CopperCollector's Blog

18 Dec 2021

The Mint's First Medals

Coins | CopperCollector

America's First Medals was a series that was started around the bicentennial of the United States of America. During the Bicentennial three coins were made to celebrate it. A quarter with a drummer boy on the reverse, a half dollar with Independence Hall on the reverse, and the final coin was the dollar with a Liberty Bell floating around in space. The original medals were for the heroes of the Revolutionary War. This particular medal, which was made for General Daniel T. Morgan, commemorated the battle at the Cowpens in South Carolina. The leader of the entire United States army named Nathaniel Greene was running low on soldiers. In fact his force was so low he could not attack the British straight on without totally loosing his entire army. So General Nathaniel devised a plan. He decided to split his force in half. One half was under General Nathaniel the other was under General Daniel T. Morgan. General Daniel's job was to threaten the British outposts in South Carolina. This dangerous move put the British army in between the two American armies. Interestingly, The British didn't attack either army but instead sent Lt. Banastre Taleto to intercept General Morgan's Soldiers. A few days later General Daniel's most memorable battle took place. The battle at the Cow pens. General Daniel now realized the British were coming to attack him. He formed his army into three lines. Once the British made it the General and his army were ready and waiting. The British thinking it would be easy to destroy this small force quickly made their way through the first two lines. Thinking they had one the entire British army slowed down once they had made it through the second line. The Americans then showered the now supposing victorious with deadly gunfire from that third and final line. The British now in a state of confusion were forced to surrender when the first two lines of the American army were put back together. General Daniel Morgan had won.

The Medal is a very interesting piece. This ad in the Numismatist caught my eye. I was looking through some older issues and found a Stack's Bowers add about the Daniel T. Morgan medal selling. According to the add it hadn't sold in like twenty years. The original medal is also unique. On the obverse it says in Latin, "The American Congress to General Daniel T. Morgan. An Indian representing America is crowning General Morgan with a laurel wreath. The reverse says again in Latin, "Victory, the vindicator of liberty." The reverse's picture is the General leading his troops with their flags flying. Below this picture reads in Latin "The enemy put to flight, taken, or slain, at the Cowpens, January 17, 1781. Before I had acquired this coin I had never known about the battle at Cowpens. But Coins can tell you about history just like history can tell you about coins.



Level 5

Nice coin and great history!


Level 4

Nice but expensive. At least to me


Level 6

These medals make a nice collection at a reasonable cost


Level 6

Very nice coins and blog. I learned from this one. Thanks.

Long Beard

Level 5

great subject with some personal meaning. My aunt lived in Cowpens while married to her first husband, remarrying and moving to Spartanburg. I bought this token sometime in the early to mid-eighties when she lived there. Being that Cowpens interests you, near by King's Mountain along the North Carolina border is a nice place to visit. I believe there's also a medal for that site as well.


Level 5

such a wide collecting offering in numismatics.


Level 6

Good information and beautiful Medal! ; )


Level 5

Very nice medal and history. Would love to own one.

Looks very nice. Awesome blog!


Level 7

Those three coins were made by three winners . The mint had a contest. The three winners won five thousand dollars.the third coin was an Ike dollar

AC coin$

Level 6

That's a beautiful token commemorated a General Daniel T . Morgan great blog . Thanks for sharing.

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