The Civil War presented an opportunity, but the medals department at the Mint was in disarray and government interest continued to be low. Nevertheless, several medals were made, especially to honor General Grant for his victorious campaigns during the war. Many private medals were also produced, the first of which commemorates the bravery of soldiers who defended Fort Sumter against impossible odds.
Since the Spanish-American War in 1898, American war-related medals have focused on the bravery and contributions of the men and women involved, vilifications of the enemy, the Red Cross and other relief efforts for the victims of war. Many have been issued by private artists or organizations. The U.S. Mint currently offers a series of medals commemorating the branches of the U.S. military and their accomplishments, especially during World War II.