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Imperial Russian Medal for the Campaign in the Caucasus.



This medal was instituted on 12 July 1864 and was awarded to field grade officers (staff and ober-officers) who participated in the campaign in the Caucasus during 1859-1864. It is rather massive, of gilt silver, and measures 44x44mm. It consists of a cross to which are applied the several elements comprising the piece. On the back of the medal is a screw with a wide flat nut for attaching to the uniform. It was worn on the left side of the chest, under all other orders and medals. Please note that this very medal appears on the chests of several officers depicted in some of the photos in this series.
(Editor's Note: See group_photo and Prince Chavchavadze.)

Construction: The outline of the cross was struck from solid silver stock. The crossed swords were made separately and applied to the cross. On top of these was affixed a round gilt silver rosette (shield) with the Russian double-headed eagle.

Grades and Variations: Several grades of this medal were awarded, all grades having essentially the same design: 1) Same size, of gold with applied enamel, was awarded to the highest ranks of officers who commanded the troops during this campaign. 2) Some regiments had their own unique variations. 3) This cross of bronze was affixed on top of a larger plain cross with straight-sided arms at ninety degrees. This was awarded to medical personnel, nurses, sanitarians, etc. who accompanied the troops during this campaign. 4) Similar to No.3, but of silver, given to doctors, pharmacists, etc. who participated in this campaign. 5) Gold with ruby colored enamel, similar to No.4, awarded to the highest ranks of the medical corps who directed the hospitals and other such major facilities attached to the army in the Caucasus. 6) A smaller example (34x34mm), made of bronze, is also extant, but its provenance is unknown.



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