The American Civil War Campaign Medal is considered the first such ""Campaign" Medal or Ribbon created by The US Government. It was issued to Soldiers who fought in The War Between The States from 1861 to 1865. It was created "officially" in 1905 by The US War Department. Prior to issuance, no real Medals were issued for Service in The War (other than The "Medal of Honor"). Many Veterans from both Union and Confederate sides often created their own Ribbons and Medals (many given by Patriotic Organizations). By The Spanish-American War of 1896, many still serving Senior Officers in The Army, had been Veterans of The Civil War. They wanted some form of Award for recognition. US President Theodore Roosevelt began to press for a Campaign Ribbon. The Ribbon would awarded to all Veterans (regardless of the side they had fought on).
Although a Ribbon, it still took until 1956 until a proper Medal Device was minted. The complete Award featured Blue and Gray Stripes set side by side. The Front of The Medal featured an engraved profile of US President Abraham Lincoln (serving Chief Executive during The War). The reverse bore the inscription "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE" and the dates "1861-1865". By the time of it's issuance however, no known living Veterans could claim the Award. Some, were given to known descendants if War Veterans. A variant of the Campaign Medal was the Campaign Streamer. These are long Streamers affixed to the Flag Pole of a Units Regimental Colors. Streamers are the color of it's corresponding Ribbon or Medal. All Units who can trace their lineage to either a Union or Confederate Unit, is authorized to fly a Campaign Streamer. If the Unit was Confederate, the "Gray" color is flown top most. If Union, "Blue" is top most. The name and date of the Battle fought is imprinted onto the Streamer.