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Federal (USV)


George H. Bowes

(1844 - 1909)

Home State: Illinois

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 8th Illinois Cavalry

Before Antietam

17 years old, giving his age as 18, from Washington, IL, he enlisted and mustered as Private in Company F, 8th Illinois Cavalry on 3 October 1861.

On the Campaign

He was shot in the stomach in action at the Quebec Schoolhouse near Middletown, MD on 13 September 1862. Bowes later described the scene, as relayed by his surgeon:

... his regiment was in the advance, skirmishing with the enemy, when he became engaged in a hand to hand encounter with a rebel horseman. The man fired several shots at him with his revolver, one of which took effect in his abdomen.
His Captain, James D. Ludlam later wrote that he ...
... was shot ... and left on the field. I afterwards sent an ambulance and brought him in. I did not think he would live through the night.
The detailed medical reports describe the damage:
The ball entered the abdomen above the umbilicus, and passing upwards and backwards, emerged on the back below the tenth rib. He immediately began to vomit blood, and this continued at intervals for seven days. He also passed blood with his stools.

The rest of the War

He was probably treated at a field hospital in Middletown or Boonsboro, then admitted to US Army General Hospital #4 in Frederick, MD on 19 September 1862.

For a period of two months chyme escaped through the wound after having either eaten or drunk. He became much emaciated, but the wounds finally closed, and his health is now reestablished; but owing to contractions formed in the healing of the track of the wound, he is bent forward, and cannot by any force straighten himself. The treatment consisted in the employment of general therapeutic remedies.
He was transferred to Camp B in Frederick on 5 January 1863 and on to Jarvis Hospital in Baltimore on 9 March. He was discharged for disability there on 2 April 1863.

After the War

He began receiving a Federal pension for total disability in November 1863 and his physical condition to at least September 1872 was "unchanged". He was listed as a teamster in Chicago in 1867. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Post #40 in Chicago.

References & notes

Basic service information from the Adjutant General.1 Hospital, wound, and other details from the Patient List 2 and MSHWR,3 source also of his Captain's statement and Bowes' own description of the action at Middletown. The medical quotes from Frank Hastings Hamilton's Treatise on Military Surgery and Hygiene (1865, online). Details from family genealogists and his death notice in the Chicago Tribune of 23 May 1909. His occupation from Edwards' Annual Directory for Chicago (1867).

He married Sylvia Ann Adams (1844-1919) about 1864 and they had 4 children.


06/08/1844; Chicago, IL


05/21/1909; Chicago, IL; burial in Cook County, IL


1   State of Illinois, Adjutant General, and J.N Reece, Brig. Gen, Adjutant General, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (1861-66), 9 volumes, Springfield: Journal Company, Printers and Binders (State Printer), 1900-1902, Vol. 8, pg. 175  [AotW citation 22170]

2   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <>, Source page: patient #170, 1.276  [AotW citation 22171]

3   Barnes, Joseph K., and US Army, Office of the Surgeon General, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 6 books, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1870, Volume 2, Part 2, pp. 46-47  [AotW citation 22172]