Thursday, October 3, 2013

George Henry Bosley, Medical Cadet
George Henry Bosley, a son of Daniel and Lucia R. Bosley, was born on October 31, 1841, in Lakeville, Livingston County, New York. He enlisted at age 20 on November 23, 1861, as a private in Co. K of the 13th New York Volunteer Infantry. That regiment was raised primarily in Rochester, but Bosley enrolled in Washington, D.C. Although he enlisted to serve the term of the regiment, he was never mustered in. On January 31, 1862, he was discharged for disability.
On April 3, 1862, Bosley began a two-year study of medicine, apparently in Michigan. About a month before he finished the course, on March 7, 1864, he wrote to Surgeon General William A. Hammond from Ann Arbor, seeking an appointment as a medical cadet. he stated that he was a resident of Rochester, New York, and 22 years of age. As required, he enclosed a certificate from the dean of the college attesting that he had attended a full course of lectures, and a doctor's certificate as to his character and physical condition. On April 18 an army medical board in New York City examined Bosley and pronounced him qualified to serve as a medical cadet. On May 2 he was appointed as such.
Bosley served from May 17, 1864, to the end of that month at DeCamp General Hospital on David's Island in New York Harbor. he was then transferred to Cumberland General Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, beginning his duties there on June 11. On October 1, 1864, he requested a transfer to the east so he could attend another course of medical lectures and graduate, "thereby becoming better qualified to care for my patients," he explained, "and also that I may be enabled to take higher rank in the Medical Dept. of the Army, which is now debarred me by reason of not being a graduate." In response the authorities transferred him to a general hospital in Albany, New York, where he arrived on November 1, 1864, and completed his career as a medical cadet.
Bosley was discharged on January 3, 1865, to accept a position as assistant surgeon of the 154th New York Volunteer infantry, then occupying Savannah, Georgia, as part of Major General William T. Sherman's army. His commission as such was dated December 27, 1864.
Bosley reported for duty with the regiment on the rainy day of January 19. Although other outsiders who were commissioned as officers in the 154th received a hostile reception from the regiment's veterans, Bosley appears to have been accepted. When 27 officers of the regiment contributed cartes de visite for the making of a souvenir montage at the end of the war, Bosley was included with the veterans. Eight days after he arrived in Savannah the regiment left the city for the Carolinas campaign.
Assistant Surgeon Bosley served with the regimental hospital until March 31, 1865, when orders issued near Goldsboro, North Carolina, detailed him for duty in the second Division, XX Corps hospital. At the close of the war he was mustered out with the 154th on june 11, 1865, near Bladensburg, Maryland.
In the postwar years Bosley graduated from the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons and practiced in New York City. he organized and directed the Relapsing Fever Hospital on Hart's Island and was connected with the "outdoor department" of Bellevue Hospital for a dozen years.
"Dr. Bosley displayed unusual ability in diagnosis," the New York Times stated in his obituary, "and was the author of several articles in the New-York Medical Journal which attracted much attention from members of his profession." Bosley was a member of the New York Medical Society. One of his colleages was Dr. Millard Fleming, former surgeon of Bosley's old regiment, the 13th New York. Both men were active Masons (Bosley's ornate Masonic Knights Templar sword and scabbard was auctioned on eBay in April 2003).
Bosley died suddenly of heart failure on the morning of December 3, 1892, at his home at 152 West 74th Street in New York. he was 51 years old. he left a wife. The whereabouts of his Civil War effects is unknown.


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