Custom medals come in all shapes, sizes, forms, and ages.
Dennis Schurr had always been interested in art and history. What was most fascinating, however, was the history of his Great Great Grandfather’s American Civil War regiment. He has spent the better part of the last two decades researching all he could on this family history and on the American Civil War and what he has now is a home filled with flags, firearms, presentation swords, uniforms and a very understanding wife!
The majority of the items he has collected revolve around the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry called Hawkins Zouaves, which was one of the first regiments that departed the state to help quell the rebellion in the south. This regiment was later involved in the first Union Victory at the Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark in August of 1861.
For the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War in North Carolina (2011-2015) coming up next year, Dennis wanted to complete the task that was not completed by the officers of the regiment. An agreement had been made to have a commemorative service medal made for those in the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry, but after submitting the designs to an artist in France there were delays and by the time they received the proofs, many of the members had transferred on, or mustered out, leaving only a proof.
So to do this, Dennis and the rest of the “Flags Over Hatteras” Civil War on the Outer Banks Committee, set out to create this commemorative service medal for the anniversary. “The imagery on the front face of the Commemorative Service Medal at the top has their motto Toujours Pret meaning Always Ready in French. In the center is their National Colors and beside and underneath is IX N.Y. Vol’s Hawkins Zouaves. On the back is Victory Flying holding a palm branch and placing her right hand a wreath above the Zouaves head as he stands on the remnants of war holding the colors. A magnificent token of remembrance.”
Dennis went on to share, “With that said, this being the first time that I have had a custom coin struck I started to search out a company who had the reputation of high-quality production. It was also important to me to be able to relate my needs to knowledgeable sales staff so they could advise me on their craft, choosing the correct medal, and most importantly having the best of the best die makers to cut the dies. Wow, what a want list!”
“After many telephone calls, samples, and disappointments it became very clear that the Monterey Company would be my choice to recreate this Commemorative Service Medal. I could not have chosen a better company. My experience way exceeded my expectations. From the beginning, it was very clear that we would become partners to the very end with one goal in mind,” perfection” and that is what I received. Prompt follow-ups, great communications, protection of my 30-day price quotations, provided artist proofs and made changes until I was completely satisfied, and met the delivery schedule to the week that was committed. The finished product is what it is all about and you can see and feel the labor of love that went into the striking this coin.”
“After all these years the officers and the members of the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry (Hawkins Zouaves) would be very proud to carry this recreation coin in their pocket. Since that is not possible the second best option will be placing them in the pockets of the men’s descendants during the “Flags Over Hatteras” Civil War on the Outer Banks Blue-Gray Reunion. Many thanks to all at the Monterey Company for making these magnificent tokens of remembrance.”
Indeed. It was an honor for us to help in the creation of this elegant medal!