In Gettysburg, celebrating Medal of Honor winners
By Brandie Kessler and Lillian Reed
Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
GETTYSBURG — Deep within the archives of the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, nestled between historic documents and archaeological battlefield treasures, four Medals of Honor are tucked away.
Recently, museum specialist Paul Shevchuk — one of three people at the museum who handle the artifacts in the collection — brought the medals out to breathe.
His hands swathed in white cotton gloves, Shevchuk carefully pulled a small leather box from its case and placed it on a metal examining table. Inside was one of the first Medals of Honor in its original design.
The bronze was slightly tarnished, and the ribbon was frayed. Almost 150 years ago, in October 1864, President Abraham Lincoln presented it to Color Sgt. Daniel P. Reigle.
The medal was awarded to Reigle for his actions at the Battle of Cedar Creek, but Gettysburg is an appropriate home for it because Reigle was born in Adams County and lived in Littlestown after the war. He is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Littlestown.
The other medals in the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center collection were awarded for action in the Battle of Gettysburg. As many as 79 other medals may make their way to Gettysburg when the annual Medal of Honor Convention is held in the Wyndham Gettysburg from Wednesday through Saturday.
All 79 living recipients of the medal are invited, and about 50 are expected to attend, said Bob Monahan, president and CEO of the convention.
Several events will be open to the public, though they will require tickets, he said.
However, the National Park Service's collection of Medals of Honor will remain locked away in the archives during the convention.
In 1904, the Medal of Honor was redesigned, and those who had received the medal previously were presented with the newer version.
There are no plans to put medals from the collection on display for the Medal of Honor Conference.
“They're on vacation,” Shevchuk said, explaining that artifacts need time to rest, much like people do.
Plus, Katie Lawhon, management assistant for Gettysburg National Military Park, pointed out that those attending the Medal of Honor conference will be bringing their own medals with them.
Brandie Kessler and Lillian Reed are staff writers for the (Hanover) Evening Sun.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Blood cancers get new enemy
- Pa. state senators to introduce marijuana bill
- Corbett seeks approval for Medicaid alternative
- Township takes title to British POW camp land