The Gillmore Medal was named after Union Major General Quincy Adams Gillmore, who commanded the troops that attempted to re-take Fort Sumter in 1863. The medal is sometimes also called the Fort Sumter Medal it commemorates the Union troops who fought in the Charleston, South Carolina area in 1863. The Medal was presented to all the men who served under Gillmore’s command, and was first awarded on October 28th 1863 by an order stating, “medals of honor for gallantry and meritorious conduct during the operations before Charleston".
The Gillmore Medal was suspended from a swivel without a ribbon, it attached to the uniform with a metal clasp. The Medal was designed by the Ball, Black, and Company of New York City. The Gillmore Medal was declared obsolete in 1905 when the Civil War Campaign Medal was created.