James Mowry was born on July 10, 1829, in Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island, the son of Joseph (d. 1877) and Hannah (Staples, d. 1889).
Before the war his older brother Nathan married Canadian-born Louisa (Quackenbos) and by 1856 they had settled in Michigan. By 1860 Nathan and his family were living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, Michigan where Nathan worked as a farmer.
James was married to Canadian-born Mary M. Quackenbos (b. 1840, possibly Louisa’s sister), and they had at least one child: Alice (b. 1859).
By 1860 james was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter in Georgetown; next door lived Abraham and Annie Quackenbos (probably Mary’s parentss). Also living with James and Mary was William Quackenbos, probably Mary’s older brother.
James stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 33 years old and probably working as a sawyer in Holland, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company E on January 19, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Holland, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 12, was perhaps wounded or possibly taken ill on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and hospitalized soon afterwards (or he may have been wounded or taken sick on June 22, 1864). He was perhaps still absent sick when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained absent sick until he was discharged on July 3, 1865, at David’s Island in New York harbor.
After the war James returned to western Michigan. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his second New York-born wife (b. 1848) and his two children: Alice (b. 1859) and Julia (b. 1864) in Georgetown, Ottawa County; two farms away lived his brother Nathan and his family. (near by lived an elderly couple by the name of Quackenbos.)
James was married to New York native Amanda or Arminda (b. 1847) and they had at least children: William A. (b. 1874), Charity (b. 1876) and Nellie (b. 1879).
By 1880 he was working as a day laborer and living with his wife and children in Blendon, Ottawa County. (Just a few houses away lived Ralph Steffins who had also served from Ottawa County in the Old Third during the war.) By 1890 was living in Maple Hill, Montcalm County, where he worked as a farmer.
In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 480264).
He may have been married a third time to Laura Lobdell. (There was a civil war veteran named James R. Mowry living in Brighton, Livingston County in 1894.)
He may have died in Georgetown, and was possibly buried in Ottawa County.