I try to avoid Fox “News” stories, but this one is intriguing and well-presented. West Virginia has made a push to connect Civil War veterans’ descendants with their ancestors medals.
A year after the Civil War ended, West Virginia authorized the minting of more than 26,000 medals to honor the state’s soldiers that served in the Union Army. More than 150 years later, however, thousands of those medals are still unclaimed.
Randy Marcum, a historian at the West Virginia State Archives, told Fox News that 3,392 medals remain in the state’s possession. A large number of Civil War veterans, he explained, were simply unaware of their existence, as were generations of their descendants.
“A lot of these folks, straight after the war, they went out West,” he said, noting that the newly created state of West of Virginia was a turbulent place in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. While more than 26,0000 West Virginians served in the Union ranks, it is estimated that over 10,000 served in the Confederacy’s forces.