Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY

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August 04, 1864

Henry M. Bowden, Papers, 1862–1866, Accession 42640, Personal Papers Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Henry M. Bowden, Papers, 1862–1866, Accession 42640, Personal Papers Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Henry Bowden Wrote General Benjamin Butler for Assistance

Henry Moseley Bowden (1819–1871), a resident of James City County and a Unionist, was forced from his home as Federal troops left the Williamsburg area in 1862. Fearing reprisals in the absence of Federal troops, Bowden moved his family to Norfolk, where he wrote to Union general Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818–1893) about his situation. Having abandoned his employment and personal property, Bowden and his family took with them supplies and food from the Eastern Lunatic Asylum of which he was the clerk. He noted that he was “a consistent and uncompromising loyalist, and have suffered on account of my devotion to the cause.” Eventually Butler hired Bowden as a financial agent for the Union army.