Emmer Bowen

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Emmer Bowen
Born(1830-10-25)October 25, 1830
Erie County, New York
DiedDecember 26, 1912(1912-12-26) (aged 82)
Place of burial
Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, California[citation needed]
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
UnitIllinois Company C, 127th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
Invalid Corps
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
 • Siege of Vicksburg
Awards Medal of Honor

Emmer Bowen (October 10, 1830 – December 26, 1912) was a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Siege of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863.

Bowen joined the 127th Illinois Infantry in August 1862, and was transferred to the Invalid Corps the following year.[1]

Union assault[edit]

On May 22, 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant ordered an assault on the Confederate heights at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The plan called for a storming party of volunteers to build a bridge across a moat and plant scaling ladders against the enemy embankment in advance of the main attack. The volunteers knew the odds were against survival and the mission was called, in nineteenth century vernacular, a "forlorn hope". Only single men were accepted as volunteers and even then, twice as many men as needed came forward and were turned away. The assault began in the early morning following a naval bombardment. The Union soldiers came under enemy fire immediately and were pinned down in the ditch they were to cross. Despite repeated attacks by the main Union body, the men of the forlorn hope were unable to retreat until nightfall. Of the 150 men in the storming party, nearly half were killed. Seventy-nine of the survivors were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

For gallantry in the charge of the volunteer storming party on 22 May 1863.

See also[edit]


  • "Civil War (A-L); Bowen, Emmer entry". Medal of Honor recipients. United States Army Center of Military History. August 6, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  • "Emmer Bowen". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  • "Emmer Bowen". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  • "A Forlorn Hope". Archived from the original on October 11, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  • "Vicksburg Medal of Honor recipients". Retrieved September 29, 2010.