Alexander Grayson Bowman diary

AZ 001
Manuscript of Alexander Grayson Bowman Diary, page 1

Collection area: Arizona and Southwest

Collection dates: 1861-1865

About this collection

Hand-written diary and certificates of promotion and discharge, with accompanying transcript and biographical material, consists of daily record of the march from Camp Union, near San Francisco, Oct. 18, 1861, until his mustering out at Franklin, near El Paso, Texas, Dec. 12, 1864; and includes his subsequent journey back to California, to Feb. 12, 1865.

Historical background

Alexander Grayson Bowman, born in New York in 1838, came West as a young man. He lived in several different states, including Colorado, until he moved to California in 1859 and joined the Union efforts in the California Volunteer Army, Company B, 5th Regiment Infantry. Under the command of Colonel James Henry Carleton, Corporal Bowman served as a pace counter in the march of the "California Column," a strategic effort organized to gain control of the Confederate-captured New Mexico territory (present-day Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Nevada) and to prevent the capture of California. During this expedition from southern California through Arizona, New Mexico and northwest Texas, Bowman kept a handwritten daily record of the march from his 1861 mustering in at Camp Union, California, until his mustering out at Franklin, near El Paso, Texas, as well as during his subsequent journey back to California, lasting until early 1865.

Soon after arriving back in California, Bowman returned to Colorado to start a business with his brother, William R. Bowman. Eventually, the Bowman brothers settled in Farmington, New Mexico, where they established The Bowman Brothers drugstore in 1878, the community's first pharmacy.

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