Marlboro County, SC
Biographies - Thomas M. BOWYER


THOMAS M. BOWYER - Thomas M. Bowyer was born to John W. and Jemimah (Miller) Bowyer about 1829 in Marlboro County. He married Caroline Gay on 18 December 1845 possibly in Richmond County, North Carolina. Caroline was the daughter of John Gay and Nancy Ingram. She was born 12 March 1823 in Richmond County, and died 6 February 1904. Caroline is also buried in Liles Cemetery.

Thomas and Caroline known children include:

Hellen Bowyer was born about 1847 in North Carolina.
Eugenia Bowyer was born about 1850 in Florida.
John W. Bowyer was born about 1852 in North Carolina. He died 1 April 1926 possibly in Marlboro County.
Thomas Logan Bowyer was born 20 December 1852 in Marlboro County. He died 11 November 1900 in Montgomery County, Georgia.
Peter W. Bowyer was born about 1854 in South Carolina or Mississippi.
Oliver Bowyer was born about 1855 in South Carolina.
William C. Bowyer was born 28 January 1856 probably in South Carolina. He died 30 September 1931 Bennettsville.
Charles Bowyer was born about 1859 in South Carolina.
Annie Bowyer was born about 1862 in South Carolina.
Louis Marion Bowyer was born 10 July 1866 in Marlboro County. He died 5 April 1948 in Pensacola, Florida.

Thomas is rather hard to find in records. He is only named in one census: 1860. The 1860 U.S. census for Marlboro County, South Carolina indicates that Thomas and Caroline's children were born in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi! Thomas seems to have travels a good bit. Research has yet to discover why the family moved so much. Marlboro County is very close to the North Carolina border. Many family members, including Caroline's parents, lived in North Carolina. Also, Caroline had a brother that lived in DeKalb and later Macon, Mississippi. It is unknown what drew the family to Florida, although Thomas will have descendants who will finally settle in that state.

Thomas M. Bowyer served as a private during the Civil War. He served in Company B, Regiment - 24 South Carolina Infantry. The 24th consolidated about 9 April 1865, with the 16th South Carolina Infantry (Greenville Regiment) and formed the 16 and 24 (Consolidated) South Carolina Infantry.

From a muster roll dated 24 March 1862 (Camp Gist near Charleston) it is clear that Thomas traveled to Charleston to muster in on 4 December 1861 with Captain Spears (for a twelve month duty). By April 1862 his muster roll indicates that he is committed for the duration of the war. The backside of the company's muster roll dated 24 March 1862:

"By order of Brig Gen RS Ripley. I have this day (no date given) remustered Captain Spears Company and have examined the men whose names are accounted for on this copy of his original Muster Roll and have changed their term of service in accordance with General Orders Na(?) from Adjt & Ins Genl office Richmond".

It's funny that there is such a lack of records for Thomas, yet so many of his service records still exist and they offer more information than most soldiers' service records. The records are made up mostly of 'muster rolls' but these pieces of paper tell us a fair amount of information. It is recorded by October 1863 Thomas is absent from duty with his regiment, because he is sick in the hospital in Cassville, Georgia. We do not know the nature of his illness. He seems to have remained in the hospital there until February 1864, when he returned to his regiment for active duty. Sometime in November 1864 Thomas was attached to the Flewellen Hospital at Cassville, Georgia as a nurse.

Our Thomas survived the war; this is evident by the birth of a son, Marion, on 10 July 1866. The birth of this last son (information taken from a Social Security application) is the last record of Thomas being alive. Thomas died between November 1865 and 18 August 1870. Thomas is buried in Liles Cemetery. No records have been uncovered with information about his death. Caroline appears on the 1870 U.S. census for Bennettsville along with children, but no Thomas. I assume he has died by the enumeration date. His small grave marker does not indicate a date of death.

Submitted by Mary Scrudder, 2005.

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