Soldier's Bible is Returned to Widow After 53 Years
Des Moines, Sept 14 - A bible, found on the battlefield of Cedar Creek, Virginia, during the battle there Oct. 19, 1864, by a southern soldier, has just been forwarded to the widow of the northern soldier to whom it belonged - Mrs. Ruth Bowen, Iowa City.
William J. Bowen, who for many years after the war lived at Iowa City, was the northern soldier who lost the bible. Samuel G. Green, Charleston, W. Va., who is now and has been for many years a practicing attorney, was the young sourthern soldier who found it. After these 53 years Mr. Green has at last, thru the office of Adj. Gen. Logan, found the family claimants of the book.
Along in August Gen. Logan's office received a letter from Attorney Green in which he said:
"In 1864 I was first gun sergeant of Page's battery, light artillery, second corps, army of northern Virginia. On the 19th of October, 1864, while acting as first gun sergeant of Fry's battery, with Gen. J.A. Early's army of the Valley district in Virginia, I was engaged that day in the battle of Cedar Creek, between Gen. Early's and Gen. Sheridan's armies. I got from a federal tent on the battlefield a bible, which belong to one William J. Bowen, Iowa City, Ia., Co F, Twenty-second regiment, Iowa infantry. Thinking that probably Mr. Bowen, if living, or some of the family, would value having the bible again, I write to ask if your office would give the information locating him in any way, or getting reliable information from Iowa City as to their whereabouts. If so and you will undertake to see that the same is sent to the proper person, I will take pleasure in forwarding it."
Thomas S. Stevens, record clerk in the adjutant general's office, immediately wrote to Senator Byington of Iowa City and received word that Mrs. Ruth Bowen, widow of William J. Bowen, was still living in Iowa City. This information was forwarded to Mr. Green at Charleston and he immediately sent the bible. The book was evidently given Mr. Bowen by his father. A verse was inscribed on the fly leaf, signed "Thy Father."
~source: Waterloo Evening Courier, September 14, 1917
~submitted by: Sharyl Ferrall
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