This medal was issued by the state of Montana to men from its state who served in the 3rd U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, better known as “Grigsby’s Rough Riders.” The medal is especially interesting in that it was issued by the state for men who served in a U.S. Volunteer – nationally recruited – regiment, as opposed to a Montana state regiment. Troops F, I, L and M of the 3rd U.S. Volunteer Cavalry were from Montana and apparently were eligible for this medal. The ribbon may be a replacement for a red, white and blue ribbon.
The medal consists of a hanger, a blue ribbon and the medal itself.
The text on the hanger, flanked with crossed pairs of cannon, reads “MEDAL OF HONOR, 3RD U.S. VOL. CAVALRY”. On the medal itself the text reads PRESENTED BY THE STATE OF MONTANA TO MONTANA ROUGH RIDERS The image on the medal appears to show Victory bestowing a laurel wreath on the head of a member of the regiment. The sun is setting across the sea with land and palm trees in the background.
The text on the back of the medal reads “FIRST ARMY CORPS SPANISH AMERICAN WAR 1898” The text surrounds the seal of the state on Montana with a miner’s pick and plow in the foreground and the Great Falls on the Missouri River in the background.
The medal is very similar to the medal issued by the State of Montana to members of the 1st Montana Volunteer Infantry.