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I N G Recruiting Medal Mystery Solved

I presented this mystery medal a couple of weeks ago. This medal has been a mystery to me since I bought it from the Shorewood Coin Shop in Shorewood Wisconsin about twenty years ago, long before the resources of the internet were available to us. This gold medal of multi-piece construction has a brooch is engraved with the word “RECRUITING” and engraved in the center of the medal in the three lines is “47 // I // N.G.” I assumed that the number 47 is a regimental number. I also assumed that the “N. G.” stands for National Guard. Since the term national guard is used my assumption was that this piece was issued after the civil war. Now I know that there was a recruiting drive going on during the Spanish-American War era. The kicker is the letter “I’ which I again assumed to be an abbreviation for the state of issue. A state with 47 regiments during that time period would have had to be a large population state. Illinois, Indiana and Iowa came to mind as being large enough to field that number of regiments but not Idaho. I was able to eliminate the states of Illinois and Iowa and my friend Erick, a collector and researcher of Indiana military history was able to eliminate Indiana as a state of issue. Therefore the letter “I” must stand for infantry! So which state had a 47th infantry regiment in it’s national guard at the time of the Spanish-American War? Only New York as far as I could find using the internet search engines. As a collector of Wisconsin and Illinois medals this comes as a mixed blessing. After holding this medal for many years in the hope that it would some day fit in my collection I find that hope dashed. But on the bright side I now have a valuable gold medal to sell which will add dollars to my medal acquisition fund. Think positive.

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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