George Armstrong Custer: Rare MOLLUS Medal issued to General Custer....
DescriptionGeorge Armstrong Custer: Rare MOLLUS Medal issued to General Custer. This badge is numbered "1641" on the hanger, and is well documented in Union Blue by Carroon & Shoaf as being the membership number of General George Armstrong Custer. The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), or simply as the Loyal Legion is a United States patriotic order, organized April 15, 1865, by officers of the Army and Navy of who "had aided in maintaining the honor, integrity, and Supremacy Clause of the national movement" during the Civil War. It was formed by loyal Union military officers in response to rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President Lincoln. They stated the purpose was to cherish the memories and associations of the war waged in defense of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic; the strengthening of the ties of fraternal fellowship and sympathy formed by companionship in arms; the relief of the widows and children of dead companions of the order; and the advancement of the general welfare of the soldiers and sailors of the United States. As the original officers died off, the veterans organization became an hereditary society. The modern organization is composed of men who are descendants of these officers (hereditary members), and other men who share the ideals of the Order (associate members), who collectively are considered "Companions". A female auxiliary, Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States (DOLLUS), was formed in 1899 and accepted as an affiliate in 1915. Since its inception the MOLLUS membership includes nearly 12,000 Civil War members. Besides Custer members include Generals Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, William T. Sherman, Winfield Scott Hancock and Philip H. Sheridan. The medal weighs 5.5 grams, gold and enamel, and measures 3 1/4" in length. 1 1/2" across the top of the ribbon, and the cross measuring 1 1/8" x 1 1/8". The obverse has an American eagle with arrows and olive branches in its talons, surrounded by the motto "LEX RGIT" (Law Rules) and "ARMA TUENTUR" (Arms Defend). The reverse has crossed over faces surrounded by "M.O. LOYAL LEGION U.S. MDCCCLXV". The loop is engraved "1641". The silk ribbon and medal are in overall fine condition.
Provenance: George Armstrong Custer, Libbie Custer, Margaret Flood, Spinks Auction, lot 1072, August 2012, Morphy Auctions, lot 1427, March 2015. The Michael Ward Collection of Western Americana
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