This lovely piece is a decorative military record – “very tastefully printed in 10 colors” – for Private Samuel Wilson Evans of the 12th Pennsylvania Reserves. He served from 1861 to 1864 and saw action at South Mountain on 14 September and at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

This certificate was produced by the Army and Navy Record Company, which was started in about 1883 by Walter C. Strickler (c. 1837-after 1920) of Philadelphia – an outgrowth of his personal project to gather an exhaustive timeline for every Union military unit and action of the Civil War. Strickler’s son Theodore compiled some of that work in When and Where we Met Each Other on Shore and Afloat … (1899).

The colorful parts of this decorative record were printed, but Evans’ name and service details are hand-written. It was “presented” in his name to his wife Sarah Jane and daughters Margaret, Nellie May, and Mary Belle on 1 October 1905. The original is about 19×27 inches and it’s online thanks to the Maryland State Archives.

Below is an advertisement in the National Tribune of 5 October 1905. By that time the National Tribune had bought out Strickler, and was offering these certificates on their own. Strickler and the Tribune had been in a marketing relationship for some years before.

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