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|The hobby of CW reenacting is one without agreed national standards or governing bodies. Therefore, any participant can buy and portray whatever rank they choose as their impression. Some units (which are really clubs) rely on a merit system where one earns higher rank but this is far from universal.
The display of medals by reenactors is usually either gifts for attending reenactments or in more cases membership and office medals of the SUVCW (Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War).