Friday, March 8, 2013
**********THE ROWE'S SAGA By Morris E. Rowe**********
The XLIV chapter of Ecclesiastics goes as follows: "All these were honored in their generations and were the glories of they're times. There be of them that have left a name behind them that their praises might be reported and some there be which have no memorial who are perished as though they had never been and are become as though they had never been born and their children after them. But these were merciful men whose righteousness hath not been forgotten with their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance and their children are within the covenant their seed standeth fast and their children for their sakes. Their seed shall remain forever and their glory shall not be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in Peace, but their names liveth for evermore."
This scripture certainly applies to our family. Most people would like to know about their ancestors, where they lived, what they did, about their children and all the other things that people do to fill the days of their appointed time. I will try to do this as far as I know. Records are lost or cannot be found, and in addition memories are short and not always reliable.
The family, according to the stories, came into this country about 1610 or 1611 into Virginia. They came from England from along the Dee River. Dr. Charles Rowe, a cousin of mine noticed during World War II quite a lot of Rowes still in England. I made the acquaintance of a lady whose name had been Rowe, who had not been in this country but a short time. Some one gave me Rowe's name even in Linn County, Kansas. They came to this country in 1860's if they were related to us I couldn't tell, but I'll claim all with the name of Rowe even if they are Irish as I found in one family living near Beatrice, Nebraska. The Rowe's first settled along the coast of Virginia. At least one family of Rowe's had a plantation with one of those big tidewater houses. It was called "The Barrington." The British burned the courthouse records of most of the counties during the Revolution, so it is hard to find anything about the Rowe's before 1700. The Daughters of the American Revolution has researched the records for Vets of the Revolution so they can use them in becoming a member of that organization. We owe them a big debt.
In one of the deed records in Henrico County, VA. (This is the county in which Richmond is located) one of the first entries is three Rowe brothers, John, William and Johnson and their mother, Lucy Johnson Rowe, who were settling up an estate of 200 acres of William Rowe, Sr., husband of Lucy Johnson. William Rowe, Sr. Must have been born in 1690-1700 and married Lucy Johnson about 1723 or before. John was born about 1730-31, William, Jr. 1732-1735 and Johnson about 1735. Nothing is known about what happened to Lucy and two sons, William Jr. and Johnson. John was married before settling the 200-acre estate his wife's name Jane Walker is on the deed, too. (Her mother consented to the marriage because Jane was barely 16 at the time.) They were probably married about 1753 or 1754. The Walker family originated the Walker strain of fox hounds and Johnnie Walker Whiskey, but left VA and went west through the Cumberland
Gap into Tennessee and then to Kentucky. Both the dogs and the whiskey have done well since then. At the time of settling the estate of his father, John and Jane lived in Henrico County and owned a farm of 100 acres there. They sold this land in 1774 and moved to Louisa County. This land in Louisa County lay in corner next to Fluvanna, and Goochland and Albemarle counties. They accumulated 500 acres here and sold it some time after 1800. John and Jane then moved to a smaller farm in Louisa County. They were alive in 1810 according to the census record, but their names were not on the census records of 1820, so evidently they died during the 10-year period 1810-1820.
John and Jane had the following family: Jesse born 1755; James born 1757; William born 1760; Susannah born 1762; Mary born 1763, she was sometimes called Polly; John Jr. born 1765.
Jesse Rowe eldest son of John and Jane Rowe was born in Hanover County in 1755. His name appears on the tax rolls along with his father's on the taxpayer roll in Hanover County in 1777. Jesse and James and some think William too served in the Virginia Militia during the Revolution. William married but never had children so no one ever looked up his records is the reason give for him not being mentioned as a Veteran of the Revolution. These sons of John and Jane Rowe as Revolutionary soldiers had the following records: First in 1776 under Captain Dabney and Col. Sam Meredith from Sept 2nd to Dec 16th. In 1777 under Capt. Dabney and Col. Taylor. Jesse did not serve in 1779. He married late in 1778 or early in 1779. In 1780 from June 19th to 5th of Sept under Capt. Byers and CoL Taylor, Jesse and James enlisted in 1781 under the same officers on the 24th of May and served until after the British marched out of Yorktown, Virginia to the tune "The World is Upside Down"; the Colonies became "The United States of America". The enlistment record came from Ohio Pension rolls, census of pension year of 1840, p. 175; Adj. General Office Document 127915, supervision file 41225,
Another British force was at work in the Colonies even before the Revolution, "The Methodist Missionaries". They were falsely accused of spying, but most of the Missionaries later became citizens of the USA that was founded. The Rowes were for the most part Episcopalians or members of the Church of England. They soon became members of this sect, or at least our section of the Rowe clan did. One young lay preacher, a youth of 19 years, must have made quite an impression on our family for their children were named after him, a Mr. Henry Bascom, who later became Bishop of the American Methodist Church. I found Henry Bascom's name given as a circuit rider in Ohio by one authority.
Jesse, born 1755 son of John and Jane married in 1779 to Jane Farris born 1763 with her mother's consent, as she was only 16. She must have been a shy retiring individual for her name is not mentioned again until she died in 1838, Jesse could have been the type who thought women should be seen but not heard. We will see later. Draw your own conclusions as we continue the record of the family. While teaching in 1924 I had a pupil named James Farris and he said his mother told him that he was related to me, but I
didn't know of this marriage then, and James soon moved away and I never thought any more about it until this research I found the name Farris.
We will look a little but at the area of Virginia where Jesse and Jane lived. It was on the frontier side of Virginia, north of Staunton, the valley between the Blue Ridges and another chain of the Appalachians to the north. Merriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition up the Missouri River and across the mountains to the Pacific Ocean and return had a home here called "The Locusts". This was north and a little bit west of the Rowe's home. To the east and north stood "Montecello" Jefferson's home. Two roads led north and west, towards what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, "The Three Notches Road" and "The Old Buffalo Trail Road", also in this area was a place on the Old George Carr farm on the north bank of Ivy Creek, which the natives called "The Barracks". It held prisoners of war taken by the Colonist at Saratoga, N.Y. Gen. Bouagone [Bourgoine?] was the British general taken. Mrs. Lewis, Merriwether's mother is supposed to have run prisoners out of her house one day when some of them escaped from the "Barracks". The prisoners were later moved over by Winchester, VA. In 1780 Cornwallis sent a legion of Cavalry under Tarleton early in June in search of the Legislators of Virginia and Jefferson. This legion of cavalry was made up of 250 Cavalry and 50 mounted infantry, 300 in all, no one knew for certain the purpose of the raid, but guessed at it. Most travel in Virginia during that time was by horseback or light wagon. Taverns or inns were situated about a days journey apart, lodging and food were available here. It was late when the cavalry arrived and the officers just had to have a stirrup cup. (One for the drive home we would say today.) So they stayed all night and the Innkeeper promised them an early breakfast. Capt. John Javett of the local militia was at the inn (the Castle) as they arrived. As soon as prudent he got his horse and on a little used road headed for Montecello to warn Jefferson, The legislators had headed that way, too. The Captain rode all-night and arrived at Montecello at sunup. Paul Reverie's ride on a borrowed horse, to warn of the British Army's approach, lost Deacon Brown's horse that he had borrowed, to the British Army. Capt. Javett and his mare warned Jefferson, and then with some local help got the legislators started west again, and Tarleton's Legion chased the group Capt. Javett had gathered and the legislators got away. Jefferson hid on Carter Mountain. Capt. Javett's ride out did everything Revere did, but history doesn't record much for him. Tarleton then turned his troops loose to raid and destroy in that area. The farm animals that could be used were taken by this raiding party. Those animals that they couldn't use were killed, even the colts. It was concluded the raiding parties destroyed $15,000,000 worth of livestock and food supplies. Food in that area was in short supply for some time. No way for the people to move except by foot as all the horses were taken. No wonder the people hated the British the rest of their days. I doubt if any of you have ever heard of Capt. Jack Javett, his ride was longer and at least as important as the one Paul Revere made on a borrowed horse, which the British captured. Deacon Brown who loaned Revere the horse never got it back. Poet's sing Revere's praises, but Javett is forgotten.
The Rowe Boys were in the State Militia and the Militia finally chased Tarleton's Legion back to Cornwallis. This family, as we have read, lived along the north frontier of Virginia along what is now the boundary between West Virginia and Old Virginia.
Virginia and the other Colonies along the seaboard claimed the land to the West as far as it went, but when the USA was founded all claims to the western land had to be given up before they could become a part of the Union. This area to the West for the most part was a vast forest except for the parts of Illinois and some of Indiana or rather what is today Illinois and Indiana. The French and English had been squabbling over this land for some time, the British seemed to have control by this time and they built a fort at what is now Miami, Ohio. This fort was on U.S. Territory. This gave the British an edge if a dispute ever came up. Also the Indians here were constantly raiding the settlers who came west. Both the fort and the Indians acted as a buffer between British Canada and the new nation. The British wanted above all to control the fur trade, which at the time was big paying industry in the Colonies and Canada. The new nation sent General St. Clair against the Indians in Ohio in 1791. It resulted in as bad a defeat as Custer suffered in Rosebud, Montana. Three years later Gen. Wayne was sent and the Indians were defeated in the battle of "Fallen Timbers". The defeat and the treaty of 1795 gave the new nation the Ohio Territory or Northwest Reserve and the settlers started west. The Rowes joined the parade sometime after 1802.
The people along the Eastern Seaboard, from the time the Colonies became an established fact, were constantly pushing west. Settling in areas where the Indians still held sway, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.
Some even went down the Ohio River and the Mississippi as far as St. Louis and up the Missouri River and had scattered settlements there. In 1802 Jefferson began plans to acquire the Louisiana Purchase and an expedition headed by Merriwether Lewis and Clark to find the Northwest Passage. This would have been a military expedition in a foreign land if Jefferson had not bought the Louisiana Territory. Sandburg the poet in his "Life qf Lincoln", tells the number of wagons passing down the road West of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, some going on flat boats with goods and with their wagons. Not the big colorful motion picture version, but the common farm wagon with wooden bows covered over with wagon sheets. This westward movement continued for 70 years or more. Some didn't stop until they reached Oregon or California. Emigrants from Europe and England joined these people, but this is making this narrative too long a story, so we will go back now and start over again on the Rowe family.
We will join Jesse and Jane's daughter Elizabeth at the Courthouse in Hanover County, Virginia on the 13th day of November 1803. The following was recorded (I have a Photostat copy from the museum in Richmond, Virginia), thus - "Sir, Elizabeth Rowe of full age desires License of Marriage between her and James Rowe both of County of Louisa witness my hand and seal this 13th day of November 1803. Signed - Elizabeth Rowe, witness - John Pointexter, test - Hezekiah Faris and Richard Rowe, Louisa Office."
The above seal was drawn by hand and the words written on it with a pen. The next day the following took place. "Know all men by these present that James Rowe and Hezekiah Faris are held and firmly bound unto John Page, Esquire, our present and his successors in office for the use of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the sum of one
hundred and fifty dollars, to the payment of which will and truly to be made we bind ourselves, our heirs and jointly and severally firmly by these present sealed with our seals and dated this 14th day of November 1803. The condition of the above obligations is such that whereas there is a marriage suddenly intended to be had and solemnized between the above bound James Rowe and Elizabeth Rowe is wherefore if there is no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage then the above obligation to be void also to remain in full force and witness: J. W. Page. Signed — James Rowe and Hezekiah Faris.
We have already mentioned Elizabeth, but the other people whose names appear here we have not met. Hezekiah Faris was Jane (Faris) Rowe's brother - Richard Rowe, J.W. Page and John Poindextger are unknown. J.W. Page was the man loaning the money and Poindexter must have been the County Clerk, or a very similar office. Richard Rowe and James Rowe's parents are unknown. They probably were brothers, and James wanted his brother as a witness and best man at the wedding. James could have been a son of Jesses' Uncle Johnson Rowe or William Rowe or of another relative. If he had not married Elizabeth a lot of us would not have had the name Rowe today.
Their first son was Jesse Bascom and was born the next year on December 16th, 1804. James was born on the 24th day of May 1784. Being 19 years old at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Rowe, born 11th of October 1780 - the marriage was to last almost 60 years. James died on 24th March 1863. Had he lived until the 13th of November of that year, they would have been married the 60 years. Elizabeth died September 6th 1865.
Their first son mentioned above was called Jesse Bascom Rowe. He could neither read nor write, when I was in Washington Court House, Ohio, I looked in the book of deeds and found the account of selling the land he had acquired there. It was recorded thus -"James B. Rowe. This family moved to Ohio in 1803 or 1804. In addition to Jesse Rowe and his wife Jane (Faris) Rowe and their children, Jesse's cousin William Sandridge Rowe, Edward Dillard Rowe, and two brothers William and Rueben Rowe accompanied the group. These four settled along Paint Creek west of Chillicothe, Ohio." I do not know any more about them.
This town was founded by the Shawnee Indians, burned by the whites then rebuilt by the Indians. James Rowe and family, Jesse's brothers also came along as far as Ross County, Ohio, but didn't like it here. James born 1759 married Jane Draper in Virginia and had the following children: Marcy, who married a Causeley, Nicholas, Polly and Lucy. Jane died either before James left Virginia or shortly after leaving for Ohio. He married and moved near Shelby, Kentucky. His second marriage family consisted of Polly, Sally, who married an Alexander, and Betsy, who married a Jones. James died September 9th 1840 and was buried in the cemetery at Shelby, Kentucky. Some of his descendents are still living in that area, and have all the information, but I have never contacted them.
William Rowe born 1760, another brother of Jesse Rowe (John and Jane Walker's line) married a woman whose first name was Agnes in 1785. Her last name is not known. They left Virginia about 1812 and came to Ohio. They had James P. Rowe (thought to be
the one who married Elizabeth, Jesse and Jane's daughter), Elizabeth, Jane Harriet and Sarah Ann Rowe, nothing also is known of them.
Jesse's and Jane's Farris Rowe's brood. We have already talked some about their daughter Elizabeth and her husband James Rowe and an account I read of James said he was one of the "Mighty Hunters", along with his brothers-in-law, John and Jessie Jr. They were trappers for furs of one kind or another. They continued to hunt for several years. James, John and Jessie Jr. brothers-in-law were also in the war of 1812. All settled on land given them by their Father and Father-in-law. Jessie Sr., known from here on as Wabash Jessie. Jessie Jr. became known as Sugar (Candy) Creek Jessie. And James and Elizabeth's son, Jessie B. (Wabash Jesse's grandson) will be called Jessie III. Wabash Jessie never cared for his son-in-law James. He let James and Elizabeth have land to use during their lifetime, but they could not sell it. Later, we will read Wabash Jesse's Will on that point. Soon after Wabash Jesse's cabin was completed, a Methodist Circuit rider, may have been George Gothen, came through and the first Methodist meeting in Fayette County, Ohio was held in Wabash Jesse's cabin with some of their children there and some neighbors.
The account read that the wolves were howling outside. From the Methodist history the remarks came, stating that Wabash Jessie was indeed the Father of Methodism in Fayette County. He held the position of exhorter, I think the exhorters were class leaders. They met in the homes and were responsible for conducting the meetings later in the schoolhouse that was built, about 1830 a Methodist Church was built in the northwest corner of the Wabash Jesse's farm. The second Methodist Church was built after 1900, and is still used as a place of worship. The town of Staunton, Ohio lies along two sides of it and the cemetery on the other two sides. Wabash Jesse's grandson Willis Rowe (son of John Rowe and Francis Anderson) plotted the town of Staunton, It was named for Staunton, Virginia. The counties and townships were unorganized. In 1810 Fayette was organized as a county with Washington Courthouse as the county seat. The townships were organized about the same time. Wabash Jesse Lived in Green Township. He served as Justice of Peace for several years after the organization into townships. He also served several terms as Trustee. He not only gave the land for the church and cemetery, but $300 for the first church building that replaced the old school house. The Rowe's outnumbered the rest of the people in Fayette County. The Trumans, Andersons, Moses and Drapers are buried there. The first grave on the East Side near the north end of the church is the grave of my great grandmother Sarah Morris*Rowe. A brother and sister of my father, Morris Bigelow Rowe, Jr. and Hester J. Rowe and also a grave of a brother of my grandfather, Daniel N. Rowe, born 1835, and died of quick consumption (he had never married) is buried back of the church. The County controls the cemetery because people were destroying the old stones and burying their dead in the old graves. The
* "(Moses Truman Rowe)...son of Jesse (B) Rowe of Ohio, who married a Miss Morris. She was descended from the Revolutionary family of Morrises, of whom Robert Morris, who financed the Colonies struggle for Independence,-at a most critical time, was a member." Excerpt from "History of Jackson County" Written May 1923, page 502.
Anderson's private cemetery a few miles away, the new owner piled up the stones along one end of the field (just a little greedy).
Wabash Jesse and Jane (Faris) Rowe are not buried in the Staunton Church cemetery, but in the Rowe private cemetery about 200 yards southeast of the house that Wabash Jesse and Jane built. This house burned down about 1840. There is not a gate to this cemetery and the fence is about 6 feet woven wire. I climbed over it to get a picture of the inscription on their tombstones and here I caught my shoe heel and hung my head down until I could get myself righted. Wabash Jesse and Jane's graves are along the south side about midway of the cemetery. The plot is about 60 feet square and is now taken care of by the state. I forgot to take the cap off the lens of my camera and didn't get a picture of the stones. Others buried in this private cemetery are Mary Rowe Draper and infant daughter. Mary was one of Wabash Jesse and Jane (Faris) Rowe's daughters. Their graves are on the north side. At the East End are three graves. The one on the north side is that of Francis Anderson Rowe, (wife of John Rowe the oldest son of Wabash Jessie and Jane), Sanford Rowe, (son of Sugar Creek Jesse Rowe Jr. and Martha Sharp). (Jesse Jr. is the son of Wabash Jesse and Jane (Faris) Rowe). The other boy buried here is illegible.
This area in which the Rowes lived in Virginia was a hilly, tree covered place and I have always wondered what the various groups thought about as they climbed the hills to the north and west on the road to Ohio. The wagons pulled by oxen on the main, creaking along with all their worldly possessions: cattle, chickens, farm machinery, household goods, etc. They were probably too busy keeping things moving ahead and the excitement of moving, keep most from saying and doing much about the country that had been home to them and family for almost 200 years.
The place where they took roots was also covered with hard wood trees (oaks and the like) along Wabash Creek. Here Wabash Jesse and Jane (Faris) bought 750 acres of land from a couple from Kentucky. There is a story of Wabash Jesse using script from his Revolutionary Pay, to pay for most of the land. This land was in the survey. This survey was made before the systems we have now in this country were adopted. The system now in use is built on the Mile Square of 640 acres each. These sections are supposed to have some stable markers at each corner. Judge Davis told me of the early surveys made in Kansas - a team and wagon with the bed rolls, camping equipment, food supplies, rifles and shot guns to supply fresh meat, a few sacks of charcoal, the surveying instrument, also several saddle horses. A corner was marked, and a sack or a part of a sack of charcoal with a rope around the sack was fixed The hole for the corner was dug with care, as to location and charcoal thrown in. The other end of the rope was tied to the axle of the wagon. As the survey group moved to the next corner to be marked, the wagons rolled along and some one would see the rope trailing that had a sack tied on it and would ? throw the whole outfit on the wagon and proceed to the next hole?. No wonder there were squabbles over land titles. In hilly country with rock available, flat rocks with the section, range and township, etc., were scratched on the rocks. On the farm I grew up on there were several of these at corners of tracts of land. One could still read the inscriptions. In Ohio the survey notes of the title to land read like this, "From a
point between a huge white oak tree, a beech tree and red elm proceed so many poles in line to north were more trees were encountered". This was all right as long as trees stood. The old Rowe place where I visited was owned by a Mrs. Bolton, there were no trees along the line fences. There were some more small trees along the Little Wabash Creek, which cuts through the farm. On the road that goes along the north side of the Old Rowe farm in Fayette County is part of an old turnpike built before the Civil War; which was a hard surfaced road. All vehicles traveling along this road was either drawn by oxen or horses. On some of these roads tolls were collected on them. Stagecoaches and a special breed of horses, the Bell Flowers, developed to pull carriages. Taverns or inns were located along the roads as there had been in Virginia. Food and lodging were available in these taverns.
In 1849 gold was discovered in California. The news of this find spread across the civilized world without the benefit of telegraph or telephone. This news caused quite a disturbance in Fayette County, Ohio.
On the 5th of April the next year at Cincinnati, Ohio, a group of young men came up the gangway of the steamer "James Menninger", among those coming aboard were Morris and James Rowe. There were 72 men from Fayette County in this group. Two rich men, J.H. Robinson and A.N. Ogle, had underwritten this venture. The group thought there would be safety in large numbers. They sailed down the Ohio River and then up the Missouri River to the present day site of St. Joseph, Missouri and crossed over to the western side close to what is today Atchinson, Kansas. They were divided into mess groups of 4 each. They had 17 wagons. So some mess groups must have had 5 members. In mess group No. 4 were Jesse Fisher, James Coperal, Morris and James Rowe. The groups of men were to pick up their Oxen at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, which was the starting point of the Oregon Trail. The groups arrived at St. Joseph on April 17th; they were 12 days making the trip that far. On the 17th or 18th they were getting their oxen in the yokes. John Wood, the author of the diary I am quoting, said the oxen were steers off the range that had never had a rope on them. Quoting John, "My oh my! What a time we had." They must have made out all right as on the 19th they started up along the trail to the west.
The next episode that John (Wood) mentions is a week or 10 days later, where a wind and thunder storm came upon them one night. In the excitement the oxen broke out of the circles between 2 wagons ruining the two...the front end of one and the back end of another wagon. The man spent the next day tracking down the oxen. They were never able to find one of them. One wagon was made from the 2 practically destroyed wagons.
There was considerable trouble after leaving the Oregon Trail and heading south and west to California. On the 22nd of September, Morris Rowe and John Wood were driving a lame ox and was about one quarter mile behind the rest of the group when the Indians attacked. The Ohio boys could only muster 3 guns, but let the Indians have the lame oxen and went on.
In October they made it to the gold fields without cattle or wagons, only the things they could carry were saved. They spent the winter in the gold fields and then went on to San Francisco. The drumhead courts set up by the miners themselves to try miners for stealing and murders in the gold fields made an impression on the Ohio group.
The group took a steamer down the West Coast to Panama and then they walked across from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic and caught another steamer to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River and continued on up the Ohio to their homes. They were 38 days getting home. My grandfather was married in June of that year. James, his brother, started on his quest of a doctor's degree. This information was taken from the diary of John Wood's, published in 1871. A copy of the original is worth several hundred dollars today.
My grandfather, Morris Bigelow Rowe, was married to Sarah Ellen Row on his return to Ohio in 1851. Sarah Ellen was born in Green County, Tennessee. Born in 1833 and died in 1909 near Winfield, Kansas. Sarah Ellen was the second child of Andrew Row and Ester Davis Row.
The years 1850 to 1860 were ones of great turmoil in the U.S. The country was divided over the slavery issue. The climax was finally reached in 1861 after Abraham Lincoln was elected president. The die was cast and war came.
The so-called Civil War (or War Between the States) left its mark on the Rowe family. James Rowe, a brother of Elizabeth Rowe, both children of Wabash Jesse Rowe and Jane Faris, became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and lived in the area of Huntsville, Alabama. He also established an academy or high school there prior to the war in 1861-65. He married and had two sons. There may have been others too. At the outbreak of the Civil War or shortly after he and his wife came north where they spent the war years. One of the boys, Henry Bascom joined the regular Southern Army and was killed in October.
The other son, Andrew, moved north for awhile then went back, where he died at Huntsville, Alabama, who his Mother was is unknown. James also moved back to Huntsville after the war and soon died and is buried at Huntsville.
My grandfather, Morris Bigelow, enlisted in Ohio Volunteers, after his two younger brothers enlisted. William Eddie Rowe enlisted on November 19, 1861, in Company G of the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. On December 19, 1861, Moses Truman Rowe enlisted in the same Company. They were both in the bank of the 73rd Regiment. They were also stretcher-bearers during or after battles. If the battle was a tough one, they carried their rifles along with the others. The 73rd Regiment was a part of the Cumberland army. Shiloh, Stone River, Chicamauga and Atlanta battles were some of the battles of the 73rd Regiment. They went with Sherman to Savannah and then north to Bentonville, North Carolina where the last battle was fought, then the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. On September 1, 1863 William Eddie Rowe was made a Sargeant, later a 2nd Lt. and still later, a 1st Lt.. He was mustered out of the service along with the
Company July 20, 1865. Moses Truman Rowe enlisted in Company E on December 19, 1861 and went with the Company all through the war. He was made a Sargeant July 1, 1865 and was mustered out with the Company July 20, 1865. Morris Bigelow Rowe enlisted in Company K, 90th Infantry, July 23, 1862 and received his commission as Captain August 4, 1862. This regiment was also assigned to the Cumberland Army. This was a green regiment that tried to stop Bragg's invasion of Kentucky and later helped drive them back into Tennessee. He was shot through the right wrist at the battle of Stone Ridge, December 31,1862 or January 2, 1863. I do not know which day; I do have a picture of the hospital tent of the 9th Infantry. But I doubt if Grandfather was ever in the tent. His wound was probably field dressed and he continued with his Company.
The action of Stone River just west of Murfreeboro was described as follows: Brigadeer General Charles Cruft's Brigade: 31st Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Col. Johnson, 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; Col. Johnson, 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; Col. David A. Eugot, 2nd Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; Col. Thomas E. Sedgewide, 90th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Col. Isacio N. Ross, 1st Ohio Volunteer Battery B. Capt. William Standout. December 31,1862 facing east (toward town) 31st Indiana Infantry on the right and 2nd Kentucky Infantry on the left, in line. 1st Kentucky Infantry in support of the 31st Indiana, 90th Ohio Infantry in support of the 2nd Kentucky. The first section of each battery on each flank. At ten o'clock a.m. all advanced but were driven back to the Cowan house. Negley's Division retired on Cruft's right between 11 a.m. and 12 noon. Confederates in pursuit of Negley's division were soon on Cruft's right and rear, and Kazan's brigade on the left of Cruft withdrew to an open field on his left to the Round Forest position. Cruft's position was now untenable, and he retired through the woods and fought north of Nashville pike near the railroad in support of those defending the Round Forest. This was probably the day grandfather was wounded. It rained most of the night and New Years Day. But only skirmishing fire. I have walked the whole area and could almost see the action. To the east and south was quite an area of plum bushes and cedar trees so thick when I was there you could only crawl through. The action January 2nd took place north and east about a mile or so, and Bragg then pulled out on the 3rd and 4th of January, and the Union Army went into Murfreeboro. Uncle George William Rowe was in this action, too. He enlisted on August 1, 1862. He claimed that he was born in 1837, which would make him 25, but he was bom in 1847. So he was only 15. He was in Company K, 90th Infantry and Grandfather Rowe's regiment. He was made a corporal some time early in 1863. The next action was at Chicamauga. The 9th Ohio was at the northern end of the Union line, which faced east across the road which, ran north into Chattanooga, Tennessee. If the confederates got between the army of the Cumberland and Chattanooga they would have captured them. The 90th regiment made a charge to drive back approaching Confederates. But later were crowded back across the road to Snodgrass Hill. The whole southern end of the Union line was driven in flight back towards Rossville between the battlefield and Chattanooga. On Snodgrass Hill the Union army made its last stand under General George Thomas. Gen. Granger came down from Rossville with a few regiments and ammunition and Thomas retired into Chattanooga. This stand of General Thomas at Snodgrass Hill earned for him the title of "Rock of Chicamooga." I like to think that the Rowe boys who were there helped him earn that title.
You do not need much imagination as you walk that field from one position to another to almost see the action. The field is all marked with stones showing places of the various units of both armies. The field has been made to look like it did that September in 1865, Widow Glenn's house, the Brethren house, and Alexander's bridge, just to mention a few. I stood on the line that was occupied by the 90th Infantry Regiment during that battles, along with the other regiments and looked east and saw the markers for the Southern Regiment. Both sides believed they were doing the right thing. The flower of a nation's manhood was almost wiped out here, what prices we pay. The best are always killed. No wonder we have trouble getting leaders. The next action was in Chattanooga. The Confederates had the army of the Cumberland shut up there in Chattanooga. Now the Union army with help from the army of Potomac, and the army of Tennessee under Sherman drove the Confederates headlong back into Georgia in the battles of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. The next year the Cumberland army drove the south to Atlanta.
Grandfather Rowe resigned his commission in December of 1863 and went home. Grandma and we had lost a little boy, Morris Bigelow Jr., and a daughter, Hester, while he was away. No wonder Grandma Rowe always said "pop" was always gone when I need him.
Shortly after the Civil War, Jesse the third sold the land that he inherited from his grandfather's estate through his mother Elizabeth. One piece for $6700 for 111 acres. The deed was made on December 3, 1868. Great Grandmother Sarah Morris Rowe died November 30, 1867. The death certificate said she had fits. (Probably it should have been convolutions.) The money Jesse got for the farms were in gold and he carried it in a belt. They took their household goods, machinery, horses and other livestock on a steamer downthe Ohio River, up the Mississippi to the Missouri River to Kansas City, or rather Independence. Morris Bigelow Rowe had bought a lot of land the year before, now Jesse B. Rowe bought land for himself and all his children. Jesse B. arrived from Ohio too late to get land and put in crops. He hired out to a German farmer and worked for him that summer. Later in the year the farmer was complaining of hard times and the like. Jesse B. asked him if he would sell, and the farmer agreed to sell and Jesse B. paid him in gold from the sale of the Ohio land. I do not know whether it was the land Morris B. bought or not. Jesse B. wanted his children all around him. He remarried here a Mrs. Hampton. He is buried in the Blue Springs, Missouri cemetery. Also buried here are his second wife and his sister Julia, who died shortly after coming to Missouri from Ohio.
Moses Truman, William Eddie and George William married after a few years in northern Missouri. Morris B. and George William sold the land they had been given by their father, and moved down into Bates County, south of Kansas City. Morris B. and Sarah Ellen were burned out here. They lost most of their family possessions; also lost the sword he carried during the war. Morris B. was gone by the time of the fire. No wonder Grandma Sarah Ellen always said '"pop"' was always gone when she needed him." The time was sometime in the 1870's.
Still later Morris fi. and Sarah Ellen and family moved down into Dade County close to Aldrich the county seat. Morris B. and sons had accumulated quite a herd of cattle by this time, several hundred head. His son John Franklin Rowe had been to Texas and had helped drive cattle north up the Old Chisholm Trail to Abilene and Ellsworth Kansas. Came home with stories of the grass and free land in Kansas. Grass as high as a man on horse back in the river bottom lands.
So in the spring of 1881 or 82, or 83 in April they started west across Kansas. George William Rowe and his wife Nannie (Craig) Rowe; William Eddie Rowe and his wife Violet L. (Mayes) Rowe; Morris B. Rowe and Sarah Ellen (Row) Rowe and all their children as follow: John Franklin Rowe and Rosella (Provine) Rowe; Nancy Ellen Rowe Beaver and her husband Duane Foster, also their son Harry Maurice Foster about six years old; Daniel Andrew Turner Rowe and his wife Margaret Jane (Williams) Rowe; Margaret Alice (Rowe) King and her husband David Theophilis King; James Bascom Rowe; Benjamin Davis Rowe, and my father Rural Albert Rowe. This makes a total of 19 people.
William Eddie and Violet and their son Guy may not have made the trip to Western Kansas, but they were at Cambridge on the ranch there. Also George William Rowe and Nannie may not have made the trip.
The group must have had six or eight covered wagons or more. I do not know how many saddle horses. Uncle Dan and my father rode most of the way on saddle horses. They started about the first of April so the cattle would have something to eat as they went along. They had milk cow or two to provide milk and butter, and several crates of chickens for eggs. In the back end of the wagon in which Grandmother Sarah Ellen Rowe rode was the organ. Nearly every night after supper the organ would be set on the ground and the group would have a songfest. They would have all four parts on the song. Most of the songs were hymns because this was a group of Methodists. It was getting late fall when they got close to Medicine Lodge where they wintered.
Along the way somewhere Uncle Ben had quite an experience. The cattle were not moving along just right, so he took off on his horse to get them going again, he disappeared suddenly with his horse. He had come up to the edge of one of those treacherous creeks with a high cut banks and there was no place to go but into the water several feet below. A good wetting was the result. He had another experience in northern Missouri close to what is now Grain Valley. The threshers had threshed the wheat and put it in sacks and the sacks were stored in an empty house on the farm. Shortly before going to bed that night Grandma checked on the boys, Ben and Bert (my father). Bert was asleep but Ben couldn't be found. Finally some one got a lantern and went to the house that had the wheat sacks stored in it. There sat Uncle Ben on the sacks. They got him down and back into bed. He never remembered it. Must have been a walking nightmare. Bert, my father was intrigued by prairie dogs. He tried several times to catch one and finally did. He held it by the back of the neck to not get bitten. He went to get back on his horse and the prairie dog grabbed the bridle rein and bit them off like a sharp knife. He said he lost all respect for prairie dogs after that. There were other
stories too; as they would remind one another on one occasion, but I never got enough of the story to know what it was.
To winter along some streams in Western Kansas must have been something. The wagon boxes with their household goods in them were set on the ground, on the south side of some of those thickets of sand plums, to break the winds. It must have been quite a winter. I do not know where they got their supplies.
I have heard Father speak of the troubles they had with the cattle. They had to be watched constantly. Nothing but prairie grass for food. Grandma always said it was the happiest time of her life. For once the whole family was together.
The next spring the group headed east and came to Cambridge, Kansas. Here Grandfather, Uncle Dan, Uncle Theo. Uncle Duane homesteaded out southeast of Cambridge on the Flint Hills. Here they only stayed a few years and then broke up. Gordon and Horton King were born here. Uncle Jim was married, and lived in this area for several years.
In 1892 the Cherokee Strip in north central Oklahoma opened and my brother and Uncle Jim ran for a claim. They knew what they wanted as they had hunted and fished in that area each fall for several years. When they pulled up after their run there were clotheslines up with washings on the lines. The man who had jumped the claim, a sooner, was armed and the Rowes lost interest, so two families who might have been Okies grew up in Kansas after the breakup of the brothers, Grandfather and Grandmother, Uncle Ben and my father moved down into the Ross Valley neighborhood. Here Grandfather died in 1894. Grandmother, Uncle Ben and my father bought 120 acres of the so-called Old Hover place and a little later another 120 acres known as the Sturgill place. They were tired of moving. Later Uncle Ben bought a 160 acres in the same neighborhood, the Condit place. My father bought Uncle Ben's 120 acres. That ended the wandering. Here Dad married my Mother, Mable Fisher, who lived in that neighborhood. Mother's father, Justus Fisher, had homesteaded back in 1876. Here all of us were born and grew up attending the Rose Valley school; to which my Grandmother Fisher, my mother and her brothers and sister had attended. Uncle Ben married Alice Mounts who lived north west of our neighborhood about three and one half miles. Here their children grew up with us. Now we have scattered. Some of our children have traveled more over the globe than the men who discovered America and think nothing of it. I lived in Kansas until I was sixty-five years of age, then sold out and moved to this northeastern Oklahoma or Lapland community. So I've staked my claim that father didn't get. I wish I could have found and recorded more about the "Rowes."