Alexander Grayson
Bowman Diary, 1861-1865

About This Collection

Alexander Grayson Bowman, born in New York in 1838, came West as a young man. He lived in several different states, including Colorado, until he moved to California in 1859 and joined the Union efforts in the California Volunteer Army, Company B, 5th Regiment Infantry. Under the command of Colonel James Henry Carleton, Corporal Bowman served as a pace counter in the march of the "California Column," a strategic effort organized to gain control of the Confederate-captured New Mexico territory (present-day Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Nevada) and to prevent the capture of California. During this expedition from southern California through Arizona, New Mexico and northwest Texas, Bowman kept a handwritten daily record of the march from his 1861 mustering in at Camp Union, California, until his mustering out at Franklin, near El Paso, Texas, as well as during his subsequent journey back to California, lasting until early 1865.