The James B. McPherson Achievement Medal and ribbon has been conceived as an award unique to the ACWGC Army of the Tennessee, and may only be issued to a current or former AotT officer by the majority consent of the current active officers of that army. It is an award of very high distinction, being issued to recognize an officer who has spent a considerable amount of time in contributing to the welfare and promotion of the Army of the Tennessee.
The Army of the Tennessee’s James B. McPherson Achievement Medal and ribbon, or “McPherson Medal” for short, bears the imprinted, engraved likeness of McPherson within a circular golden disk, surrounded by a silver hexagon, four of the outer sides of which each bear four, raised "x's," signifying the army command which the General held at the time of his combat death. The remaining four sides contain golden, inward-facing filigrees. The medallion ribbon displays a dark “army blue” as its principal background color, edged on each side with three, graduated golden/brown mini-stripes, separated by smaller, golden/yellow stripes. The wider, golden center stripe is bordered by smaller brown and yellow stripes.
Though it would be an extremely rare occurrence,provision has been made for recognizing multiple awards to the same individual, such awards being signified by the attachment of a proper, oak leaf device upon the bar ribbon.
A special certificate has also been created for this award, to be presented to the recipients on each issuance.
Major General James B. McPherson was the third commander of the historical Army of the Tennessee, having been hand-picked by Major General William T. Sherman to succeed him when Sherman assumed command of the Military Division of the Mississippi. McPherson's death, which occurred on July 22, 1864, in front of the Atlanta defenses, came only four months after that appointment. He had graduated first in his West Point Class of 1853, the same class of the Confederate commander of the Atlanta defenses, John Bell Hood.
McPherson's selection to become the namesake of this medal imparts a very definite sense of rare accomplishment and achievement.
Recipients of the “McPherson Medal” must be acclaimed by a simple majority of the active Army of the Tennessee officers. “Active” in this case is defined as those officers actually in “good standing” according to Standing Order # 5 - Officer Status, of the ACWGC Union Army; that is, the AotT voting officer must have been in contact with his chain of command.
Recipients of the “McPherson Medal” must have served as an active officer of the ACWGC for a minimum period of ten years as an initial requirement. In addition the recipient must have demonstrated a personal contribution to the welfare and good order of the Army of the Tennessee. The contribution(s) should have been of such a character as to be described as exceptional and extraordinary.
Examples of “exceptional and extraordinary contribution” would include, but not be limited to, the past or current performances of additional duties and command assignments within the both the Army of the Tennessee or the ACWGC, including service within the Union Army High Command, the Union Military Academy, and/or Club Cabinet positions. Service in these latter would be reflective of an indirect contribution to the welfare of the AotT since they would have supported the continued existence of the entire club. Contributions might include all of the above in some form, but might also include more direct, specific, and immediate contributions to the Army of the Tennessee. Examples of such would be, but not limited to, maintenance of the AotT webpage, the Eagle's Perch Forums, or equally supportive activities over a considerable period of time.
Each recipient must be first nominated for the award; such nomination being conducted by e-mail exclusive of the recipient himself. Any active AotT officer, having first secured the permission of the current Army Commander, may make the nomination. If the Army Commander should be the candidate for the award, the nominating officer must then secure the permission of the senior corps commander. At this time the nominating officer must also provide a list of AotT officers who are in “good standing” to the AC or senior CC for proper authentication.
The nominating officer shall then provide in written form to the authenticated list of officers in “good standing” the reasons he believes the candidate for the award should be nominated, properly setting out those actions and contributions qualifying for extraordinary service to the AotT. The nominating officer shall request individual replies from the officers in “good standing” indicating their approval or disapproval, such reply to be made within one week of the nomination e-mail.
The nominating officer shall make provision to close copy the AC or senior CC throughout the entire e-mail nominating and vote response, insuring the actual vote tally. Upon achieving a simple majority of the voting officers, the award shall be deemed as officially authorized.
The AC or senior CC, in conjunction with the nominating officer, shall then make provision to announce and officially present the award. For this purpose a separate Award Certificate has been created, which may be graphically altered for each future recipient.