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1937 Battle of Antietam Half Dollar

1937 Battle of Antietam Half Dollar


Purpose:


To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam and help finance the celebration.

 

Maximum Number Authorized: 50,000 pieces.


Sale Price: $1.65


Designs:


    Obverse – William Marks Simpson

Profiles of  Army General George B. McClellan and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Both generals are facing left. Their names are inscribed below their busts. Three stars, representing General Lee's rank are in the right field while two stars, for General McClellan's rank, are located in the left field. The designer's initials are near Lee's shoulder. 


Online Resources: 

https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/george-b-mcclellan

https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/robert-e-lee


   Reverse – William Marks Simpson

A bridge over Antietam Creek. Below the bridge is inscribed “THE BURNSIDE BRIDGE  SEPTEMBER 17 1862.” At the left of the bridge is a group of trees. A single tree is found at the right. Inside the rim rests the inscription “SEVENTY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY BATTLE OF ANTIETAM.” The date is at the bottom of the coin. 


Online Resource: https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/battle-of-antietam


Popularity:


50,000 dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint for sale to the public. The coin did not sell well and eventually 32,000 pieces were returned to the Mint for melting, leaving a total mintage of 18,000 coins. 


Trivia:


  • The first example minted was given to President Franklin Roosevelt.

  • The bridge was named after General Ambrose Burnside. His facial hair eventually became known as “sideburns.”

  • Ambrose Burnside served as Governor and Senator of Rhode Island. He was  the first president of the National Rifle Association.

  • George McClellan ran against Abraham Lincoln in the United States presidential election of 1864. He served one term as Governor of New Jersey.

  • Robert E. Lee appears on two United States coins; The Battle of Antietam half dollar and the Stone Mountain half dollar.

  • While tending to the wounded at Antietam, Clara Barton had a bullet tear through her sleeve and kill the man she was helping.


For more information:


Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek 

KWS Publishers (2012)


Commemorative Coins of the United States Identification and Price Guide by Anthony J. Swiatek

Amos Press Publishers (2001)


Landscape Turned Red The Battle of Antietam by Stephen W. Sears

Mariner Books Publishers (2003)


References:


Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek

KWS Publishers (2012)


The Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins 1892 to 1954 by Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen

Arco Publishing, Inc. (1981)


 1937 Battle of Antietam Obverse       1937 Battle of Antietam Reverse


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