MILITARY ORDER OF THE LOYAL LEGION OF THE UNITED STATES

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ISAAC BOWMAN
SECOND LIEUTENANT, 210th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY UNITED STATES VOLUNTEERS
(1837 Pennsylvania - 1881 Pennsylvania)

By
Karl Frederick Schaeffer, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
and
Rosemary Schaeffer, National President
Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States
RSchaef535@aol.com
(July 2006)



After Fort Sumter surrendered to the Confederates, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers. Governor Andrew Curtin also made a plea to the citizens of Pennsylvania to preserve the Union. Isaac Bowman answered the call and enlisted on August 12, 1862, at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, in the 130th REgiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company H. Isaac was 24 years old, six years older than the average volunteer.

By September, Isaac was fighting in the Battle of South Mountain in Maryland and three days later he fought at Antietam, the bloodiest one day battle of the Civil War. This was the first of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s two attempts to carry the war into the North. About 40,000 Southerners were pitted against the 87,000-man Federal Army of the Potomac under General George B. McClellan. When two Union soldiers happened upon a copy of Lee’s battle plan wrapped around three cigars that had been left behind when the Rebels broke camp, McClellan wrote President Lincoln: Have the plans of the rebels and will catch them in their own trap. Will send you trophies.

But instead of attacking, McClellan hesitated. Union General Joseph Hooker’s report confirms that, Every stalk of corn in the northern and greater part of the field was cut as closely as could have been done with a knife, and the slain lay in rows precisely as they had stood in their ranks a few moments before.

The 130th Regiment Monument stands overlooking "Bloody Lane," the site described in Hooker’s dispatch. This was the first major Northern victory of the war and gave President Abraham Lincoln the chance to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. It proclaimed that on January 1, 1863, all slaves in the States still in rebellion would be henceforth and forever free. Now the war had a dual purpose, to preserve the Union and end slavery.

Isaac was later captured, held behind Confederate lines, exchanged, and ended up in Lincoln Hospital, Washington, D.C. On January 20, 1863, he was discharged on a surgeon's certificate with the rank of Corporal. Two of Isaac’s first cousins, brothers Charles and William Bowman, who served in the 191st Regiment Pennsylvania Voluteer Infantry, were not as fortunate as Isaac as they were captured after the Battle of Cold Harbor and sent to the Confederate prison camp at Salisbury, North Carolina, where they both died and were buried in the prison cemetery.

A year and a half after his discharge, Isaac married on July 24, 1864, his second wife Rebecca J. Enders. She was born December 7, 1844 in Enders, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Samuel and Leah Etter Enders. Because he was a patriot, he left his pregnant wife to reenlist September 6, 1864, in the 210th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company A, and was soon promoted to Sergeant. He later received a field commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and replaced Cornelius Bixler, who was elevated to 1st Lieutenant. As a Sergeant, Isaac served with 1st Sergeant Valentine E. Eisenhower and his brother, Sergeant Isaiah J. Eisenhower (Valentine and Isaiah of the Loyal Legion of the United States were 2nd cousins to five star Army General and 34th President, Dwight David Eisenhower, who has a direct link in the Schaeffer family to Jacob F. Eisenhauer (Eisenhower) and Rebecca Matter (Motter), who were President Eisenhower’s grandparents. His parents are David J. and Ida (Stover) Eisenhower).

Isaac then fought in various battles such as Hatcher's Run, Bellefield Raid, Destruction of the Weldon Railroad, Dabney's Mills, Gravelly Run, and the final skirmish at Appomattox Court House. At Gravelly Run, they were upon the front line to the last, the flag of truce proclaiming the Confederate surrender, passing through the lines of the brigade in which it stood. During the three day battle at Gravelly Run, the regiment’s Commanding Officer, Colonel William Sergeant, was mortally wounded while gallantly leading his command on March 31, 1865. Adjutant Morris Schlesinger, a scarred veteran, and Captain John N. Hughes also were killed. Schlesinger, when found upon the battlefield, weakened by his wounds, exclaimed, This is the death I have sought. The regiment losses were 35 killed, 115 wounded, and 150 missing. Isaac marched in the Grand Review in Washington and was mustered out May 30, 1865 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He was one of 525 men to return to Camp Curtin on June 1, 1865. The 210th was finally disbanded on June 6, 1865.

Isaac returned to his wife, Rebecca, and met his daughter, Laura Alice (Mary), who was born March 28, 1865, for the first time. Another daughter, Bertha B., was born in Enders, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1870. Isaac resumed his stone mason trade and left a legacy of hundreds of buildings and bridges as monuments of his manual labor.

Upon his death on September 11, 1881, due to pneumonia at the age of 43 years and 10 months, the following article was in the Jacksonville Jottings, September 15, 1881:

Isaac was a member of the Order of United American Mechanics (O.U.A.M.) and the Order of the Knights of Pythias, a great international fraternity founded in Washington, D.C. on February 19, 1864 by Justus H. Rathbone. Rathbone believed the fraternity would help to heal the nation. President Abraham Lincoln said the following:

In memoriam, a resolution was adopted by Jacksonville Council, No. 80, O.U.A.M. The Committee in Honor, were George W. Enders, C.B. Wilbert, C.C. Miller, C.O. Enders, and J.W. Knouff. Jacksonville, September 14, 1881 - to be published in Lykens Register and the Mechanic’s Advocate.

Isaac Bowman was born on December 23, 1837 in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of John and Mary Sheesley Bowman. He married first, Frances Phrena Enders, who was born April 28, 1845 in Enders, Pennsylvania. She died on February 26, 1862 after their son, Ellwood H., was born on February 11, 1862. He died April 3, 1862 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Enders, Pennsylvania beside his mother.

Following the death of her husband, Rebecca Bowman married Enoch Zimmerman in 1882. They had one child, Esther Mabel Zimmerman, born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania June 6, 1883. Rebecca died February 4, 1915 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania and is buried in Ebenezer Cemetery.

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Members of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) and the Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States (DOLLUS) from the service of 2nd Lieutenant Isaac Bowman, 210th Regiment Pennsyvania Volunteer Infantry as of 2006:

Karl Schaeffer joined the MOLLUS (Ohio Commandery) on October 5, 1994. Since then, he has recruited 19 family members and 6 non-family members. The family members included 2 sons, 8 grandsons, and 9 cousins. Rosemary Schaeffer was elected into the DOLLUS on October 3, 1998 and has since recruited 4 family members into the DOLLUS. Currently, they have 20 Companions and 5 Dames in their family.

Visit the Homepage of the
Ohio Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States

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Sources:
1) Ottens, R.J. and K.F. Schaeffer. 2001. Captain Ender's Legion, The Civil War Service of the Descendants of Philip Christian Enders, pp 16-20.
2) Membership Records of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
3) Howell, L. (5th Grade, St. Paul Lutheran School, Ogden, Utah) 2004. Portrait of a patriot - my ancestor. The Smithsonian Associates Civil War E-mail Newsletter, 6(1).

Copyright © 2006 Karl Frederick Schaeffer, Ohio Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and Rosemary Schaeffer, Ohio Society, Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States

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