Capt. Erwin A. Bowen, Part 2; Libby Prison

Captain Bowen’s great-great-granddaughter shared this manuscript of her ancestor’s service so that it could be posted here.  These soldiers’ personal stories, from both sides of the battle, are what makes our battlefield history so compelling.

In 1858 Erwin Bowen married Anna Beach. He was then a lieutenant in the New York State Militia. On September 25, 1860, a daughter Effie, was born. She would be the first of 4 children. In the following letter, Captain Bowen, writes to his wife about his experiences at the Battle of Cedar Mountain and as a captured prisoner of war following the engagement. Towards the end of the letter, he records the passing of his young daughter’s 2nd birthday, while he was still held captive as a prisoner of war in Richmond. Here is the captain’s story in his own words.


Continue reading “Capt. Erwin A. Bowen, Part 2; Libby Prison”

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.

Continue reading “Capt. Erwin Ambrose Bowen, 28th NY; Part 1: Introduction”

No. 1. Maj. Gen. John Pope.

No. 1.

Reports of Maj. Gen. John Pope,  U.  S.  Army, commanding the Army of Virginia, with congratulatory orders.*

Headquarters Army of Virginia,      
Near Cedar Creek, August  10, 1862 —5.45 a.m.

     The enemy crossed the Rapidan day before yesterday, and yesterday advanced in heavy force against Culpeper.   Their advance under Ewell had a very severe engagement yesterday with Banks’ corps, in which the loss was heavy on both sides without decisive results. Continue reading “No. 1. Maj. Gen. John Pope.”

Capt. Clerment L. Best

Note: This report is printed in Vol. 51, Serial 107, of the Official Records. The introduction to this supplemental volume states: This volume contains documents discovered too late to be included where they belong. They supplement a number of other volumes, and contain material from Big Bethel (June 10, 1861) through Bull Run, various operations in Virginia in 1861 and 1862 into Maryland in 1862.


Report of Captain Clermont L. Best, Fourth U. S. Artillery, Chief of Artillery, Second Corps, Army of Virginia.

Hdqrs. Artillery, Second Corps, Army of Virginia
Culpeper, August 13, 1862.

       Major:   There being but five brigades composing the corps, and each of diminished strength, it was deemed proper that no more than one battery to each brigade should be brought into action.  These batteries had been previously designated, and were placed in position on the most favorable points, supposed by the brigades to which they were respectively attached. Continue reading “Capt. Clerment L. Best”

No. 8. Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford.

No.  8.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.

Hdqrs. First Brigade, First Division, Second Corps,        
Army of Virginia, August  14, 1862.

      Major:    I have the honor to submit the following report of the operation of the force under my command in the recent engagement with the rebel forces near Cedar Mountain, Va.: Continue reading “No. 8. Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford.”

No. 11. Brig. Gen. Christopher C. Augur.

No. 11.

Report of Brig. Gen. Christopher C. Augur, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.

Washington, D.C.,   September  10, 1862. 

      Major:     I desire respectfully to submit the following report of the operations of my division in the battle of Cedar Mountain up to 7 o’clock p. m., the time I was wounded and left the field: Continue reading “No. 11. Brig. Gen. Christopher C. Augur.”