishing the dies. These were all bronze, like our example, with only three or four struck in silver, and as produced fell into three classes: honorably discharged, killed in battle, and died in service of wounds or disease. This follows the specifications laid out for the first class:

Obverse. The figure of Liberty, scantily draped, to the right, with both arms extended; the right hand holding a laurel wreath which she is about to place upon the head of a soldier, who, to the left, is stepping forward to be crowned; the left hand holding a scroll which the soldier is receiving. Behind the figure of Liberty, the American eagle is perched upon a small pedestal, and behind the soldier is a box of growing cereals.  In exergue, the legend, motto, and devices of the arms of the State of West Virginia, to the left of which is the date 1861, and to the right the date 1865.
Reverse. Within a wreath of laurel, the inscription in five lines, "Presented | By The | State | of | West Virginia." In exergue, "A. Demarest, N. Y."

This medal is suspended from a bronzed pin (similar to that of the Crimean medal), a scroll, on which occur the words "HONOURABLY DISCHARGED," and which is attached to the medal by the letters "W. V." interlaced; a tri-coloured ribbon, one and one-eighth inches wide by four inches long, is also suspended to the pin.

Our example is in good condition, with nice tone to the bronze and some wear to the ribbon at upper right, and bottom edge. The rim is stamped, “JACOB LAYMAN. CO. A 5TH REG INF VOLS “.

Organized at Ceredo, W. Va., September 2, 1861, and mustered in October 18, 1861. Served Unattached, District of the Kanawha, West Virginia, to March, 1862. District of Cumberland, Md., Mountain Department, to April, 1862. Milroy's Independent Brigade, Mountain Department, to June, 1862. Milroy's Independent Brigade, 1st Army Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. Defenses of Washington, D.C., to October, 1862. District of the Kanawha, West Virginia, Dept. Ohio, to January, 1863. Unattached, District of the Kanawha, West Virginia, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 8th Army Corps, Middle Department, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, Scammon's Division, Dept. of West Virginia, to December, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, West Virginia, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, West Virginia, to November, 1864.

SERVICE.--Duty at Ceredo and in the Kanawha Valley, W. Va., to December 10, 1861. Moved to Parkersburg, W. Va., December 10, thence to New Creek, W. Va., February, 1862. Linn Creek, Logan County, February 8. Duty at New Creek until May. Joined Milroy's Brigade May 2. Battle of McDowell May 8. Near Franklin May 10-12 and May 26. Battle of Cross Keys June 8. At Strasburg June 20-July 5. Advance to Luray July 5-11. Moved to Sperryville July 11, thence to Woodville July 22, and duty there until August 9. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Cedar Run August 10 Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 20-23. Freeman's Ford, Hazel River, August 22. Johnson's Ford August 22. Waterloo Bridge August 24-25. Gainesville August 28. Groveton August 29. Bull Run August 30. Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C., until September 29. Moved to Beverly, W. Va., September 29-October 9. Parkersburg October 10. Duty at Ceredo until March, 1863. Scouting Little Kanawha and east side of Big Sandy Rivers. Ordered to Wayne Court House March. Hurricane Creek March 28. At Charlestown, Barboursville, Hurricane Bridge and other points in the Kanawha Valley until April, 1864. Scammon's demonstration from the Kanawha Valley December 8-25, 1863. Crook's. Raid on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad May 2-19, 1864. Rocky Gap May 6. Battle of Cloyd's Mountain May 9. New River Bridge May 10. Blacksburg May 10. Union May 12. Meadow Bluff May 24. Hunter's Expedition to Lynchburg May 26-July 1. Lexington June 11-12. Buchanan June 14. Otter Creek June 16. Diamond Hill June 17. Lynchburg June 17-18. Buford's Gap June 19. Salem June 21. Moved to the Shenandoah Valley July 13-15. Kablestown July 19. Battle of Kernstown, Winchester, July 23-24 Martinsburg July 25. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 6-November 1. Strasburg August 15. Summit Point August 24. Halltown August 2. Berryville September 3. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Fisher's Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Consolidated with 9th West Virginia Infantry November 9, 1864, to form 1st West Virginia Veteran Infantry.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 57 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officer and 88 Enlisted men by disease.

Layman enlisted as a Private on 10/18/61 (estimated date); on that date he mustered into Co. A, 5th WV Infantry. Date and method of discharge not given.  It appears he also have had service in the 12th West Virginia Infantry, enlisting as a Private on 8/16/62; discharged on 4/1/63.  After the war he resided Marion County, WV, where he died in 1910.  [ld] [ph:L]

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