A Fine Collection of American Medals

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Date of Auction: 8th September 2015

Sold for £300

Estimate: £300 - £400

West Virginia, Civil War Service Medal 1861-65, bronze (John W. Bonafield, Co. B 4th Reg Cav Vols.) impressed naming, complete with ‘Honorably Discharged’ brooch bar with ribbon, slight repair to pin-fitting, good very fine £300-400


John W. Bonafield was born in Preston County, West Virginia. A Farmer by occupation, he enrolled into the 4th Regiment West Virginia Cavalry Volunteers at Wheeling, West Virginia, aged 18 years. He served from 5 August 1863 until 7 March 1864.

A year after the end of the war and the disbandment of its troops, the State of West Virginia authorised a medal for those of its citizen soldiers who had been killed, died or honourably discharged during the war. Three types were awarded, distinguished by the suspension bar which read either ‘Honorably Discharged’; ‘Killed in Battle’, or ‘For Liberty’ (for those who died of wounds or disease). With copied extracts and other research.