In 1893, Civil War Major General Joshua Chamberlain received the Medal of Honor for actions he took on July 2, 1863. The citation was for “Daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on Little Round Top against repeated assaults and carrying the advance position on Great Round Top.”
In 1896, the display ribbon for the medal changed. When Chamberlain received the new ribbon with wider stripes, he simply placed it atop the old ribbon.
The medal was passed down through the family to his granddaughter Rosamond Allen, who died in 2000. She left her estate to a Duxbury, Mass. church that held a yard sale for some of the items. The medal was hidden in the back of a book which was purchased at the sale.
The buyer gave the medal to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick, Me., “in honor of all veterans.” The society owns and operates Chamberlain’s home as a house museum.
The double ribbons were one of the ways experts in military decorations were able to authenticate that the medal was the one given to Chamberlain.
The donor has asked to remain anonymous.
According to the Society’s Web site, the medal will go on public display soon.