Commission to Corporal Jacob S. Bowman - 128th New York Infantry - Inventory Number: DOC 232
Signed by Colonel Cowles
Colonel David S. Cowles - Killed at Port Hudson, LA
Colonel Cowles was killed in the Civil War during a 48-day ordeal known as the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana. Union and Confederate troops suffered intense losses in the course of assaulting the Confederate redoubt 8 feet above the Mississippi River. Despite their successful defense of Port Hudson, the Confederates surrendered on July 9, 1863, after Vicksburg fell to the Union Side.
Colonel Cowles was born in Canaan, Connecticut in 1817. He attended Yale, became a successful lawyer, and joined the 128th NY Volunteer Infantry in 1862. He would die on May 23, 1863, one hour after being wounded.
An estimated 5,200 Union soldiers died in the lengthy assault on this single garrison. Some 900 Confederate soldiers were killed in the battle or by disease.
After being hit, Colonel Cowles declined to be carried from the battlefield, preferring to die among his men. His last words to the sergeant attending him: "I believe I have done mu whole duty as a man and as a soldier."
Jacob S. Bowman:
Residence Milan NY; 19 years old.
Enlisted on 8/14/1862 at Hudson, NY as a Private.
On 8/19/1862 he mustered into "C" Co. NY 128th Infantry
He was Mustered Out on 7/12/1865 at Savannah, GA
* Corpl 10/1/1862
David Smith Cowles:
Residence Columbia County NY; a 45 year-old Lawyer.
Enlisted on 7/22/1862 at Hudson, NY as a Colonel.
On 9/4/1862 he was commissioned into Field & Staff NY 128th Infantry
He was Killed on 5/27/1863 at Port Hudson, LA
NEW YORK ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHTH INFANTRY (Three Years)
One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Infantry.-Cols., David S. Cowles, James Smith, James P. Foster; Lieut.-Cols., James Smith, James P. Foster, Francis S. Keese; Majs., James P. Foster, Edward Gifford, Francis S. Keese, George M. Van Slyck, Robert F. Wilkinson.
This regiment, recruited in the counties of Columbia and Dutchess, rendezvoused at Hudson, and was there mustered into the U. S. service for three years, Sept. 4, 1862. The following day it left for Baltimore, whence it sailed for New Orleans a few weeks later.
In Jan., 1863, it was assigned to Sherman's division, 19th corps, and was complimented by Gen. Sherman for the success of its first achievement-the capture of a large quantity of property at Gainesville in April. The regiment took a gallant and conspicuous part in the long siege of Port Hudson, fighting desperately during the assaults of May 27 and June 14.
The splendid service rendered by the 128th is well attested by its casualties during the siege, which amounted to 22 killed, 100 wounded and 6 missing, a total of 128. Col. Cowles fell while gallantly leading his regiment during the assault of May 27, the command suffering its heaviest losses on this occasion.
After the fall of Port Hudson, the regiment was ordered to Baton Rouge, where it arrived on the 22nd after a fatiguing march, and the next 9 months were chiefly spent in post and garrison duty, with occasional reconnaissances and minor expeditions.
On March 15, 1864, in the 3d brigade, and (Grover's) division, 19th corps, it started on Banks' ill-fated Red River expedition. During the battle of Cane river crossing, the 128th was the first to cross the river and plant a flag upon the hill. It also made a brilliant charge driving the enemy and taking many prisoners, its loss being 10 killed and wounded.
It was also present at Alexandria and Mansura. In July it proceeded with the division to New Orleans, whence it sailed under sealed orders for Washington. On its arrival it was ordered into Maryland to confront Early's invasion and took part in the subsequent famous campaign under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley.
At the battle of the Opequan the regiment lost 57 killed, wounded and missing, Maj. Keese and 4 other officers being among the wounded. At Fisher's hill its loss was 20 killed, wounded and missing, and the regiment was handsomely complimented by Gen. Emory for its services.
At the battle of Cedar creek it lost 95 killed, wounded and missing. During the next two months it was engaged in garrison duty at Winchester and New Berne, and was ordered to Savannah with its division in Jan., 1865. In March it was ordered to North Carolina where it was temporarily attached to the 3d brigade, 1st division, 10th corps, participating in the campaign of the Carolinas until Johnston's surrender in April.
It returned to Savannah in May and was mustered out in Augusta, Ga., July 12, 1865. The regiment returned home with only 400 men of the original 960 and 173 recruits. It lost during service 2 officers and 61 men killed and mortally wounded; 3 officers and 203 men died of disease and other causes; total deaths, 269, of whom 41 died in the hands of the enemy.
Inventory Number: DOC 232