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Jesse Bowman Young
(1844-1914)

Jesse Bowman Young was born in Berwick, Pennsylvania on July 5, 1844 to Jared and Sara Young. In August 1861, just turned seventeen, he joined his uncle, Major Samuel Millard Bowman (1815-1883) in the 4th Illinois Cavalry and saw action with the Western Army under General Grant. When Bowman assumed command in 1862 of the 84th Pennsylvania Volunteers - drawn largely from Blair, Lycoming, Dauphin, and Westmoreland Counties - he was commissioned in the 84th's Company B. The regiment then fought with distinction at Fredericksburg and at Chancellorsville. When his uncle assumed command of the brigade, Young served as his aide and then became a divisional staff officer, serving in that capacity with General Sickles at Gettysburg in the Peach Orchard. Young left the Army at the end of his enlistment in 1864, having risen to the rank of Captain, but then was offered a colonel's rank as head of a regiment of African-American volunteers. While he was in Washington D.C. waiting for his assignment, the war ended.

In the autumn of 1866, Young entered Dickinson College. Two years later he graduated with the class of 1868. Following his education, he entered the Methodist calling, and after beginnings in Pennsylvania - significantly in Gettysburg and its environs - he ministered mostly in the Midwest.

Between 1892 and 1900 he was the editor of the Central Christian Advocate, published in St. Louis, Missouri. Following this he was the long serving pastor of the Walnut Hills Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was an enthusiastic writer and lecturer on both religious and military subjects. He completed his What A Boy Saw in the Army: A Story of Sight-Seeing and Adventure in the War for the Union in 1894, and the very well received The Battle of Gettysburg: A Comprehensive Narrative in 1913. He also gave his lecture "Echoes from Round Top: The Story of a Great Battle" many times over the years to appreciative audiences. He also found time to serve as a trustee of his alma mater between 1882 and 1888 and receive an honorary D.D. from De Pauw University.

Jesse Bowman Young married Lucy Spottswood in 1871, and the couple had a daughter, named for her mother. He died in 1914.

Please visit the following link for books and letters authored by Jesse Bowman Young maintained in the Their Own Words database:

Young, Jesse Bowman, 1844-1914.

Researched, authored, and edited by John Osborne, Ph. D., and James Gerencser.


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