Rhode Island Stamp Issues and Covers 1846 to 1900
July 28, 1865 Cover - A. B. Dyer - Brig. General - Chief of Ordinance
to Captain C. T. Bowen - Co. G - 4th Rhode island Infantry - Wickford, RI

(Scroll Down for History of the 4th Rhode Island and Bio of Captain Bowen)

Military Free Frank  - August 1, 1865 Washington D.C.  "FREE" in CDS

This form letter was sent from the Ordinance Office of the United States War Department by Brigadier General A. B. Dyer, Chief of Ordinance and is a receipt and verification of the return of ordinance by Captain Caleb T. Bowen in Wickford, Rhode Island; formerly of Company G - 4th Rhode Island Infantry.

The Fourth Regiment of Rhode Island Volunteers was enlisted under General Orders No. 48, issued on August 15th, 1861. Colonel Justus McCarty was appointed by the governor to organize and command the regiment. The regiment was established on the banks of the Pawtuxet River, at the Stonington Railroad, near Apponaug, RI. The camp was named Camp Greene in honor of General Nathaniel Greene.


During the Civil War the 4th Rhode Island fought in battles at:

(1) Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City and New Berne, North Carolina - 
      February 7 to March 14, 1862.
(2) The Wausamond River in Suffolk Virginia - May 3, 1862
(3) Antietam, Maryland - September 17, 1862
(4) Fredericksburg, Virginia - December 13, 1862
(5) Hills Point, Virginia - May 3, 1863
(6) Petersburg, Virginia - July 8 to July 30, 1864
(7) Weldon Railroad, Virginia - August 19, 1964
(8) Petersburg, Virginia - September 30, 1864.

The Regiment lost 5 Officers and 68 Enlisted Men in battle and 67 Enlisted Men to disease.

Caleb Tillinghast Bowen was born on June 18, 1832 in West Woodstock, Connecticut. In 1856, Caleb married Lydia Waterman Knight and established a residence at Wickford, Rhode Island. Lydia gave birth to a son named Edward Bowen in 1859.  When the Civil War began Caleb enlisted as a Private in the 4th Rhode Island on September 13, 1861 and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on September 15. After initial training, he joined with H Company on October 30th and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on November 20, 1861. On August 11, 1862 Caleb Bowen was transferred to Company I and promoted to Captain. He transferred back into Company H on March 15, 1863 and into Company G on August 13, 1863.

Captain Bowen was wounded  and taken prisoner during the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1863. He was later paroled. On October 15, 1864 the veterans of the 4th Rhode Island were consolidated with new recruits into the 7th Rhode Island Infantry. He was captured again at Petersburg, Virginia on July 30, 1864 and paroled on March 10, 1865. Captain Bowen was mustered out of service on July 13, 1865.

Caleb and his family moved west after the war; settling first in Wisconsin where Lydia died in 1888. Caleb, then continued on westward, finally settling in Portland, Oregon where he died on December 9, 1906.

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