W. Va. Has Unfinished Civil War Business

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State Still Has About 4,000 Unclaimed Medals, Struck in 1866; Available to Descendants of Vets.

The medals are all that remain of an order for 26,000 medals for veterans that the state placed just after the war, Division of Culture and History historian Greg Carroll said. While several states struck medals after the war, West Virginia is one of the few that has any left.

Each of the remaining medals bears the name of a veteran and his military unit. Most are for an honorable discharge. Some are for soldier's who died from disease or wounds.

Many of the remaining medals were for black soldiers and remain unclaimed because of a lack of documentation.

Carroll says the medals can be distributed to descendants who submit official documentation proving their relationship, such as census records. Descendants seeking a medal must submit an application, documentation and $30 to the state.

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