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    Civil War: Two Letters from the 9th Texas Cavalry Following the Battle of Corinth with details of Corporal William A. Bowen's death and the battle. The first is written by Corporal Bowen from "Awampy [Itawamba] County, Miss." on September 1, 1862, to his mother, Esther D. Bowen of Cumby, Texas. "I am well and am doing very well at present," the twenty-three-year-old soldier writes. "We think that the ware will end shortly and we can go home agine. We hope This we can live in hopes if we Dye in dispare."

    That two-page letter was likely the last that Corporal Bowen wrote to his mother, the forty-seven-year-old head of the Bowen family and a farmer, because in the second letter, Sergeant B. F. Stephens writes four pages (on one leaf) telling "Mrs. Bowen Mam" that her son is dead. "I have two tell you that Elick [likely a nickname for William] is Dead, tho Died in the Discharge of his Duty fighting for his Country he fell with his gun in his hand Like a Brave Soldier he Died amid the Noble Brave and fils a Solders grave and I pray the Lord his Sole to Save. I and Isham Martin stratened him out and I got his money out of his packet and will send it to you in this letter the amount was fiftey one dolers in Confederate money and twenty five cents in silver." After breaking the mournful news, Sergeant Stephens describes the Battle of Corinth. "We fought three days this last trip and lost a good miney men James Pichey was kild about the time and place where Elick was and the next morning when we went in to the charge Gorge Smith and I was together and went together until we got to the brest works and that is the last time I saw him. We ware ordered to hold back then several others ware wounded, I got two slite wouns my self, one spent ball struck my right arm and bruised it and another ball skelpt my left hand, I thank God that I got out so well for the rifle balls war as thick as hale and the shot and shell jist as thick it comenced Friday the third day of October and Saturday at Corinth then the feds came in behind us so we started to retreat and Sunday we faught them at Pakehuntey and made our way out to Our Regment has the prase of the hole arangment, Gen. Phifer said that we ware the best fighters he ever saw." In the postscript, Stephens writes, "Tom Eliott has taken Elicks close and said he would pay you for them."

    Corporal Bowen and Sergeant Stephens were from Cumby, Texas, and in Co. "K", 9th Texas Cavalry. (Company "K" was recruited in Hopkins and Titus Counties, Texas, in October 1861.) In the year that followed, the 9th Texas Cavalry served in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. In the spring of 1862, they were sent across the Mississippi River where, on October 3-4, 1862, they fought at the Battle of Corinth against Union troops who were protected behind earthen fortifications. At one point, the 9th Texas Cavalry attacked the 27th Ohio and pushed them back. But with the help of other infantry regiments, the Ohio men gained the upper hand and forced the Confederates back. Though wounded himself at the battle, Sergeant B. F. Stephens went on to serve until June 1865. After the war, he went back to his home and wife in Cumby and became a preacher.

    These letters are accompanied by several pages of research. Bowen's letter contains a hole in the center which has been repaired with rice paper; a small amount of text has been affected. Both letters are age ton

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    25th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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