|Awarded by 56th United States Congress|
|Type||Medal in Gold, Silver, and Bronze|
|Awarded for||in recognition of the gallantry of Frank H. Newcomb, his officers and the men, for their intrepid and heroic gallantry in the action at Cardenas, Cuba|
|Established||May 3, 1900|
The Cardenas Medal was an award approved by an act of Congress on May 3, 1900 (31 Stat. 716, 56th Congress). The award recognizes the crew of the Revenue Cutter Hudson, who showed gallantry in action at the Battle of Cárdenas during the Spanish-American War.
The statute awarding the medal is listed as follows:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in recognition of the gallantry of First Lieutenant Frank H. Newcomb, of the Revenue-Cutter Service, commanding the revenue cutter Hudson, his officers and the men of his command, for their intrepid and heroic gallantry in the action at Cardenas, Cuba, on the eleventh day of May, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, when the Hudson rescued the United States naval torpedo boat Winslow in the face of a most galling fire from the enemy's guns, the Winslow being disabled, her captain wounded, her only other officer and half her crew killed. The commander of the Hudson kept his vessel in the very center of the hottest fire of the action, although in constant danger of going ashore on account of the shallow water, until finally he got a line made fast to the Winslow and towed that vessel out of range of the enemy's guns. In commemoration of this signal act of heroism it is hereby enacted that the Secretary of the Treasury be authorized and directed to cause to be prepared and to present to First Lieutenant Frank H. Newcomb, Revenue-Cutter Service, a gold medal, and to each of his officers a silver medal, and to each member of his crew a bronze medal.
It is unclear if Newcomb received both a full sized Congressional Gold Medal and a military sized medal. The Cardenas Medal was originally considered a commemorative decoration and was not listed on the precedence charts for U.S. military awards. With the founding of the United States Coast Guard, however, the medal was authorized for wear on active duty Coast Guard uniforms.