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The Gilmore Medal and the 17th CVI

by 17thCVI on November 16, 2014 · 1 comment

After spending a comfortable Sunday afternoon perusing the various auction sites for 17th CVI-related artifacts I came across a couple of letters written by Rufus Tilbe up for auction. Tilbe was a member of Company E, having enlisted at the age 22 from Westport, CT.  He was promoted to the rank of corporal just prior to Chancellorsville, and made it through both Chancellorsville and Gettysburg unscathed.

After the regiment was transferred to the Department of the South following Gettysburg, Tilbe fought in the various skirmishes in and around Charleston, SC. It was there that he received a wound to his right foot that was reported in the August 26, 1863 edition of the New York Times. Something went wrong with that wound, for sure, as he soon enough underwent an amputation of his right leg.

Tilbe would become one of 4 members of the regiment who would be awarded the Gilmore Medal. The Gilmore Medal?

Here’s a description of the medal, created and issued by Major General Quincy Gilmore, from the March 30, 1864 edition of the New York Times:

From the Palmetto Herald.

The Hilton Head and Beaufort papers of March 24, have the following items:


The front of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier of the 6th CVI.

Obverse of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier of the 6th CVI.

It will be remembered that after the reduction of Fort Wagner and the demolition of Fort Sumter, last Fall, Gen. GILLMORE announced that medals of honor would be presented to such enlisted men as had especially distinguished themselves by gallant conduct during the siege. They have been struck, and samples are already here, though the entire number will scarcely be ready for delivery sooner than two or three weeks. There are about five hundred candidates (500) for the honor, each of whom will have his name neatly engraved on the buckle to which the medal is attached. The medal itself is of bronze, about the size of the silver dollar of blessed memory, and bears

Reverse of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier with the 6th CVI.

Reverse of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier with the 6th CVI.

upon its obverse in bold relief, a very accurate representation of Fort Sumter at the termination of the first bombardment, taken from an original drawing by Mr. W.T. CRANE, with the legend “Fort Sumter, Aug. 23, 1863,” the whole encircled by a border of stars. Upon the reverse in this inscription, in raised letters: “For gallant and meritorious conduct. Presented by Q.A. GILLMORE, Major-General.” The name of Gen. GILLMORE is a fac simile of his autograph. The medals are beautiful in design, and are very neatly and carefully made. They come from the establishment of BALL, BLACK & Co., New-York City.

Besides Corporal Tilbe, the following soldiers from the 17th CVI were also awarded the Gilmore Medal:

Private Walter Jarmon – Company F

1st Sergeant Charles Smith, Jr. – Company G

Private Richard McGee, Jr. – Company K

As for Corporal Tilbe – he would transfer to the 128th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps in December 1863, until his discharge in July 1864. He died at age 80 in May 1920.

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Email address has changed

by 17thCVI on November 11, 2014 · 1 comment

Thanks to AT&T, the email address for the site has needed to change. The good news is that the new address is easier to type. The bad news is that because I cannot access the old email at all means that all my contacts are gone with it. So – if you have emailed me and have NOT gotten a reply it is not because I am ignoring you. It is because I just can’t get back into the original email account I’ve used for a long, long time.

The new email address (don’t cut and paste it, you’ll need to remove ALL the spaces) is: 17th cvi @

So, unless you’ve left a comment with your email address I don’t have a way to recover my old list. There was something to be said about pre-computer days and a Rolodex!

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New material added

by 17thCVI on October 4, 2014 · 0 comments

Another letter from Stephen Wilcox written prior to the Battle of Chancellorsville was added to the site today. Thanks once more to Paul Keroack from the Norwalk History Room at the Norwalk (CT) Public Library for finding this letter and transcribing it for addition to the site.


Status update and new content

by 17thCVI on September 21, 2014 · 0 comments

It’s been a long summer with a lot of different things happening – all of which show by the lack of content posted since June. Hopefully the fall season will allow for more frequent updates and additional content. By the end of the day I expect that there will be some new material (as in letters and photographs) that have been provided by Eric Johnson and Paul Keroack – thanks to both for their contributions! So far, there are additional Ruscoe letters online as well as a postwar photograph, some photos from the later veterans reunions (1929, to be specific) and a great Gettysburg-content letter from Corporal Aaron Lee.

Hopefully this will be a fall and winter with regular updates – always made easier when there is new material to add coming in from you, the visitor!


The 17th Connecticut and the National Weather Service

June 8, 2014

What do the 17th Connecticut and the National Weather Service have in common? Henry Eugene Williams. Who? Henry Williams was an 18-year-old teacher living in Bethel, CT when he enlisted as H. Eugene Williams in Company C of the 17th in July 1862 and mustered in as Corporal. Williams served throughout the war with the […]

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New additions

June 3, 2014

Added a nice article from the July 8, 1884 Gettysburg Star and Sentinel regarding the dedication of the 17th CVI monument on Barlow’s Knoll. It is a nice compliment to the official publication put out by the veterans.

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Words cannot describe…

June 2, 2014

…my initial reaction to this headline: “Skull of Civil War soldier found at Gettysburg to be auctioned” The short version of the story is that the skull was found near the “Benner’s Farm” in 1949 and it was expected to sell for $50,000 to $250,00o to a collector. Really? From Katie Lawhorn, the spokesperson for […]

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The 17th Connecticut at the 1907 Andersonville dedication

June 1, 2014

I recently came across the book published by the State of Connecticut to commemorate the dedication of the Connecticut monument at Andersonville, Georgia. The monument committee had originally planned on locating the monument on the grounds of the former prison camp itself, but, after visiting the National Cemetery, decided upon that place for the monument […]

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Memorial Day 2014

May 25, 2014

  “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his […]

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Night on East Cemetery Hill

May 11, 2014

Anyone who travels with me to Gettysburg knows that I like to spend some quality time – after dark – on East Cemetery Hill. It doesn’t matter much what season it is (although honestly, off-season means fewer people and fewer people means more quality time). Tonight was high quality time – no people anywhere, nice […]

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