Battle of Gettysburg half dollar

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50 cent
Years of minting1937 (1937)
Battle of gettysburg half dollar commemorative obverse.jpg
DesignerFrank Vittor
Battle of gettysburg half dollar commemorative reverse.jpg
DesignerFrank Vittor

The Battle of Gettysburg half dollar was designed by Frank Vittor and minted in 1937, although it was dated 1936.[1][2] It commemorated the upcoming 1938 75th anniversary of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg.


Two United States Civil War veterans, one from the Union camp and one from the Confederate camp, are featured on the obverse of the coin. E pluribus unum ("Out of Many, One"), the de facto United States national motto until 1956, is displayed prominently above the two war veterans, with the "E" serving as both the first letter of the motto and the middle letter of Liberty.

The Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point.[3][4] Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North. The battle took place over three days and took the lives of 23,000–28,000 (estimated)[5][6] Confederates and 23,049 Union soldiers[7][8]


  1. ^ Harper, David C.; Miller, Harry (May 2012). 2013 U.S. Coin Digest. p. 188. ISBN 9781440229619. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  2. ^ "1936 Battle of Gettysburg Half Dollar Commemorative Coin". Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  3. ^ The Battle of Antietam, the culmination of Lee's first invasion of the North, had the largest number of casualties in a single day, about 23,000.
  4. ^ Rawley, p. 147; Sauers, p. 827; Gallagher, Lee and His Army, p. 83; McPherson, p. 665; Eicher, p. 550. Gallagher and McPherson cite the combination of Gettysburg and Vicksburg as the turning point. Eicher uses the arguably related expression, "High-water mark of the Confederacy".
  5. ^ Busey and Martin, p. 260, cite 23,231 total (4,708 killed;12,693 wounded;5,830 captured/missing).
    See the section on casualties for a discussion of alternative Confederate casualty estimates, which have been cited as high as 28,000.
  6. ^ Official Records, Series I, Volume XXVII, Part 2, pages 338-346
  7. ^ Official Records, Series I, Volume XXVII, Part 1, page 187
  8. ^ Busey and Martin, p. 125.

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