“James D. Bowman … is a man of genial character, warm hearted and generous, and is very popular among his hosts of friends. He is very strong and vigorous for a veteran of the late war, but nevertheless the fact remains that he enlisted in Company H., Forty-ninth Missouri Infantry in December 1864, …and was sent to New Orleans and thence to Mobile Bay where he took part in the celebrated engagement at Spanish Fort. At the time he was under command of General A.J. Smith, Colonel D.P. Dyer being in command of the regiment. Subsequently he marched to Montgomery, Ala., remaining in that vicinity until December, when he returns to Mobile and was mustered out December 1865. He now belongs to Major Wilson Post No. 20, G.A.R. of Louisiana.” 1
James Delaware Bowman was born December 19, 1845 in Bowling Green, Missouri to Robert A. (1815-1866) and Nancy Sloan (1814-1902) Bowman. He moved with his family to Louisiana in 1849. His siblings were George W. (1838-1860), John T.(1840-1878), Martha J. (1843-1928) wife of William Ferrell of Bowling Green, Margaret A. (1848-1852), Mary Elizabeth (1858-1947) wife of Benjamin Franklin Todd of Louisiana.
James’s father died shortly after his return from the war leaving James to provide for his mother and sisters. The 1875 and 1892 Louisiana City directories show James has a Saloon, Billiard Hall and Cigars and Tobacco at 203 Georgia Street. In the 1903 & 1906 directory his occupation is Agent for Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co. at 205 Georgia Street.
January 2, 1883, Mr. Bowman married Eliza W. Purse, daughter of Theodore and Samantha Wells Purse of Ashley, Missouri. September of 1883 the Bowmans lost an unborn child and did not have any further children. James’ mother Nancy lived with them throughout her life and was loved by everyone. 2
” Judge W.F. Suda received a letter yesterday from Mrs. J.D. Bowman at Long Beach, Cal. dated May 11, telling of a serious accident that happened to Mr. Bowman on the 24th of April. In company with his brother-in-law, Will Purse, he was driving on the boulevard when a boy, hidden from view by a signboard, came out of a cross street and to keep from running him down Mr. Purse stepped on the gas and swerved to one side and the boy did the same. Mr. Purse’s car struck a telephone pole and Mr. Bowman was thrown against the windshield and his face and arms were badly cut. Mr. Purse was not hurt but had been in bed ever since from the effects of the shock.” 3
J.D. died May 13, 1928 in Long Beach, California. His body was returned to Louisiana where funeral services were held prior to his burial.
Promise Not Realized – Death Near For Aged Veteran
“A promise that James Delaware Bowman, aged civil war veteran, had repeated to himself all spring was not realized. He did not see “the boys” at the G.A.R. encampment just closed here; he did not go with them on any of their “high jinx” celebrations, and he did not march with them in their annual parade.
Instead, he lay pale and still in his quite apartment at the Hotel Schuyler, oblivious to the fact that the encampment was in session. He did not even see “the boys” who, knowing he was ill, tiptoed to his door to bring, him flowers, and ask him how he felt.
Now, he is still worse, and sinking rapidly. Physicians believe the next few days will be his last. Nerve shock and bruises that the old soldier suffered three weeks ago …weakened his slim reserve of strength. …………
His ill health had kept Mr. Bowman from going to any of the G.A.R. encampments in California the 14 years he has lived here, but for months he had counted on going to the one to be held here.
“I’m going to see the boys, and I’m going to march in the parade with the rest of them,” he kept telling his family, proudly. He said it even after he was hurt, but it was not to be.” 3
1. Portrait and Biographical Record of Northern Missouri Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Together with Biographies and Portraits of All the Presidents of the United States. 1895. Chicago: C.O. Owen & Co.,pg. 588
2. Louisiana Press Journal. 1902. “The Venerable Mrs. Bowman Passes Away,” February 14.
3. Louisiana Press Journal. 1928. “J.D. Bowman Dead at Long Beach, Cal.,” May 15.
4. Louisiana Press Journal. 1928. “Promise Not Realized – Death Near For Aged Veteran.,” May 18.