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Rare Money Blog

independence day medals from stacks bowers galleries

Celebrate July 4th with Eight Revolutionary Themed Coins, Banknotes and Medals!

By Stack's Bowers Galleries

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Thursday, July 01, 2021 / Categories: Events

Independence Day is upon us once again. In this week’s blog, we are going to take a look at a few major battles of the Revolutionary War and the medals, currency and coins that commemorate them.

 

1.      Lexington and Concord – Famous for the “Shot heard around the World,” this Revolutionary battle was the first American victory. It pitted the American Minutemen against a very experienced British Army. The 1925 Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial features a Minuteman on the obverse and the Old Belfry on the reverse. Old Belfry’s bell was rung on the morning of April 19, 1775, to alert the Minutemen that it was time to assemble for battle. As they say, the rest is history.

2.      Siege of Boston – Following the battles at Lexington and Concord, the Continental Army was formed. They saw their first action in the month-long siege on Boston. The Continental Army sought to contain the British to the city of Boston and force their surrender. After the standoff, the British retreated to Halifax, Canada. The “1776” Washington Before Boston silver medal shows the seven British ships making their departure from the bay surrounding Boston. This retreat was a key victory for Washington and his troops.

3.      On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, it was adopted and signed by the Congress. It listed the reasons for separation from the British homeland. The famous signing of the Declaration scene is beautifully displayed on the reverse of the “1776” Charles Cushing Wright bronze medal.

4.      The Battle of Bunker Hill was one of the first official battles of the American Revolution. Colonial forces captured Bunker Hill and withstood multiple attacks from the British. However, they ran out of ammunition and lost the third and final battle. While the Colonials lost the battle, the British lost a significant number of troops limiting their effectiveness going forward. The Bunker Hill Bank paper money shows the monument erected in commemoration of the battle. This note was produced by the New England Bank Note Co.

5.      Several battles were fought between Bunker Hill and the Battle of Trenton, but this Christmas 1776 battle was key in the American Revolution. This battle was a very important morale boost for the beat up and knocked down American forces. You may know this battle from the famous scene of Washington crossing the Delaware River. The 1876 George Lovett’s Battle Series Number 8 medal commemorates this important victory. This So-Called dollar is shown in silver.

6.      The Battle of Saratoga is considered the turning point of the revolution. In 1777, American soldiers surrounded the British forces in Saratoga, New York, cutting them off from escape. It was during this battle that foreign forces began to recognize the colonies as independent and gave their support to the American cause. The scene on the reverse of the 1777 Saratoga silver medal is powerful. It depicts the British General Burgoyne presenting his sword to General Horatio Gates. On the left of the medal, the British troops kneel and lay down their weapons. On the right side of the medal, the American troops stand at attention.

7.      During the winter of 1777-1778, Washington and his troops camped at Valley Forge. They suffered from starvation and disease as they waited out the winter months. However, Washington was able to keep the support of his troops on the promise that the French were sending reinforcements to support the American cause. After a long, hard winter, the troops retook Philadelphia from the British. This 1878 Valley Forge Centennial medal in silver commemorates the departure from Valley Forge after the difficult winter.

8.      The end of the war was near when the Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina took place. The American troops won South Carolina back from the control of the British army, setting in motion events that led to American victory and the end of the war. The back of this powerful medal shows Daniel Morgan leading his infantry on horseback while pushing the British army away. On the front, we see an Indian female (an allegorical figure representing America) crowning Morgan, symbolic of the victory won by America.​

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