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Capt. Erwin Ambrose Bowen, 28th NY; Part 1: Introduction

I want to thank Captain Bowen’s  great-great-granddaughter, Mary Robinson for helping me share her ancestor’s story, presented here in several parts, of which this is the first. 

The 28th New York Volunteers lost heavily at the Battle of Cedar Mountain.#1 It was the defining episode of the regiment’s two year history, and they memorialized it in writings, battlefield monuments and veteran re-unions. The story of Captain Erwin A. Bowen figures prominently amidst these engaging human interest stories.

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Seasonal wreaths at the battlefield

Volunteer Jennifer Michael came to the battlefield on Tuesday, December 6, bearing beautiful seasonal wreaths to be placed at the monument near the Crittenden Gate, the cemeteries, and the meeting house. To construct the wreaths, Jennifer uses a base of grapevine enhanced with cedar, holly, boxwood, and pinecones from her trees. In preparation for putting the final touches on the wreaths she spent a solid two months drying citrus slices. We’re very  grateful to Jennifer for including Cedar Mountain in her wreathmaking efforts and for sharing the photos below.

This is a memorial for Private Simmons of the 45th Georgia Volunteer Infantry. The memorial stone is located in the Throckmorton family cemetery on the battlefield. John Aris Throckmorton of the 6th Virginia Cavalry and Mary (Molly) Crittenden married in 1867 and established their home known as Stonewall Farm on the battlefield.
The gravestone for Mariah Willis is located in a small cemetery behind the meeting house. We believe the cemetery is connected to property formerly owned by the Slaughter family, but research efforts have not turned up information about Mariah Willis that corresponds with the date on the headstone.

President Teddy Roosevelt Visits Cedar Mountain Battlefield

Three months after the dedication of the 28th New York Monument at the Culpeper National Cemetery, and the successful brotherly reunion of soldiers who wore the Blue and the Gray, Judge Daniel A. Grimsley escorted another notable veteran around the battlefield of Cedar Mountain.  The following two newspaper accounts chronicle the event.

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More on Judge Grimsley: Dedication of the 28th NY Monument

To continue with Judge Daniel A. Grimsley’s efforts to memorialize the Cedar Mountain Battlefield, two more news clippings are presented here.  These document his successful efforts to coordinate brotherly reunions between the veteran soldiers of the Blue and the Gray.   In this instance the occasion was the dedication of the 28th New York Monument in the Culpeper National Cemetery, August 9,  1902.

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Judge Daniel A. Grimsley, Early Preservationist

The following newspaper articles detail the efforts of an early pioneer of Culpeper Battlefield Preservation.  Visitors to Cedar Mountain Battlefield today can view the results of Judge Grimsley’s efforts, manifested in the small stone markers placed around the grounds.

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Event: Soldiers of Virginia 1607-1945 – canceled due to weather

Due to the forecast for inclement weather Friday night into Saturday, Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield has decided to cancel our outdoor event Soldiers of Virginia, 1607-1945, scheduled for Saturday, October 30th. We hope visitors will join us for Soldiers of Virginia next year on October 29, 2022.

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Children’s event on October 23

Children ages 2-11 welcome to attend Hands on History program at Cedar Mountain Battlefield.

We’re delighted that on October 23 the battlefield will be the setting for an outdoor children’s event held by the Museum of Culpeper History. Please note that if interested, you should contact the museum to reserve your child’s spot (see details below).

At this Hands on History gathering, activities and crafts for groups ages 2-5 and 6-11 will be offered, including: making and flying kites, learning about and making Potomac Creek pottery created by Virginia Native Americans, and making a Cedar Mountain battle plan! Activities will last around 30 minutes. Attendees should bring water, wear comfortable footwear and dress appropriately for weather conditions. The fee for each participating child is $5.00, to be paid upon arrival. In order to allow for social distancing, it is suggested that each child is signed up for a time slot. To reserve a spot or for more information, visit or contact the museum at [email protected].

Searching for witness trees at Cedar Mountain

In mid September, the Friends of Cedar Mountain (FCMB) board was honored to host an interesting visitor: Dr. Gary Strobel, a renowned microbiologist and naturalist who makes beautiful pens and other items such as small magnifying glasses from the wood of witness trees. Dr. Strobel and his wife Soozie spent a few days in Virginia exploring a number of area battlefields in hopes of identifying trees that may have witnessed the clash of armies during the Civil War. Continue reading “Searching for witness trees at Cedar Mountain”