** Please check out my tribute page to two of my Civil War relatives who never made it home **

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

This view of Cemetery Ridge was taken from Seminary Ridge, and besides the handful of monuments scattered here and there, the scene on July 03rd, 1863 would have been very similar. The tall monument at center left honors the United States Regulars. Further down the line is the column-like Vermont State Memorial featuring Gen. George Stannard. At far right is the Pennsylvania State Memorial. The fact that many monuments are partially hidden behind a swell proves that the fields of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge and neighboring fields weren’t as harmless as they seemed from a Confederate perspective.


Co. E, 32ND North Carolina Infantry

Born February 26, 1833 --- Died July 15, 1863 at age 30

The Bowman family was well-acquainted with tragedy even before Abel fell at Gettysburg. Abel’s parents had already lost three children by 1863: a son in 1858, a son in 1860, and yet another son in 1861. By war’s end they had lost a staggering six sons in combat. Abel, the Gettysburg soldier, died on July 15. Joseph had died in 1861. The dreaded news came twice in 1864 after David was killed in May at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and Jonas succumbed in September in a prison camp in Elmira, New York. 

The last sons to die were Simon in January 1865 and Joshua in April 1865. The latter was killed in Petersburg, Virginia. It’s impossible to read stories like this without tears coming to your eyes. I can’t imagine the scale of heartache this family faced. To make things worse for mother Sarah, her husband, the father of so many war-torn sons, died July 09, 1863, just six day after the battle of Gettysburg ended.

As for Abel, the Gettysburg soldier, he left behind a wife, Martha, and a son named Finley who had been born in 1861. Pvt. Bowman was later buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, with a memorial stone at Friendship Church Cemetery in Taylorsville, North Carolina.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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