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Confederate (CSV)


Isaac Abner Cowan

(1840 - 1931)

Home State: North Carolina

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th North Carolina Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

Orphaned at about age 11, he was a 20 year old farmer on the O.G. Foard place in Rowan County in 1860. He enlisted as 3rd Corporal of Company B, 4th North Carolina Infantry on 3 June 1861 at Rowan Mills, NC, and was promoted to First Corporal, date not given.

On the Campaign

He was with his Company in action in Maryland in September 1862. After the battle at Sharpsburg on 17 September, General D.H. Hill wrote that

Corpls. J. A. Cowan and H. H. Barnes, and Private J. D. Barton, of this [the 4th North Carolina] regiment, were greatly distinguished for their courage.

The rest of the War

He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 15 October 1862 and promoted to First Lieutenant on 13 March 1863. He was wounded at Chancellorsville, VA on 3 May 1863 and by a gunshot through his left leg at Spotsylvania Court House, VA on 19 May 1864, after which he was furloughed home to Olin, NC for 30 days. He was back in a hospital, in Richmond, VA by 23 October 1864 for his Spotsylvania wound, and again furloughed to Olin for 30 days. He was absent on a Surgeon's Certificate to at least the end of 1864 and was in a hospital Greensboro, NC on 7 April 1865. He was paroled at Salisbury, NC on 12 May 1865.

References & notes

Service from Moore,1 the Roster,2 via the Historical Data Systems database, which says he was promoted to Captain in 1864, and his Compiled Service Records,3 via fold3. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860. His gravesite is on Findagrave; his stone was provided by the US Government in 1942.

He married Eleanor Brandon in May 1870 and they had at least one daughter, Essie (1876-1973). He married again, Jane/Jennie Hicks (1855-1920) after 1880 and before 1900.


06/29/1840; Rowan County, NC


01/01/1931; Winston-Salem, NC; burial in Salem Cemetery, Winston-Salem, NC


1   Moore, John Wheeler (compiler), and State of North Carolina, Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the States, 4 volumes, Raleigh: Ashe & Gatling, State Printers and Publishers, 1882, Vol. 1, pg. 126  [AotW citation 21466]

2   Manarin, Louis H., and Weymouth Tyree Jordan, Matthew M Brown, Michael W Coffey, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865 : A Roster, 20 Volumes +, Raleigh: North Carolina State Department of Archives and History, 1966-  [AotW citation 21467]

3   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 27471]