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eMedals-An Order of the Indian Wars to General & Writer Charles King, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner

Item: W3592

An Order of the Indian Wars to General & Writer Charles King, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner

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An Order of the Indian Wars to General & Writer Charles King, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner

In Gold with red and blue enamels, weighing 18.4 grams inclusive of its ribbon, obverse with a centrepiece illustrating a standing Native American, a sunrise to the left and a teepee to the right, surrounded by the inscription "ORDER OF INDIAN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES", inside an open-ended wreath of laurel leaves, reverse centrepiece engraved "Capt. Charles King / No. 35 / U.S.A." in the center, surrounded by the Latin inscription "PATRIAM TUENS CIVILITATEM DUCENS", the seven arms inscribed with various Native tribe names, clockwise from the bottom: "SIOUX, APACHES, NEZ PERCÉS, MIAMIS, CHEROKEES, SEMINOLES, COMANCHES", crossed sword and arrow between the top two arms, 44.5 mm x 45.8 mm, original multi-colored ribbon with brooch pinback, small chip in the blue enamels on the arm marked "SIOUX", very light contact, extremely fine. Footnote: Charles King was an American soldier and a distinguished writer. He was born on October 12, 1844 in Albany, New York, the son of Civil War general Rufus King, grandson of Columbia University president Charles King, and great grandson of Rufus King, who was one the signers of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia. King graduated from West Point in 1866 and served in the Army during the Indian Wars under George Crook. He was wounded in the arm and head during the Battle of Sunset Pass forcing his retirement from the regular army. On March 22, 1898, the United States Army awarded King the Medal of Honor for his actions at White Oak Swamp. The Battle of White Oak Swamp took place on June 30, 1862 in Henrico County, Virginia as part of the Seven Days Battles (Peninsula Campaign) of the American Civil War. As the Union Army of the Potomac retreated southeast toward the James River, its rearguard under Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin stopped Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's divisions at the White Oak Bridge crossing, resulting in an artillery duel, while the main Battle of Glendale raged two miles (3 km) farther south around Frayser's Farm. White Oak Swamp is generally considered to be part of the larger Glendale engagement. Because of this resistance from Brig. Gen. William B. Franklin's VI Corps, Jackson was prevented from joining the consolidated assault on the Union Army at Glendale that had been ordered by General Robert E. Lee, producing an inconclusive result, but one in which the Union Army avoided destruction and was able to assume a strong defensive position at Malvern Hill. King would later write a book entitled "The Medal of Honor; a story of Peace and War" in 1905. He also served in the Wisconsin National Guard from 1882 until 1897, becoming Adjutant General in 1895. In the spring of 1885, General King (at that time Captain) was riding in the area of Delafield, Wisconsin, after visiting the Cushing homestead on the Bark River (present day Cushing Park) and the parents of the three historic Cushing Brothers. Captain King came upon a man dressed in a bathrobe drilling young men with broomsticks. Watching this futile exercise by toy soldiers, General King began to chuckle. Reverend Sydney T. Smythe asked what was so funny, and the reply was, "I mean no disrespect, sir, but let me show you how it is done." He then proceeded to teach the young men the West Point Manual of Arms. The now Impressed Head Master of the St. Johns Military Academy (now the St. John's Northwestern Military Academy) inquired as to the gentlemen's name. Upon answering, Reverend Smythe shook hands and inquired on the spot of General King's availability. In 1898, he was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers and sailed to the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. The fighting with Spain was over by the time he arrived, but he assisted in the surrender negotiations. During the following Philippine-American War, King was placed in command of the 1st Brigade in Henry W. Lawton's division. He led his brigade during the Battle of Manila and sailed for Santa Cruz with Lawton's division. He was incapacitated by sickness during the Battle of Santa Cruz, but he returned to fight in the following Battle of Pagsanjan. He took part in the final major campaigns before the fighting turned primarily to guerilla warfare. He returned to the United States and was active in the Wisconsin National Guard and in training troops for the First World War. He wrote and edited over sixty books and novels. Among his list of titles are "Campaigning with Crook", "Fort Frayne", "Under Fire" and "Daughter of the Sioux". General King and his wife lived in the Carlton Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. King commuted daily by train to Saint John's Military Academy. He routinely sat on the porch of the Holt house on campus and told the cadets, which included his grandson, tales of the old west. General King died on March 17, 1933 in Milwaukee, at the age of 88 and is buried at the city's Forest Home Cemetery. During the spring of 1896, Colonel B.J.D. Irwin, Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Army Retired, gathered together and organized a group of fellow officers in Chicago and at Fort Sheridan all of whom had participated in the Plains Indian Wars. The purpose of this gathering was to organize "a Society that should stand related to the Indian Wars of the United States". The Society would be called "The Order of Indian Wars of the United States" (OIWUS) and would use as its paradigm other extant military lineage sodalities such as the Society of the Cincinnati (War of Independence), The Aztec Club of 1847 (Mexican War) and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (Union Army, War Between the States). All of these hallowed societies were formed by veteran participants with provisions for descendants. "Ab initio" the Order was to be a society of veteran officer participants in the Indian Wars and their male descendants. As with those stated organizations, the first qualification for any prospective member of the Order was that he be a patriotic gentleman of impeccable character. The second qualification was military service in any of the myriad conflicts, battles or actual field service against hostile Indians within the jurisdiction of the United States. Providentially, the OIWUS also provided for hereditary male membership. Today the entire membership is hereditary since the last officer participants died many decades ago. The purpose of the OIWUS was to perpetuate the history of the services rendered by the American military forces during the various conflicts and wars within the territory of the United States. Furthermore, the Order was committed to collecting and publishing historical data pertaining to "the brave deeds and personal devotion" of those involved in Indian warfare. The Charter Members of the Order were: Colonel B.J.D Irwin; Major George W. Baird; Lieutenant Colonel Ruben F. Bernard; Captain C.H. Conrad; General J.W. Cloud; Major Forest H. Hathaway; and Captain Allyn Capron. The OIWUS flourished after the formal chartering of June 10, 1896, claiming as members a number of renowned military men. General John J. Pershing; Major General Frederick D. Grant; Brigadier General Edward J. McClernand; Brigadier General Samuel W. Fountain; Brigadier General Edward S. Godfrey; Lieutenant Colonel Ulysses S. Grant III; and Major Charles A. Coolidge were all members of the OIWUS. Footnote: During the spring of 1896, Colonel B.J.D. Irwin, Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Army Retired, gathered together and organized a group of fellow officers in Chicago and at Fort Sheridan all of whom had participated in the Plains Indian Wars. The purpose of this gathering was to organize "a Society that should stand related to the Indian Wars of the United States". The Society would be called "The Order of Indian Wars of the United States" (OIWUS) and would use as its paradigm other extant military lineage sodalities such as the Society of the Cincinnati (War of Independence), The Aztec Club of 1847 (Mexican War) and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (Union Army, War Between the States). All of these hallowed societies were formed by veteran participants with provisions for descendants. "Ab initio" the Order was to be a society of veteran officer participants in the Indian Wars and their male descendants. As with those stated organizations, the first qualification for any prospective member of the Order was that he be a patriotic gentleman of impeccable character. The second qualification was military service in any of the myriad conflicts, battles or actual field service against hostile Indians within the jurisdiction of the United States. Providentially, the OIWUS also provided for hereditary male membership. Today the entire membership is hereditary since the last officer participants died many decades ago. The purpose of the OIWUS was to perpetuate the history of the services rendered by the American military forces during the various conflicts and wars within the territory of the United States. Furthermore, the Order was committed to collecting and publishing historical data pertaining to "the brave deeds and personal devotion" of those involved in Indian warfare. The Charter Members of the Order were: Colonel B.J.D Irwin; Major George W. Baird; Lieutenant Colonel Ruben F. Bernard; Captain C.H. Conrad; General J.W. Cloud; Major Forest H. Hathaway; and Captain Allyn Capron. The OIWUS flourished after the formal chartering of June 10, 1896, claiming as members a number of renowned military men. General John J. Pershing; Major General Frederick D. Grant; Brigadier General Edward J. McClernand; Brigadier General Samuel W. Fountain; Brigadier General Edward S. Godfrey; Lieutenant Colonel Ulysses S. Grant III; and Major Charles A. Coolidge were all members of the OIWUS.
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