Col. Theodore S. Bowers
Adjutant General
General Ulysses S. Grant
Union Army of United States
Although Col. Bowers certainly entered the history of Mt. Carmel long before those of us in the 40's and 50's came along . . . he is, as John Stelzer wrote in his essay - "A Magic Place - A Magic Time", a Mt. Carmel hero.

Col. Bowers served in the Union Army through out the Civil War.  He served on General Grant's staff as his Asst. Adjutant General.

He  is shown below in a picture taken at General Grant's headquarters at Cold Harbor, VA.
And, as John mentioned in his essay, Col. Bowers was present when General Lee and General Grant signed the surrender papers ending the Civil War.  The event took place in the McLean House, Appomattox Court House, VA.

Below is a painting depicking the ceremony.
Col. Bowers was killed on March 7, 1866.  He was boarding General Grant's railroad car as the train was leaving Garrison's Station .. opposite West Point.  They had stopped there the previous day to drop Grant's son at the Point.  Bowers grabbed the hand rail of Grant's car ... the motion of the train caused him to fall between Grant's car and the car ahead.  He died instantly as he was run over and dragged some distance by the train.
Col. Theodore S. Bowers - another of Mt. Carmel's Heroes
This website is designed and maintained by
MCHS Class of '54
Friendsville, Illinois

BOWERS, Theodore S., soldier, born in Pennsylvania, 10 October, 1832; 
killed at Garrison's Station, New York, 6 March, 1866. 

When very young he removed to Mount Carmel, Illinois, and there learned 
the printer's trade. When the civil war began he was editor of the 
"Register," a local democratic journal. 

After the defeat of the national forces in the first battle of Bull 
Run, he raised a company of volunteers for the 48th Illinois infantry, 
declined its captaincy because of the taunts of his former political 
associates, and went to the front as a private. He was soon sent home 
on recruiting service, and on his return to his regiment was detailed 
as a clerical assistant at Brig.-General Grant's headquarters (25 
January, 1862). 

In this capacity he went through the campaigns of Forts Henry and 
Donelson. He was again offered the captaincy of his old company, but 
declined on the ground that the first lieutenant deserved the place. He 
was, however, commissioned first lieutenant, 24 March, 1862, and on 26 
April following was detached as aide-de-camp to General Grant. 

He acted as Maj. Rawlins's assistant in the adjutant's office. On 1 
November, 1862, he received the regular staff appointment of captain 
and aide-de-camp, and was left in charge of department headquarters 
while the army was absent on the Tallahatchie expedition. 

The confederates under Van Dorn seized the opportunity to make a raid 
to the rear of the federal advance, and captured the department 
headquarters at Holly Springs at early dawn of 20 December, 1862. Capt. 
Bowers had but a few moments' warning; but, acting with great presence 
of mind, he made a bonfire of all the department records, and when the 
raiders burst into his quarters everything of value to them was 
destroyed. Capt. Bowers refused to give his parole, and succeeded in 
making his escape the same evening. The officer commanding the 
rear-guard was severely censured by General Grant, while Capt. Bowers 
was highly complimented, and was presented with a sword in 
acknowledgment of his services. 

He was appointed judge advocate for the department of Tennessee, with 
rank of major, 19 February, 1863. After the fall of Vicksburg he was 
assistant adjutant-general in place of Col. Rawlins, promoted. 

His services had become so valuable that General Grant procured his 
appointment as captain and quartermaster on the regular staff (29 July, 
1864), and assistant adjutant-general, with the rank of major, United 
States army, 6 January, 1865. His promotions as brevet lieutenant 
colonel and colonel, United States army, are dated 13 March, 1865. 

He was with General Grant in the field until the surrender of the 
confederate forces, and was retained on his personal staff after the 
close of the war. 

He was instantly killed while attempting to board a moving train on the 
Hudson River railroad. 

His military career is remarkable since he rose by sheer force of 
character, having no family influence or special training, from a 
private of volunteers to one of the highest staff appointments within 
the staff of the commanding general.