Known CSA Veterans at Cedar Hill
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Not Forgotten

Home    Known CSA Veterans at Cedar Hill     Known CSA Soldiers at Soldiers' Rest

Photos by Bryan Skipworth

James Jones Cowan
Aug 5, 1830
Died Oct 1, 1898

Lord, thou hast been our
dwelling place in all generations.

James Jones Cowan was born in Warren County Aug 5 1830 to John and Sarah Jones Cowan. He was raised in Warren County with his brothers and sisters in a large family.

He married Maria Louisa Craig in 1850. They would go on to have a large family themselves.

On April 26,1862, James J Cowan enlisted with 1st Ms Lt Arty Withers Regt. as Capt of Company G.

His compiled service record is at


Capt Cowans Battery activity / enlisted April 26 1862 Vicksburg Ms - Apr 1862 -Oct 1862
Milldale Ms - Nov 1862
Snyders Bluff Ms - Dec 1862 - Feb 1863
Vicksburg Ms - July 4 1863 - July 27 1863 - Lt Gen   Pemberton surrendered / POW
Enterprise Ms - Oct 31 1863 - Dec 1863
Demopolis Al - March 28 1864
Mobile Al - Apr 15 1864
Monticello Al - Mar 28 1864 - Capt of Myricks Battery [Should read Montevallo, in Shelby Co.]
Atlanta Ga - Aug 1864
Palmetto Ga - Sep 20 1864
Mobile Al - Jan 4 1865
Blakely Al - Apr 9 1865 - Captured / POW
Ship Island Ms - Apr 28 1865 - POW
New Orleans La - Apr 30 1865 - POW
Citronelle Al - May 4 1865 - Commander of CS Army Lt Gen R Taylor surrendered
Jackson Ms - May 15 1865 - Paroled



Left, James Jones Cowan

(Photo courtesy of the Old Courthouse Museum, Vicksburg)

Cowans Battery, as it would be called, was very active throughout central Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Capt. Cowan's "new command included his brother Private Warren F. Cowan, his wife's brother Sergeant Archibald N. Craig, his sister Martha's son Private Joseph T. Hicks, his sister Mary's son Sergeant Granville Hicks, two first cousins, brothers Lieutenant Ludwell B. Cowan and Private Tarlton B. Cowan and Ludwell's wife's four brothers, Privates Charles, Charles H., James, and Richard W. Harris." (Hewitt, Schott, and Kunis, eds., To Succeed or Perish: The Diaries of Sergeant Edmund Trent Eggleston, 1st Mississippi Light Artillery Regiment, CSA, pgs. 97-98)

After the war was over, Capt Cowan would go on to become a successful cotton broker.

While on a trip to Nashville, Tenn, in 1898, he was accidentally struck by a train and died. He was brought home to Warren County and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery along with the rest of his family. (See below.)



A letter by Capt. J. J. Cowan from Demopolis requesting of the A.A.G. that Lt. L. B. Cowan be detailed to recruit in Mississippi for the 1st Miss Lt Arty. The letter states that Lt. Cowan can currently be spared as there are three other Lieutenants on duty, and the extra men that could be recruited in Mississippi are necessary.


A receipt for supplies signed by J. J. Cowan, Capt. Commanding Regt. Supplies received were "muskits," cartridge boxes, cartridge box belts, cap pouches, waist belts, musket ball cartridges, knapsacks, canteens and straps, and haversacks.


A receipt of 24 Mar 1864 signed by J. J. Cowan for supplies. Here is recognized receipt of various tools, such as hand saws, planers, spoke shavers, brace bits, rules and chalk lines, files and rasps, oil stones and sand stones, various hammers and axes and chisels, awls and handles, and thimbles, wax, and threads. The requests of the right-hand column include buckles, buckets, and tarpaulins.

A portion of the Warren Co., Miss., 1880 census showing JJ Cowan, 49, and his household -- his wife (48), two sons (J. C. and T. B.) and a relative (Emma T.? Jones).


Left-hand page of Knoxville, Tenn., Record of Death. On second line is the name of J. J. Cowan. At the time of his death, he was married, age 69, in lived in Ward 11 at 621 Luttrell. No place of birth was stated.

Right-hand page of Record of Death entry for J. J. Cowan, continued on second line. Occupation, cotton buyer. Cause of death, railway injury. Attending physician, S. R. Miller. Place of burial, Vicksburg, Miss.



This letter was written 11 Apr 1864 by J. J. Cowan to his sister Irene. It is addressed to Miss I E Cowan, Eufaula, Ala.

At left, the letter has been folded and used as its own envelope.



Cowan writes that "Tarlt [Tarleton, his cousin] went out foraging yesterday and found some good old motherly lady who filled his bucket with butter, bread, wafulls, fried ham, sausage and apple pies and at another place, he got two canteens of buttermilk. We had enough to last him, Granville, and myself for three meals. You may be sure we feasted while it lasted...."

"Montevallo is a little old dilapidated village, which has the appearance of having been built a century ago and not been painted or white washed since."


"The only redeeming quality about [the town] is the stream that runs at the base of the hill... one of those beautiful limpid streams that come wandering down from the mountains near here.... It runs through a narrow valley thickly shaded on either side by cedars and sweet bays and as I saw it for the first time gurgling and gliding swiftly over its rocky bed. I felt for a moment enchanted and riveted to the spot."

"... [Gen Folkes] just returned and he heard while in Hinds that mother's house had been burned. It was set on fire one evening while the family were at supper, but the negroes discovered it in time to put it out...."

"Col. Cook was robbed a few days ago of seven thousand dollars while coming out from V.B. [Vicksburg]."


"Duff Green and Wheeler are dealing in counterfeit Confederate money. Mrs. King when there a short time since and bought five hundred dollars with green backs and when rec'd by here husband who is in my company 460$ of it was counterfeit."

"I think you and sister Martha had better remain in Eufaula.... I wish you would make my house your home and remain there with M. [probably Marie, his wife] and the children. You can do no possible good by going back [to Hinds Co., Miss.,] and I assure you, you will find it very disagreeable living under Yankee rule."

Yours affectionately,

J. J. Cowan


This small biography is from Biograpbical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi (Vol. I), The Reprint Company, Publishers, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1978 (1891), pgs. 596-597.

Capt J. J. Cowan was born in the year 1830, in Warren county, Miss., and was one of a family of twelve children. He was first sent to Mississippi college, at Clinton, and afterward completed his education in Cumberland university, of Lebanon, Tenn., which at that tie was a leading institution of learning in that section of the Union. He was married at the early age of twenty years to Miss M. L. Craig, and at once embarked in business in Vicksburg, which was carried on for many years under the well-known firm name of Cowan & Chapin. Commencing with a small capital, he pursued his business so earnestly, so ably and so successfully that upon the outbreak of the war he had accumulated a comfortable fortune. The call for arms met from him a prompt and ready response, and with the enthusiasm, sturdy devotion and disinterested patriotism that inspired Southern hearts, he left his large business interests and raised and equipped a battery of artillery, well known throughout the bloody conflict which followed as Cowan's battery. Attached at first to Colonel Wither's regiment, the only regiment of artillery ever organized in the Confederate service, he was stationed at Haine's bluff to defend Yazoo river. He successfully performed this duty, repulsing the attack of General Sherman's troops, and next took part in the defense of Vicksburg against the Federal fleet. Assigned to General Loring's division, he was in the disastrous battle of Baker's creek, was cut off from that general in the retreat that followed, and entered Vicksburg with the scattered remains of General Pemberton's army. Captain Cowan, with his faithful command, occupied an important position in the line of defense during the ever memorable siege of forty-seven days, and surrendered with the besieged army. The history of the privations that came after the place was invested, the nights of sleepless peril, the days of anxious care, the insufficient, unwholesome food, the life in shelterless trenches exposed to prolonged cannonading or sudden assault, can never be written. The surrender of Vicksburg found Captain Cowan shattered in health, but as soon as his parole expired he reported for duty to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, and his battery shared in all the glorious conflicts and hard fought battles of the immortal retreat to Atlanta. With unfaltering courage he next followed the intrepid Hood in his ill-fated Tennessee campaign; was in the bloody battles of Franklin and Nashville, and the subsequent terrible retreat. He was transferred to General Maury's command at Blakely for the defense of Mobile, and there his  battery fought stubbornly until the retreat of the infantry left them surrounded by the enemy. This was the last engagement of the war, and, so far as known, Captain Cowan fired the last guns. Enduring all the horrors of prison life on Ship island a dangerous spell of illness, brought on by anxiety of mind and privations of body, proved nearly fatal, when the end of the conflict secured his release. Broken in health, his fortune swept away, Captain Cowan commenced anew the struggle for a competency, and although he met with varied fortunes and had many ups and downs, he continued to persevere, and is now one of the leading and successful business men of Vicksburg. Notwithstanding the hardships he had to endure during the war, he is now in good health, and weighs about two hundred pounds He is a fine looking gentleman, his hair and beard being quite gray; is five feet ten inches in height, and still, in his upright and dignified carriage, shows evidences of his early military life.

On the left, the grave of James Jones Cowan.
Right, his wife Marie.

Marie Louise Cowan
Born Jun 15, 1831
Died Nov 22, 1909

Her children rise up and call her blessed.

At left, the Cowan lot with the graves of James and Marie Cowan at right center.

Thanks to Bryan Skipworth for this article and the photographs.

Use back button to return.