A Grain of Sand

A Grain of Sand

I love the beach. The waves, the smell of the water, the sounds. Sunshine in its most glorious place. I know that we are all important to God. It says in the bible that he knows the number of hairs on our head and he knows the number of grains of sand.  One of my hobbies is genealogy. I really enjoy learning more about the people who came before me. Even if you don’t know much about your family history, rest assured that within a very short amount of time the people whom you are researching grow exponentially in number.

One of my hobbies is genealogy. I really enjoy learning more about the people who came before me. Even if you don’t know much about your family history, rest assured that within a very short amount of time the people whom you are researching grow exponentially in number. We start out with 2 parents. They each have 2 parents by the time you reach your great grandparents you are already at 15 people. Not including any of the other children of any of those people. Theoretically, it makes me think of grains of sand.

I picture the families working the land in places like Ohio. I’m sure they had some livestock and their way of living was filled with hard work.  In the same idea, I picture the lives of the families who lived in the cities. Some of them were wealthy, many others probably worked in dirty, dusty factories. Consequently, I am sure some of them lived in tenements. Crowded altogether.

A New Day, But the Same Struggles

It’s easy to gloss over the details when you are researching. People are born, they get married, they die. Names, dates, and places. However, when you stop and think about them as real people, they had the same struggles that we experience now. People were born with handicaps and challenges. Transportation has always been an issue. Gas money= food for the animals. (At least now we don’t have to worry about stepping in the exhaust so much!)

Struggles like keeping up the house, taking care of your family, employment, schooling, and alcohol abuse are ones we share with our ancestors.

Many who were sick and suffering could not get the medicines they needed. Sadly, that is still true today because of the cost of health care. Unfortunately then, people died from common diseases we have cures and vaccines readily available to treat today.

Many families had babies who died prematurely, were stillborn or who died in infancy and childhood. Recently, I was able to hear a young mother talk about this issue and it really has opened my eyes to the enormity of that loss. I wonder if women were able to grieve their loss, or if they were just expected to move on and not talk about it. I found a strange custom while doing this research. In some cultures, it is common to name a child after the father. Sometimes, if these children died in infancy, the families would then name the next child the same thing. Seems a little creepy to me. It also causes confusion to the person who is researching that family 200 years later. I’m pretty sure they weren’t thinking about that.

My Discovery

While doing research, I recently discovered a relative with historical significance and it really affected me. His name was James Finely Bowers. He was born in Belmont, Ohio near the West Virginia border in 1827. He married Barbara in Athens, Ohio. They had 6 children. He entered into the 73rd Ohio Infantry on November 23, 1861. At the time, his oldest daughter was 11 years old and his youngest son was 1 year old. He was a farmer. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him to pack up and leave to fight in the war between the states with such a young family. Besides, that I cannot imagine how difficult life must have been for Barbara to be left to keep the home fires burning with so many young children. 

Surely, James was not able to take a time of R&R and come back to visit his family during the war. That being said, the last time that his children would have seen him would have been when he left for war. Unfortunately, he lost his life on July 3rd, 1863 at the battle of Gettysburg.

“Nothing noteworthy then occurred until it entered upon the Gettysburg campaign. The regiment, with its brigade, held the line in front of Cemetery hill and was almost incessantly engaged on the ground in its front, its losses amounting to 143 officers and men out of about 300.” Source: The Union Army, vol. 2

If you would like to know more about him or his regiment, I have included more information below.

We all make our mark in this world and like the wind cause ripples in the dunes made up by tiny individual grains of sand. 

Psalm 139…17How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

http://biblehub.com/psalms/139-18.htm

Name: James F Bowers
Age at Enlistment: 34
Enlistment Date: 2 Nov 1861
Rank at enlistment: Private
State Served: Ohio
Survived the War?: No
Service Record: Enlisted in Company H, Ohio 73rd Infantry Regiment on 30 Dec 1861.Mustered out on 03 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
Birth Date: abt 1827
Sources: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of OhioThese Honored Dead: The Union Casualties at GettysburgRoll of Honor of Ohio Soldiers

 

Regiment: 73rd Infantry Regiment Ohio
Date of Organization: 1 Dec 1861
Muster Date: 20 Jul 1865
Regiment State: Ohio
Regiment Type: Infantry
Regiment Number: 73rd
Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 4
Officers Died of Disease or Accident: 1
Enlisted Killed or Mortally Wounded: 167
Enlisted Died of Disease or Accident: 149
Battles: 18 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
25 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
26 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
27 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
2 May 1862 at Williamsville, WV.6 May 1862 at McDowell, VA.
8 May 1862 at McDowell, VA.
9 May 1862 at McDowell, VA.
8 Jun 1862 at Cross Keys, VA.
30 Aug 1862 at 2nd Bull Run, VA.
1 Sep 1862 at Fairfax, VA.
15 Sep 1862 at Harper’s Ferry, WV.
3 May 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA.
2 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
3 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
4 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
21 Jul 1863 at On The March.
22 Aug 1863 at Greenwich, VA.
22 Aug 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA.
19 Sep 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
20 Sep 1863.
28 Oct 1863 at Raccoon Ridge, TN.
29 Oct 1863 at Lookout Valley, TN.
15 Apr 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
14 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
15 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
19 May 1864 at Cassville, GA.
25 May 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
25 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
26 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
30 May 1864.
19 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
20 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
22 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
30 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
20 Jul 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, GA.
5 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
10 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
13 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
15 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
20 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
25 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
9 Dec 1864 at Savannah, GA.
28 Dec 1864.
15 Mar 1865 at Averysboro, NC.
16 Mar 1865 at Goldsboro, NC.
16 Mar 1865 at Averysboro, NC.
19 Mar 1865 at Bentonville, NC.
25 Mar 1865 at Goldsboro, NC.
1 Apr 1865 at Goldsboro, NC.
Regiment Histor OHIO SEVENTY-THIRD INFANTRY (Three Years)
Seventy-third Infantry. – Col., Orland Smith; Lieut.-Cols.Jacob Hyer, Richard Long, Samuel H. Hurst; Maj., Thomas W.  Higgins. This regiment was organized at Chillicothe, Dec. 30,1861, to serve for three years. It remained in camp perfecting its drill until Jan. 24, 1862, when it moved via Parkersburg to Grafton and Fetterman, W. Va, and thence a few days later to New creek. In the spirited engagement at McDowell in May the regiment,was engaged but met with a slight loss. In June engaged,in the battle of Cross Keys and lost 8 men killed and wounded. In August the command took up its line of march for Culpeper and it arrived in time to relieve Gen. Banks’ corps on the battlefield of Cedar mountain. Passing through Culpeper, the regiment crossed the Rappahannock at White Sulphur springs, moved down the river to Rappahannock Station, and thence up to Freeman’s ford, where it engaged the enemy , thence back to White Sulphur springs and Waterloo to prevent the enemy from crossing. Passing through Warrenton, New Baltimore and Gainesville, the regiment reached the battle ground of Bull Run and in the second battle there acted a prominent part, the gallantry of the brigade of which it was a part saving the army from utter rout. The loss of the regiment was very severe-out of 310 men present for duty, 144 were killed or wounded and
20 captured. In the Chancellorsville campaign it formed part of the column which turned the left of Lee’s army, crossing the
Rappahannock at Kelly’s ford and the Rapidan at Germanna. Nothing noteworthy then occurred until it entered upon the                                   Gettysburg campaign. The regiment, with its brigade, held the line in front of Cemetery hill and was almost incessantly en-
gaged on the ground in its front, its losses amounting to 143 officers and men out of about 300. After Lee’s retreat over the Potomac the regiment crossed the river with the rest of the army and finally went into camp at Bristoe Station, where it remained until transferred to the Army of the Cumberland. In the fight in Lookout Valley the conduct of the regiment called forth praise and especial notice, Gen. Grant, in his official dispatches, naming it “one of the most daring feats of arms of the war.” In this action the regiment lost 65 men and officers
out of 200. Encamping near the scene of its brilliant exploit, the regiment was occupied by picket duty and building earthworks until Nov. 22, when it crossed the river and was engaged in the battle of Missionary ridge. At the end of the year it veteranized and was furloughed home, then returned to its old camping ground in Lookout valley. In May it moved with the corps through Snake Creek gap, confronted the enemy at Resaca and it was highly complimented by its brigade and division commanders for brilliant conduct in this action. A severe battle
followed near New Hope Church, in which, though badly exposed and suffering severely every moment, the regiment stood firm
and fought till nightfall when it was relieved, having suffered a loss of 3 officers and 72 men killed and wounded. Pine Moun-
tain, then the railroad with Acworth and Allatoona, then Lost mountain were gained; and the army confronted the enemy
strongly upon Kennesaw mountain and around Marietta. On July 20 the regiment reached Peachtree creek and in the engagement
that followed there lost 18 men. During the month which followed it was constantly in the front line of works, under fire
day and night, and continually at work skirmishing and fortifying, each day losing one or more killed or wounded. At length
Atlanta was evacuated. In the campaign the 73d had lost 210 men and 8 officers out of less than 350; had been repeatedly
engaged with the enemy, and had never retreated before him.It now encamped near the city, recruiting and working upon the de-
fenses until it started with Sherman on his “march to the sea.”Up through the Carolinas, at the battle of Averasboro, N. C.,
in which the regiment lost 15 men wounded, and then came Bentonville, the last battle of the war, in which it lost 5 men
killed and 25 wounded. The regiment was mustered out on July 20, 1865.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 2
Find Soldiers in this Regiment: U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles

 

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