Posted 4 years ago
This grouping is testament to the personal family impact of war.
Private Ernest Bowker was 25 years old when he enlisted in the 1st Wyoming Infantry. He trained at Camp Richards in Cheyenne, where he had this photograph taken. On the train to San Francisco, Bowker became ill with diptheria. Later after a short recovery, Bowker was stricken with typhoid. PVT Bowker died on the Steamship Ohio on 24 JUL 1898, while enroute to the Philippines and was buried at sea.
PVT Bowker's father had the "Death of Ernest Bowker" printed for a memorial service in his hometown. The memorial includes a copy of the letter written by Bowker's Commander to his father. The letter mentions the photograph of Bowker: "I also enclose here with a small flag which I find in his clothes and mail you under separate cover a small package which he had prepared for mailing, presumably a picture."
Sadly these non-combat deaths were a regular event. As in the Civil War, disease was far more deadly than enemy bullets. According to records, just under 3,000 soldiers and sailors died of disease during the War, while 332 were killed in combat (doesn't include 260 Maine deaths).
Thanks for looking.