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Mary Bowen Transcript

Perry November 18th 1864

To the Adgedent generel

Dear Sir  I have been informed by Copral James Gallegar of the Second Maine Cavalry Company D John M. Lincoln Captain that my son John Q.A. Bowen, a private in that Company Died on the 19th of October 1864 but of what Decise I have not been informed  has his Death been reported to you or the Deceuse he died off  please let me know   it is the third Son I have lost in the army and I have lost a Husband and Son in law and I have one Son in Company E 17th Maine Reg Fort Preble Portland Maine, if you have the report of his Death please forward a Copy to me and you will oblige me I  have never received any of their bountys as yet and my Husband has been Dead three years next March 
yours with respect

Mary Bowen

Surgeon General’s Office
Washington City, DC
February 20, 1865


I am instructed by the Surgeon General to acknowledge the receipt of a communication dated October 25th 1864 by the Adjutant General of the State of Maine to your Excellency, relative to the condition of the 2nd Maine Cavalry, stationed at Pensacola, Florida, as reported by Captain J.N. Nichols in a letter to his owners Messers. Walsh and Carver of New York.  This communication having been referred to the Medical Director of the Department of the Gulf, has been returned with a full report from Surgeon E.B. White, U.S. Vols. Medical Director of Major General Gordon Grangers Command, dated Fort Gaines, February 3, 1865 in which he states that on the 15th September 1864, he accompanied General Granger to the District of West Florida, visited and inspected the Hospitals &c that the sick and death rates of the whole force was high – the 2nd Maine Cavalry suffering some from Scurvy, but the principal sickness was Chronic Diarrhoea and malarious fevers with their sequents.  The reports show deaths from Scurvy but the chief mortality was from disease induced by change of climate, of diet, exposure to marsh poison, irregular life and bad company cooking.

Vegetables it appears came forward slowly owing to various causes among others the low stage of water in the river causing delay in the transmission of vegetables and their consequent decay, and the loss of boats loaded with vegetables for the Commissary Department.

The Sanitary condition of the 2nd Maine is now greatly improved, the cooking is more careful and cleanly the clothing, persons and habitations of the men more neat, and other matters which assist in maintaining the proper hygienic condition of masses of men are carefully attended to.

Arrangements have been made at Key West with masters of vessels at that point to bring fruits from Havanna to Mobile Bay and Pensacola, for the benefit of the troops, the first vessel arrived in Mobile Bay December 1st 1864.

Very respectfully
Your obedient servant
C.H. Crane
Surgeon U.S.A.

His Excellency Samuel Cony
Governor of Maine State Archives