Authorized by an Act of Congress and approved by President Abraham Lincoln in July 1862.
A five-pointed star rests on a green laurel wreath. Inside the star is the head of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and righteous war. It is surmounted by a bar inscribed "Valor" and an eagle clutching the arrows of war and the olive branch of peace. The 13 stars on the ribbon represent the original 13 colonies. The recipient's name is inscribed on the reverse.
Department of the Army