Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Quoted from Leona Northrop Valencourt's obituary.

"Mrs. Henry Valencourt, daughter of Charity and Spafford Northrop, was born in Calvin Township, Cass County, Michigan, June 26, 1867, and departed this life at her home south of Harlan May 5, 1934, at the age of 66 years, 10 months and nine days.

At the age of 16 Leona moved with her parents to Cleon Township, Manistee County, coming by train to Manton which was at that time the nearest railway station, then by stagecoach to Sherman and there hiring a team to finish the journey to their farm north of Harlan, where she lived until her marriage to Henry Valencourt on March 15, 1888. They immediately went to housekeeping on a farm southwest of Harlan and here to this union were born eleven children.

In 1919 they bought and moved to a farm just south of Harlan, leaving the old home for one of the children. They remained here until her death which came as a result of a lingering illness. She has lived her life well as a patient, loving wife and mother. Her sweet cheerful disposition has won her many kind friends.

She leaves to mourn her loss: Her husband Henry; six sons: Fred, Perry, Herman, Lawrence, Walter, all of Harlan, and Joe of Kingsley, Mich.; five daughters; Mrs. Charles Spencer of Big Rapids, Mrs. Ward Mallison of Bear Lake, Mrs. Glen Shelton of Mehama, Oregon, and Mrs. Elmer Carpenter and Mrs. Ira Mack of Harlan; two brothers: Arthur of Danville, Washington, and Perry of Vandalia, Mich., besides a number of grandchildren and a community of friends.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 8, 1934, with a song and prayer at the home at 1:30 o'clock followed by service at the Church of the Brethren at 2:00. Rev. Shumaker of Copemish officiating and taking his text from the Psalms. Singing was furnished by Mrs. J. H. Robinson, Mrs. B. M. Myers, Floyd Hatch and Arthur Stiver. They sang four beautiful numbers: "The Old Rugged Cross" which was sung at the home, and "No Night There:, "Abide With Me", and "Above the Bright Blue" at the church. Miss Alice Marie Robinson accompanied them at the piano. Those acting as escorts were Mr. North, Mr. Wagner, Mr. Read, Mr. Rackow, Mr. Dawkins and Mr. Tretchler. Internment was made in Cleon Cemetery."

Note: Spelling of parents was shown as "Northrop" not "Northrup."
Phil Leffel stated in a letter dated 1 March 2002, that he believed that the Mr. Dawkins mentioned in the obituary as an escort was Grandmother Ella Dawkins Valencourt's Uncle Ernie Dawkins.

Facts about this person:

Burial May 08, 1934
Cleon Cmty, Manistee Co, Michigan

Information provided by Kristina Bain from Internet Research.


Virginia Joslin Valencourt and Joseph Valencourt (born Vaillencourt)

New Revisions to the Valencourt Family Tree
Many new additions to information on the Valencourt history may be found in the Valencourt section of my family tree. Much of this information came to me by a friend of mine, Kristina Bain, of Greeley CO, who provided this research. She also located the two photos above from the internet, which I had never seen before. (I retouched the photos) Virginia's maiden name was apparently Joslin, or in one early source, Gosselin. They both were from Quebec, but immigrated to the US
at different times.

The different font styles used below indicate both the original family information inTimes italic font, Arial font for newly entered information and documentation, and bold Arial font indicates comments about discrepancies.

PLEASE, Be patient with the strange formatting that sometimes occurs, which is caused by a conflict in Html codes as written on my computer, which is transferred to Blogger, and which I do not know how to correct. For instance, I wrote this paragraph in the same size font, but it is smaller in the posted version, and numerous automatic indentations occur which I cannot correct. Some fonts were the same when I copied the document, but were mysteriously converted to a new font which will not change when I put in the correction.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Levi Burton Bowers, Alfred Bowers' father. Undated. Photographer Unknown.



Note: US Pensioners (1818-1872, Michigan Offic, for widow Eliszabeth,

wife of Joab Bowers may point to documentation of Joab’s service in the Revolutionary War. Revisions in the Bowers Family Tree have been entered.

For the complete changes, look under Pages; Family Tree, Bowers section.

The different font styles used below indicate both the original family information inTimes italic font, Arial font for newly entered information and documentation, and bold Arial font indicates comments about discrepencies.

PLEASE, Be patient with the strange formatting that sometimes occurs, which is caused by a conflict in Html codes as written on my computer, which is transferred to Blogger, and which I do not know how to correct. For instance, I wrote this paragraph in the same size font, but it is smaller in the posted version, and numerous automatic indentations occur which I cannot correct. Some fonts were the same when I copied the document, but were mysteriously converted to a new font which will not change when I put in the correction.


Joab Bowers Sr /BD(6/2/1745 Killingly Turnpike, Windham CT—)

M. Elizabeth(1rst)(1746-1765)m 1764. 1 son (Born in Dublin, Ireland?

M.Jane Clark(2nd)(1746-1787) m 6/5/1766 Cromwell,Middlesex, CT. 1 son

[5 trees]

( Joab is listed as Jane’s son and that does not make sense as he’s born over a year before Jane married his father—an out of wedlock birth?a mistake in one of the dates?) More likely, Joab is Elizabeth’s son -BD 1765? Did she die in childbirth?

Joab was said to have been born in Dublin, came here with father Joab

who married Jane in Connecticut?

Records:Neversink—just listed as Joab so could be either father or son[1810, 1840 “veteran”] The elder Joab would have been 90.

Early Ct Marriages Second Book Cromwell

Joab Bowers (Irish Welch) Married Lydia Hodge(Ger)

Joab Bowers Jr BD (5/25/1765 Dublin, IRE—DD 1/8/1849 NY) (84)

Lydia Hodge(1rst) BD(11/10/1769 Claryville, Sullivan, NY—DD4/10/1813 Neversink, NY)

M . 3/14/1787 Glastonbury, CT. 9 children.

Elizabeth Brewer(2nd)(1793-1856 MI)

M 6/3/1843 Neversink NY [8 trees]

Records: :US Pensioners(1818-1872)—Michigan office, for widow Elizabeth.

NY Pensioners-a Joab Bowers was a fifer for the Ct line and had a pension starting 4/11/1818

US Revolutionary War Rolls has 2 Joab Bowers, both in CT-one a private and one a fifer

US War Bounty Land Warrants-one for Joab Bowers dated 4/19/1790

Early CT Marriages Seventh Book Glastonbury

Levi Burton Bowers, married Sofia Engrick

Children: James I, Alfred, William, Clarissa and Louisa Bowers.

Levi Burton Bowers(8/20/1813 NY-1893 Kingsley MI)

Sophia Ingrick(1rst)(11/21/1813 Fallsburgh-7/27/1845 Neversink, Sullivan) m 1834 NY

[[Sophia’s parents were George Ingrick(1783 Gerhausen, Germany—5/28/1829 NY) and Lucy(1773) 4 trees]

1James I/J(11/24/1834 Claryville, Sullivan, NY)

Martha Jane Hodge(11/24/1834— )[[[Abel Hodge 11/1/1771 Glastonbury,CT-3/4/1834 Neversink, NY/Submit Mitty 2/9/1773-7/14/1863 Neversink]] 5 kids?

Records:Hudson, Lenawee,MI[1870, 1880 Jas I Bowers]

2 Alfred(10/21/1836 Fallsburgh—3/14 or 3/16/ 1932 Kingsley,Grand Traverse)

M. Laura Jane Starr(7/29/1859 or 1860—8/5/1950 MI)

3.William Calvin(10/18/1838 Parksville,Sullivan,, NY)

Katherine/Catherine Jane Yorks(9/16/1843 NY—4/8/1908 Kingsley) [Katherine and Margaret S Yorks were cousins—both granddaughters of Hermanus and Sarah Yorks] are at least 3 sons

Records:Fallsburg,NY[1870],Liberty ,Sullivan[1880-he’s listed as a stone mason] Paradise, MI[1910]

4.Clarissa Sophie (7/8/1840 Claryville or Hurleyville—9/25/1938 Fife Lake,MI )

Herman Yorks(1835 Claryville—8/31/1912 Fife Lake) Katherine’s older brother

4,maybe 5 children

Records:Denning,Ulster,NY[1860- with Clarissa’s sister Louisa], Fife Lake[1900 with Herman’s brother Benjamin E 6/1828 NY] Traverse City[1910 with Benjamin] 1890 Veterans Schedules(Grand Traverse,MI)Herman was Civil War vet

5.Lucy(10/9/1842 Neversink—8/20/1843 Neversink)[4 trees]

6.Louisa Albertine(10/9/1844 S.Fallsburg, NY—6/4/1940 Traverse City,MI)

George Newhall(1rst)(1842-1864)m 1859

James Straton Wheat(2nd)(1/9/1844 Cochecton ,Sullivan, NY—7/19/1910 Traverse City,MI)[[his parents:Edrick Homer Wheat and Hannah Dunning b 1824]] m 1864. 6 kids. [7 trees]

Records: Wawarsing,Ulster,NU=Y[1870], Callicoon,Sullivan,NY[1880] Paradise[1900], Mayfield, Grand Traverse,MI[1910]

Writing on this post is the copyright © of Ruth Zachary.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Additions to the Starr Family Tree Information

If one is trying to research genealogy, you don't dare throw the baby out with the bathwater, because often a thread of actual events remains. I have just entered corrections in the records of the Starr lineage, errors are noted, and some things are crossed out, but most is not removed.
I will not delete anything unless contradicted in several other official sources, which will also be recorded in the hope that I or others can follow these clues in the future.

Many family trees are inaccurate, mine included. The only way to verify some information is to go back to original documents held by official sources, like county registered births, marriages and deaths, cemetery records, land records, various census records, etc.

I have found many obituaries to be in error. In a crisis, who ever was available tried to do the best they knew how.

I believe I may now know ancestors names, maternal family names, where they lived, and dates, when I had no information about this before. Ancestors living in England before coming to this continent are probably my own lineage as well, and I have been given this legacy by the generosity shared openly by other branches.

One really exciting thing that has developed from this search is that several photographs have emerged of ancestors that I never saw, and am lucky to have because they go back to a day when photography had just begun. Most are part of Valencourt and Babcock lineages, so I will not include them here.

I too have so many family photos, like the one above, of Martha Starr, Laura Bower's sister, that I could also share with others in other branches. I find this to be quite wonderful, and much of it is possible because of this digital era we have entered into!

Writing is the ©Copyright of Ruth Zachary

Monday, July 5, 2010


Add Image

Revisionist Genealogy 2010


Since the last entry of my

family history, I have learned

a lot of the family tree written down

by recent relatives now passed,

is inaccurate.


This means I am honor bound

to correct the tree, to revise the

biographical pages.

This means I have

been living in the presumption of

a family heritage that did not exist,

at least as previously put forth.


In a way, this feels like a reprieve.

There is new hope of the chance

to retrieve a better tradition,

a new theory of relativity.


We did not descend from an

ancestor arriving on the Mayflower,

unless he came on a later voyage.


Each documented truth removes

me one more step from the

family dysfunction where I grew up;

from the family where I never fit;

and from which I was exiled.

That family remains

in the perpetuated state

of false recollections of a pedigree

that did not exist. Ironically, it is they

who have been disenfranchised.


I am freed by the truth by which

I have intuitively lived, and from this

new perspective, realize

I am the one with a legacy,

to pass on to the world.


To Those who read this blog, I apologize for misleading anyone by the mistaken information I posted here. I am profoundly sorry for my part in perpetuating these errors. I have, however asked others who found the discrepancies to let me know and I would correct them. And slowly, I will do so. My poem above reflects the humor I see in this situation.


The picture of the model of the Mayflower, and the writing about its history came from the 1957 Collier's Encyclopedia.


Writing on this post is the Copyright © of Ruth Zachary, Mistakes included.

Sunday, June 20, 2010




Genealogical Research can result in needing to revise a family tree. It is important to go back to actual historical records if you can find them, to be sure. My goal is to offer information that is as accurate as possible.


My other major goal for this blog is to make the wealth of information that I have, including family stories and accounts, to be accessible to other family branches. It is a heritage held in common, and should be shared. This blog is the easiest means for me to make this material public. I do wish to be credited for my work, my time, for technical expertise in photo-enhancement and for my writing. Posting on this blog is a statement of copyright.


Revision is not easily achieved in a blog post. I will revise the Pages containing the Family Tree, (which is easier in Pages than changing Posts.) Eventually I will replace parts of Family Biographies if revision is needed, and delete the earlier version. This means the order of posts will not correspond to the sequential order of the Biographies, and the information must be sequenced by date by the reader. To make the updates available, I will also organize posts pertaining to changes in information under the Label, “Revisions.”


I would appreciate input from other relatives who may refer to this site about the need for revisions, and will credit that person with their contribution, and name resources for information as well.


Why Are Personal Records Wrong?


They aren't always wrong, but people writing family trees and writing obituaries frequently make mistakes, misremember, may purposely omit information, and sometimes purposely misrepresent certain details. Unfortunately, close relatives may even secede from your branch if you revise the party line in favor of documented truth.


This gets worse when a person disagrees with the experiences of different members and their personal stories. Often in a family gathering two people present may have different experiences at the time, and their recollections will also differ. Sometimes the person himself or herself doesn’t want a particular fact of their own life to be told, and has a vested interest in keeping secrets.


In the Valencourt branch of my family, a great grandmother Virginia is named differently in some other parallel family lineages. But because that grandmother lived with her son Charles in Oregon, and died in his care, I believe my mother’s records are probably correct. Until I find historic documents, such as a census, birth records, marriage records, death records and other documents, that indicate differently, I will assume the version here is accurate.


In the Bowers Lineage there are discrepancies.

A friend of mine, Kristina Bain, explained that “before the 1850 census, the households just listed the male head (without a birth date) and put everyone else in numerical categories (i.e. 1 male age 50-60, 1 female aged 50—60, two females age 30-40 etc…) so sorting out, the Joab Bowers family may require further inquiries at the genealogical /historical societies in the places they lived & died for wills, property records etc.”

My friend said the Babcock Lineage conformed with another source, and is probably trustworthy material.


The Starr Lineage: I was quite amazed to hear that there may be two more unrecorded generations in the Starr Lineage, and that some of the recorded names may be different than originally thought. I have included that part of the Starr Lineage where changes may be indicated, and need more research. See bold black entries below, which suggest changes are needed.



1 Dr. Comfort Starr came to this country on the Mayflower from Ashire England in 1620.

2 Thomas Starr. was put in prison for being sympathetic with the Indians.

He was later released and given a tract of land in Connecticut as compensation. He raised his family in Thompsonville, CN.

3. Elias Starr (The One World Tree on Ancestry.com names this ancestor as Josiah)

(The One World Tree on Ancestry.com names two more generations, Benjamin Starr and another David Starr)


4. David Starr


5. Johnathon Starr was married to Sally. The couple had three children, Sara and William J. (third unknown.) (The One World Tree on Ancestry.com names this ancestor as Elnathan)


6 William J Starr, was born Nov. 8, 1843.He died Mar. 19, 1907.

He married Eliza Jane Reynolds (Dutch) in Fallsburg NY. She was born Jan 20, 18-- and died Oct. 7, 1886. Her parents were Andrew Reynolds and Catherine Vanbenscoten (Dutch)

They were one of the first Free Methodist families in the country.

They had 13 children in all, in New York State, including Martha Starr Strong, Sarah Starr Paul, Emma Starr Van Inwegen, Margaret Starr Main, George Starr, Willard Starr, Laura Starr Bowers, Andrew Starr, Flora Starr Wheat, Louella Starr Case, Ava Starr Frazier, Herman Starr, and Arthur Starr.

Two additional sisters are also named in the One World Tree on Ancestrry.com. but I suspect these may be cases where a second name was used, or they died as babies, as my great grandmother Laura personally told me there were thirteen children in all, and she had twelve brothers and sisters. Also I believe her middle name was Jane, but have no documentation.(I was about eleven. Ruth Zachary.)


Writing and layout of Biographical Pages are the © Copyright of Ruth Zachary.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Alfred Bowers and His First Family

It is not known exactly when Alfred married his first wife, Mary, or when his children were born, but his son Elmer died while he was away. Life at home for wives and families was very difficult without a man to handle the heavier farming duties.

Alfred sometimes sent money home, probably by some means other than the mail, and other times he asked Mary to send him money.

Soldiers were instructed not to forage (or steal from civilians) for food, or to replace worn out shoes and clothing. Often, warm clothing was hard to come by. Considering the conditions endured by Alfred and other soldiers, it is amazing only 18 of his Company died over the two years recounted above. It was not uncommon for men to be released because of prolonged pneumonia or other diseases. Some suffered from poor health the rest of their lives.

Even though the letters Alfred wrote to Mary will be recorded on this blogsite in the future, I have written them into the text as well, so the information is legible.

Three letters to Mary during Alfred's service remain. The post marks on the envelopes are not clear, and tracing the battle sequences of the War Between the States more clearly identifies when they were written. Often there was a lapse between the writing and the postmarks on the envelopes. Many letters written from the front never reached home.

Alfred was camped at Fairfax Seminary in Virginia in February 1863, where some of the wounded were treated. He was on regular duty there.

He had taken up the pastime of making rings from cast off shells, and sending them home to relatives or selling them to his comrades.

He wrote to his wife Mary at home in New York from the Seminary. This letter was addressed to Loch Shelldrake, Sullivan County, NY.

"Dear Mary,

"Though you see that we have left Upton Hill, we are nearer the city than we were before. We are now between Washington and Alexandria. This morning we struck our tents and was on guard at the barn where the Colonel's and all the horses of the regiment were kept and when I came to camp it was a sorry sight, for it was stripped, and the old stockades and chimneys stuck up just as I expected it would look when we left. If the Rebs look as rough after going through our hands as the camp did, they will be worsted.

"But to go on with my story, we fell in and stacked our guns and loaded the wagons, then took arms and started. We marched 6 to 8 miles and fetched up at the above named place. It is a handsome place. Here some too tired for the night for when we got here we had to go to work and pitch our tents which took about until dark. Just as we got ours done, it commenced raining but it has not rained enough to do any damage and we are in hopes it will not until we get our camp pitched for we are on a level piece of ground and if it rains much it will be very muddy here.

"I received the letters with the dollars in last night but if I had known we was going to get some of our money so soon, I should not have sent for any. I have not got my money yet but it is in Trent Divine's hands so I can get it in the morning, and then I will write and tell you what I send.

"I have made a little draw of money besides that you sent and this is the way I done it. I made a small ring from a bullet shell? and sold it to Dr. Smith's boys for 10 cents. While on guard at the barn I made another something like this only not so nice and sold it for 5 cents and this is worth .50. I have one something like it on my finger, and I split off a small piece from it in trying to cut the heart on it. Abner paid me 15 cents of borrowed money so if I had not sent for money, I should not do it now.

"The man that enlisted, John S Yorks, was to our camp a few days ago and told C Herman that John was back to his regiment again and was fat and healthy and so if you have not heard from him this will be news to you. We are counted the defenders of Washington and they are now dividing their forces so as to give each division a certain boundary to defend.

"There was a brigade called the Pennsylvania Reserve, moved in near us and so we had to leave and we have orders to fix our tents as good as if we intended always to stay there, though we may move soon. The reserves was in the Fredricksburg fight Feb. 13th.

"I have just received $27.66. I will send you the allotment ticket and $500 and keep some by me, but use it sparingly, as though I had but little. We are going to move on by ground perhaps a half a mile on the other side of the Seminary.


Another letter with a postmarked envelope: Washington June 28. The company would have been in Washington in June of 1963., although it could have been written earlier.

"Murfrueboro Term, Jan (June?) the 6th, 1863.

Dear Mary, When last I wrote, I did not expect to address you from this place again. I will write again that you may hear from me.

"I enjoy good health at present and have a good appetite and enough to eat and am not overly taxed with duties and under those circumstances, don't you think I should be contented. I should be were it not for the many perplexities of camp life which one has to endure who tries to live a life of virtue and uprightness.

"But the views of the camp prevail to such an extent that a Christian seems to stand alone and bear all the derision and scoffs that his wicked comrades see fit to heap upon him.

"I am the only one of eight in my tent that makes any profession of religion, although there are two others that seem to be propelled of some good traits and one of them has commenced the year with trying to leave off swearing and the other to leave off tobacco.

"As for me, I have formed a resolution to improve my moral habits in every respect where I can discerne that I have erred in the former.

"I have finished a ring and have concluded that as Mother S (Sofia) has waited so long for hers it would not be right to put her off with one that has become a common article and will let her have this and endeavor to make another for you.

"The one I mentioned before had a bug on the same as this and he either eat the leaf up or crawled off with it for it cannot be found or I could supply you both. I am going to look for some shells soon.

"I don't know when we will leave here and I think you had better continue to send my

letters here as they will follow in case we leave. I have not received any yet since I came from home except the one you wrote at Mr. Smiths.

"I think we will get paid if we stay a week longer and I hope we may for it may be a long time if we are sent away before getting it.

The railroad is in order now and trains seem regular and I think it is time for me to get a letter from you. I begin to feel a bit anxious to know what your feelings are after a few days visit from myself.

"You have, no doubt, a greater anxiety, though, ever if possible, for my time to expire that I may return home and you may then hope the destinies of our country may not separate us again, which is also the prayer of your unworthy companion. Alfred Bowers.

He like the others of his regiment fought under Grant at Lookout Mountain, in Chattanooga TN. Alfred would have been around 26 at that time.

Alfred wrote a third letter, written on paper torn from the military Muster Register, on March 18, 1965 from Charleston SC. This was some time later than is recorded in the historic document recording the movements of Company C.

"Most letters I send will probably be on a similar sheet.

"Dear Companion,

You may think from the looks of this sheet that I am getting short of paper, but in that you are mistaken as I have plenty of good paper, though my envelopes are running rather lower than I desire. Nevertheless, I have enough for the present. If they fail the Christian Communion will furnish them.

"I have nothing of interest to write except that as usual I enjoy very good health, and have plenty to eat, drink and wear.

"With the exception of sugar, of which we have not been furnished for the last 15 days which constitutes a very important part of our diet, and coffee does not relish well without this necessary article. At first we were struck with the impression that the commissary was coming a game over us and selling our rations to the citizens by which they were realizing a large profit, but have since learned that this was a vague idea that came from the fact that regular organized troops fare no better and that sugar can not be found to any great extent in Charleston. Foraging has been denied? but chicken, turkey, ducks have played out and we are confined to what the soldiers have been pleased to term," sow belly and hard tack" which is considered the healthiest diet a soldier can eat, but a little less meat and more vegetables would, I think would be better for his health, besides a great deal more palatable.

"I don't hear from you yet though it appears that a letter should have gone and an answer returned before this as it cannot take more than seven days for a letter to go from here and the same to return and it must now 20 days since I sent to have directed here and no letter comes yet and as we may not stay here much longer, it would be advisable not to send any more until you hear from me again.

" The weather has been very wet for the last two weeks, and twice it has thundered, but at present it is some cooler and very pleasant and there are lots of pretty flowers in bloom and the trees are putting forth which brings to memory a thousand thoughts of days that are past. Hopes and fears at times make my nights seem restless, and sleep forsakes my eyes, but I trust in providence that in less than seven months more, these troubles will cease to haunt me and that I may lay my head down at night where there will be no danger of an enemy stealing upon me and arousing me from dreams of home and all its charms, to join in a scene of conflict, though I apprehend no danger here, yet there are so many flying reports that one cannot help but think of what might be his fate.

"I did not finish telling you about this writing paper and will now endeavor to do so. I was on guard one night when some houses took fire and in going in one of them after the roof was in a sheet of flame, I found a large roll of muster and payrolls which I took in my possession, and as no owner called for them, I cut four of them up yesterday and by the way have all the paper I shall need while in the service if I don't stay over the turn of three years.

"Things took a favorable turn at present for a final overthrow of the rebellion in many respects. One is that wherever our flag flutters, men are flocking beneath its shadow and readily acknowledged the hopeless condition of the rebels by taking the oath of allegiance and there have been so many crowding to the city of Charleston since its capture, that one man living in the city says he was not at the Marshall's office every day for about two weeks, and could not get an opportunity on account of so many from the county's being there ahead of him.

"The papers report General Lee's on the move to evacuate Richmond and that Virginia's troops refuse to leave their own state. Their supplies are cut off and what little they have will soon be exhausted. General Grant's confronting them and Sherman's in their rear, so if they don't make a break in one month more, they will, I think, be compelled to relinquish all hope of accomplishing the least of their desired purpose. I have some of their script just as it was printed, and send you a specimen.

"I have often thought of that little affair of having remarked to someone while after finding I could not get home in time to vote, I was impressed with the idea of turning and going back, and how you seemed to doubt my loyalty to you or rather thought that others would, but never took occasion to refer to it until the present.

"I might have said so, but if I did, it could only have been in jest. I never intended any such thing. But if you considered the matter as I do, you could not have blamed me even if had carried out the threat as I was furnished with free transportation for the purpose of voting and nothing else and I consider it disloyalty to my country to proceed on my journey other than the fact that I could not accomplish the object for which I had been furloughed, and if you would rightly study my character, I think you could not help but observe my main object to be strictly honest with my God, my country and yourself.

"Another of my attributes is to keep in my own heart the affection that I bear and not make a public show of it to become a laughing stock for the tattlers and others who feel disposed to immerse themselves in that sort of ridicule. I conclude by begging your pardon for any embitterment of your feelings caused by the above transaction and remain as ever, your affectionate husband Alfred Bowers.

Accounts of the war appearing in the New York Herald follow Alfred's letters, and add another dimension to the historic period in which he lived.

A quota of those in the service for each region of the country was met by a combination of volunteers, who were to serve for three year terms, and by conscription of men between 18 and 35, following March 1863. Well to do men could avoid being sent to fight by paying someone to go in their place or by paying $300 to an appropriate authority. In some cases, in a period after Alfred's Company signed up, other men were paid a substantial bounty for signing up, to assure there were replacement troops for those killed, wounded, sick or resigned.

This led to some men signing up for the bounty, and who took the money and ran.

Alfred was around 28 years old when the Civil War was over.

Alfred 's wife Mary and daughter Carrie died of scarlet fever a few years after the war was over.

They were buried in the same funeral, many years before he met Laura Starr, his second wife

and mother of six daughters.

Letters Alfred wrote to his first wife Mary, and New York Herald Pages which came to me through

my mother Ava are the basis for his Civil War experience. The news pages were obtained from t

he Library of Congress, and Page 8 contains an incorrect date line, probably because it was

a special edition R Zachary. Remarks © Ruth Zachary