Thursday, July 17, 2008

Samuel Dowell

Samuel Dowell was born 1839 in Ohio, the son of Charles (b. 1799) and Elizabeth (Pool, 1802-1860).

Virginia-born Charles married Maryland native Elizabeth in 1821 and they eventually settled in Ohio. The family moved west and had settled in western Michigan by 1860 when Samuel was working as a farmer and living with his family in Windsor, Eaton County, where his father owned a large farm. Shortly after the war broke out Samuel became a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G.

Indeed, Samuel was 22 years old and residing in Windsor when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. According to Frank Siverd of Company G, Samuel was in the “measles infirmary” shortly before the regiment left Michigan in June of 1861. (According to Siverd Regimental Surgeon D. W. Bliss, in order “to prevent the disease spreading, as soon as the first symptoms appear,” had all the measle cases “removed to the house of a physician, some three miles from camp.”)

Samuel apparently recovered sufficiently enough to leave Michigan with the regiment on June 13, 1861. He was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia.

Homer Thayer, also of Company G, described how Samuel had died.

Color Sergeant Charles T. Foster of Company G “was the first to fall [at Fair Oaks]. He was bravely holding the colors, and by his coolness and courage, doing much to encourage the boys to press on. Orderly E. F. Siverd was soon after wounded, but still did his duty and urged his comrades on. Soon after this Corporals Case B. Wickham, John Blanchard and Nathaniel T. Atkinson, and privates Samuel Dowell and Charles T. Gaskill received fatal shots. Atkinson and Dowell were brought from the field before they died. All have been buried, and their resting places marked with aboard giving the name, company and Regiment.”

Samuel’s remains were removed from their temporary grave on the battlefield to Seven Pines National Cemetery: section A, grave 345.

In 1867 his father was living in East Windsor, Eaton County when he applied for and received a pension (no. 131,455).

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