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1936 Battle of Gettysburg Half Dollar
The Gettysburg half dollar commemorates an event that ranks among the turning points in the history of the nation: the Civil War battle to which the now famous Pennsylvania town gave its name. It's generally agreed that the Battle of Gettysburg, on July 13, 1863, was the high water mark for the Confederacy-and, at the same time, the engagement that ensured the salvation of the Union. Where the Union forces under Gen. George Meade repelled the Confederate army under Gen Robert E. lee, they turned back the last major threat to the Northern cause. Four-and-a-half months later, President Abraham Lincoln visited the battlefield and gave it a touch of immortality with his simple yet eloquent Gettysburg Address. The Gettysburg half dollar was issued in conjunction with the Blue and Gray Reunion of 1938-a gathering of veterans from both the North and South who met to relive their Civil War experiences and reaffirm national unity on the eve of World War II, The obverse of the coin shows side-by-side portraits of: Union and Confederate soldiers. The reverse depicts the Union and Confederate shields divided by a double-bladed fasces. Frank Vittor, a Pittsburgh artist, prepared the designs, which give the coin an almost medallic appearance. Although the reunion and the battle's 75th anniversary both took place in 1938, the coin is dated 1936, the year in which it was authorized. The Mint produced 50,000 and melted nearly half, leaving a net mintage of 26,938. Despite its some what shallow relief, the coin typically comes with an abundance of detail in its design. Its subject matter makes it a very popular issue, and it's getting quite difficult to locate in gem condition.