Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 74, Number 3, Fall 1996 Page: 302
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By John C. Powell
Prior to the Civil War, there seemed to be an
attitude in the United States that medals were "unnecessary" for
fighting men. In fact, the only medal given to American soldiers
prior to 1861 was the Purple Heart established by General George
Washington in 1783. In 1862, with the nation embroiled in Civil
War, President Abraham Lincoln and the United States Congress
established the Medal of Honor to honor Union soldiers and to
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Oklahoma Historical Society. Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 74, Number 3, Fall 1996, periodical, Autumn 1996; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1727517/m1/64/?q=wpa: accessed March 6, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.