GEORGE E. COWELL
Title: 1865 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A 22 YEAR OLD CIVIL WAR VETERAN AND PENSIONER
Book Condition: Very Good
Size: 32mo - over 4" - 5" tall
Publisher: TOWANDA, PENNSYLVANIA  1865
Seller ID: 0001803
On offer is an original manuscript Civil War Era diary dated 1865 handwritten by George E. Cowell who lived near Towanda, Pennsylvania. About 22 years old at the writing George had been a soldier in Co C, 141st Infantry Pennsylvania. It appears that he had been discharged from the army when he wrote the diary making note of receiving a pension. He often noted meeting with his brethren. He made mention of the war and Lincoln's death several times. He was very sick with the measles when Lincoln was assassinated. Here are some snippets: April 4 It cleared up. At work for Mr Bradford with his son. Was siding and putting on roof boards. Tired at night. Got the news that Richmond was taken. April 10 Past a restless night. Went out hunting with Dr and Ch(arly). Killed 2 duck and meadow larks. Was worse, went to bed. They were celebrating the victory all over in hearing by firing. April 15 In the morning early my measles went back. Ch was scart. He had hardwork to get them out again but I survived after being very sick & the room got warm. April 16 G. Worth came over. I was up about half the time. Went out to the barn, felt smart only my eyes were weak. Feeling very sad over Linkolns (sic) death. April 17 Eyes still weak. About home and went down to Mr Collins at night with Ch. It rained coming home. Eyes grew worse. Found bretheran belonging to the ____ (here the author drew a symbol which resembles 2 sets of crossed lines with a C O in the middle). April 19Found my eyes better. Went in to see Mrs Edwards. Took dinner with her. Had a good time. A Linkoln funeral was preached. I went to hear Rev Mr Sherman deliver a discourse on the death of Linkoln. Jan 18 Went to Bishops & someone stole our boat & took it across the river. Came home again and went to Meadsville after Phil and went to the lodge. Ella got her knee hurt. Feb 11 About the bench. Phil and I bought father out for 410.00. Bradley drew up the papers. Mar 16 Sold my place to John Evans. Got 305.00. Sold cow and calf to Phil for 45.00. Went down to Kilmers at night to a party. Mar 17 About home. River very high and still rising. Phil, Ella, Tim and I went down to Smith's to see it. Mar 19 Pleasant. Went up on the hills. Went to prayer meeting at night. Phil and family went up to Towanda to Leila Means funeral. E J C broke in the home and got some of her things and took money out of Phils pocket book." It is around this time that Mr Cowell took a trip to Minooka with Charly. He stopped at several cities along the way and wrote daily about the trip. He described Oil City Pa as a "stink hole", and sometimes complained about the rate for an overnight room. It appears that the author had relatives in Minooka. He stayed until May, working while he was there. "On the trip Ch came down with the measles. Mar 30 Rode around with ER to see the country. Wrote to HSH and Phil. CH broke out nicely with the measles. He got up and fainted dead away. Went to a lecture at night. Went there with a widow. May 13 Cold and windy. Worked 3/4 of the day with the corn sheller. Received 1.50 recompense. 4 Bretheran of us met in the Hotel at night. Sherman, Darlan, Beal and I. Oct 16 Made Ella a cabbage cutter. Went to Towanda. Bot saw and oil can. Got my pension money 21.25. Dr Turner cut me down to 1/2 pension. Came to JR Cowell at night." The diary has an entry for every day, although in the summer months it was often just a couple lines about the farm work he did that day. He did write of his social life which seemed to involve the ladies. The name "Mary Lewis" appears more than once. In the memorandum section are some lines written by friends. The author also kept an accounting record in the cash account section. Included with the diary are two small envelopes from the Office of G.E. Cowell, MD of Elwood, Il which were for holding prescription powders. These must have belonged to a relative that he visited in Illinois. Also in the diary is a handwritten paper listing "Names of Battles and Horses". The diary is written in pencil and some pages are light, but legible. The handwriting takes some getting used to and he wasn't the best speller but I was able to read it without much difficulty. The diary itself is in very good condition.
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