Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Henry Fletcher Bowers
Scope and Content
Carolyn Bowers McCallister of Huron, Ohio donated a typed transcript of the memoir of Henry Fletcher Bowers (1839-1923). Fred W. Bowers, eldest son of Henry Fletcher Bowers, prepared by the memoir in 1934.
Henry Fletcher Bowers was born in Geneva, Ohio, on October 25, 1839, the son of the Rev. Edward Vernett and Margaret (Watkins) Bowers. On August 20, 1861, he enlisted at Geneva as a private in the 14th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery. He served with the unit until September 24, 1864, when he enlisted in the U. S. Navy. He served as a nurse on several hospital ships plying the Mississippi and Ohio rivers for the remainder of the Civil War, until August 5, 1865. He was discharged from the Navy on January 11, 1867. After a short stay in McMinniville, Tennessee, Bowers settled his family in the city of Norwalk, Ohio. Fred and his father worked together as masons in San Diego, California during 1887 and 1888. Along with building walls and chimneys, Henry Bowers — according to his son — built the first concrete sidewalk in San Diego. In 1910, Bowers and his wife, Marana Ann Evans, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They had married on June 3, 1860, in Madison, Ohio, and were the parents of nine children. She died in 1920, he in August 1923.
Scope and Content
Although severely edited by Fred Bowers, portions of Henry Bowers’ Civil War diary remain recognizable within the memoir. It provides some insights into Henry’s thoughts and experiences during the Civil War, particularly the Battle of Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, and the Battle of Atlanta. Fred Bowers also included: excerpts from diaries kept by his father during the 1870's and 1880's as well as recollections of the family’s short stay in McMinniville, Tennessee, life in Norwalk, Ohio, and the year (1887-1888) Henry and Fred spent in San Diego, California.