The Bowens of Bertie heed the call
Frederick Columbus Bowen, born March 6, 1840, was the fourth child, third son, of Jesse and Margaret Bowen. He was born in Bertie County, North Carolina and lived at home with his parents where he learned to farm. He was also taught to read and write. After the Civil War began, he enlisted on August 9, 1862 in Bertie County at age 22. He served in Company F, 59th Regiment, North Carolina Troops (4th Regiment North Carolina Cavalry) as a private. Other recruits included his brothers, Thomas E. Bowen and William H. Bowen, and two cousins, James L. Bowen and Hollaway E. Bowen. Another cousin, Marcus H. Bowen, later transferred from the 12th Battalion to this company. The records state that Fred was wounded and paroled at Upperville, Virginia, June 21, 1863. He was wounded when his horse was shot out from under him, but his brother, Thomas, fared much worse. He was killed in action at Middleburg, Virginia, on June 18, 1863. The records state that Fred was reported as “absent on parole” through February of 1864 and no other information was available as to his war record. He was on duty in August 1864 in Morganton, North Carolina as he wrote several letters to his future wife, Harriet Pierce.