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A man in uniform cradles his wounded enemy in his lap and lets him drink from a canteen. A mounted bugler calls in the troops. A young soldier with a scared look on his face beats a drum.

The images, appearing on three commemorative coins, tell the story of ordinary Americans who fought in the Civil War.

The $5 gold pieces, silver dollars and copper-nickel half dollars are the first Civil War commemorative coins. The U.S. Mint is selling them to raise $21 million to preserve hundreds of Civil War battlefields in danger of becoming shopping malls or apartment complexes.

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