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August 26, 2013

Letter from James Madison Bowler in Arkansas, to his pregnant wife, Elizabeth Caleff Bowler, relating how sick many of the Union soldiers are becoming during a march toward Little Rock – August 26, 1863

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Duval’s Bluff, Ark., Aug. 26th 1863.
My Dear Libby:
[…]
The Ark. Expedition left Clarendon [Arkansas] day before yesterday as soon as the 3d Rgt – the last – had crossed, and instead of going directly toward Little Rock as I expected, came up the river to this place.  The sick were brought up by boats, and suffered terribly during the passage.  Upwards of twenty died — none from the 3rd — during the trip.  The weather is extremely warm, and the men have given out at a fearful rate.  Several Regiments have less than 100 men for duty.  The 3rd has 350 — the most of any regt in the Expedition.  In many cases the strongest men drop down on the march, utterly helpless.  Peter Panchot, of my company, who never gave out before, was taken down yesterday.  Eugene is much better and will be ready for duty in a few days. I am well – have not ridden a step on the march since the Expedition left Helena.  Gen. Steele has received orders from Gen. Halburt to mount the 3rd Minn. but Col. Andrews does not want it mounted unless he can get an order from the Secy. of War to have it permanently mounted, with all the privileges of Cavalry.  […]
Truly and affectionately yours
Madison


See whole letter here: 1863-08-26_Bowler_combined

Citation: August 26, 1863, Letter from James Madison Bowler to Lizzie, Correspondence, undated, 1829-1865. Bowler, James Madison and Family, Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1330 box 1]

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