1894 Oliver Bosbyshell Mint Medal Award designed by George T. Morgan
Author: wikipedia.org   -   Tuesday February 27, 2018

Oliver Christian Bosbyshell (January 3, 1839 – August 1, 1921) was Superintendent of the United States Mint at Philadelphia from 1889 to 1894. He also claimed to have been the first Union soldier wounded by enemy action in the Civil War, stating that he received a bruise on the forehead from an object thrown by a Confederate sympathizer while his unit was marching through Baltimore in April 1861.

Bosbyshell was born in Mississippi. His parents were of old Philadelphia stock, and he was raised in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. After briefly working on the railroad and then studying law, Bosbyshell enlisted in the Union cause on the outbreak of war. Following a brief period of service in the 25th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, he joined the 48th Pennsylvania, remaining in that regiment for three years. He saw action in such battles as Second Bull Run and Antietam. He rose to the rank of major and led his regiment, but was mustered out upon the expiration of his term of service in October 1864, having been refused a leave of absence.

After leaving the army, Bosbyshell returned to Pennsylvania and worked in two unsuccessful businesses; he also involved himself in Republican politics and in the activities of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' group. He was appointed to a post at the Philadelphia Mint in 1869, and became chief coiner in 1876 and superintendent in 1889, serving for four years. One of Bosbyshell's underlings at the mint stole gold bars and, as they were not all recovered when the culprit was arrested, Bosbyshell was held responsible for the loss by virtue of his office. He was absolved of this liability by act of Congress in 1899. In his later years, he was an officer of an insurance company; he died in 1921.

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