Co. E - 8th Regiment Iowa Cavalry Volunteers
In 1974, I found an old, frayed slip of paper written in pencil by my grandmother, Mattie May Lowry Atwell. It read "Richard H. Lowry my father was buried in the old Soldiers Cemetery in Fort Levenworth, Kansas Section 15 row 7, grave number 1873 E, 8th Ioway Cavalry." This was the beginning of genealogical research for me and for the beginning of my interest in the Civil War.
I don't know much about Richard, just what I learned in his pension papers and a land record. He stated he was 18 when he joined the Union Army in 1863; but in 1873 when he applied for a pension he had aged two years and grown two inches.
He was wounded on May 9, 1864 at Buzzard's Roost, Georgia, entered the hospital in Nashville, Tennessee May 12, 1864; transferred May 15, 1964 to the hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.
Knowing the conditions of the times and the difficulty of travel, I feel the pain of his constant moves. The pension papers contained a detailed description of his wound. It made him unable to do manual labor for the rest of his life.
Researching Richard has been so frustrating. His marriage license doesn't contain a date but the pension papers state he married Mary M. Millsaps sometime on 19 August 1866 in Carrollton, Missouri. They moved to Iowa sometime before 1873 and had nine children. They moved to Rich Hill, Missouri by 1892 and were still there in February 1896 when their daughter Mattie married Willard Atwell.
From Mena, Arkansas in May 1900, Mary applies for part of Richard's pension stating "he deserted me 8 or 9 years ago, returning every 10 months or so, but has not contributed any money."
I owe so much to Richard for the compassion it has given me for the pain and suffering our ancestors went through. The school lessons about the Civil War just didn't affect me the way pension records have.
I've read the life story of "Mother Bickerdyke" and know she was in the area where Richard was wounded and wonder if she administered her loving care to him.
Richard was the first grandfather I found to be veteran of the Civil War and I owe him so much as I learn more about this period of History.
Submitted by: Mrs. Muriel May Atwell Enoch - Great-granddaughter