Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
				Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

Aspen Grove Cemetery

 Burlington, Iowa

United States Colored Civil War Veteran

Submitted by
Dana Turner, Esq.

Private Henry Cowden 60th United States Colored Troop

Dear Bennie:

Thanx for a great website and all the research and meaningful content that goes into it.

I am the great-great grandchild of Pvt. Henry Cowden of the 60th US Colored Troops. He enlisted in Boone Co., Missouri in December, 1863 when he was about 16 years old. He had been a slave of Judge David Todd of Columbia, Mo. and I have a copy of the Claim for Compensation that the Todd estate filed to get $300 from the U.S. government in compensation for the loss of their slave to the Union Army. He was wounded in the foot by a bayonet, accidentally dropped by another soldier, at Benton Barracks, Arkansas. After that he walked with a limp for the rest of his life, according to the Pension Investigator's records. He died from complications from his wound Dec. 31, 1895.

Henry Cowden is buried at Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington, Iowa. I remember going to put flowers on his grave on Memorial Day 1959? with my great-great-aunt and great-great-uncle, his son and daughter, when I was four years old. I remember my Uncle Chester's dark green Chevy sedan with the wood paneling. I remember that my Aunt Gertrude (who raised me, and whom I believed to be my grandmother until I was 12 years old) wore white gloves. I remember them driving around the cemetery with a map for quite a little while before they ascertained the location of the grave. We parked alongside the road. I remember having to climb a dirt bank on the side of the road to reach the grave on a deep green lawn, and I remember the two old people struggling to climb it while I bounded back and forth, up and down the little hillside, like a baby gazelle, kicking dirt clods and waiting for them to reach the top.

I believe, (through all those memories) that "Daddy Cowden" was buried in a Veterans' section of the cemetery. I don't know if it was a section where USCT soldiers were buried exclusively or not. Probably not, since it is not an "officially" segregated cemetery. But, it's a huge old cemetery and it is very likely there are other USCT soldiers buried there. Some day I will visit Burlington and Aspen Grove Cemetery, take a picture of Great-Great GrandDaddy Cowden's grave and post it here. I have at least ten relatives buried there. I hope to be buried there, too.

Keep up the good work,
--- Dana Turner, Esq.

New York City - 28 Sept. 2002

60th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry

Organized March 11, 1864, from 1st Iowa Colored Infantry. Attached to District of Eastern Arkansas, 7th Corps, Dept. of Arkansas, to April, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 7th Corps, to August, 1865. Dept. of Arkansas to October, 1865.

SERVICE.-Post and garrison duty at Helena, Ark., till April, 1865. Expedition from Helena to Big Creek July 25, 1864. Action at Wallace's Ferry, Big Creek, July 26. Expedition to Kent's Landing August 11-13. Expedition up White River August 29-September 3 (Cos. "C" and "F"). Scout to Alligator Bayou September 9-14 (Detachment). Scouts to Alligator Bayou September 22-28 and October 1-4. Expedition to Harbert's Plantation, Miss., January 11-16, 1865 (Co. "C"). Moved to Little Rock April 8, 1865, and duty there till August 20. Moved to Duvall's Bluff, thence to Jacksonport, Ark. Duty there and at various points in Sub-District of White River, in White, Augusta, Franklin and Fulton Counties, Powhatan on Black River and at Batesville till September. Mustered out at Duvall's Bluff October 15, 1865. Discharged November 2, 1865.


Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Resting Places | Tags: Kansas , Iowa , Missouri
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1863, 1864, 1865, 1895, 1959, 1st Division, 2002, Arkansas, Civil War, Columbia (Missouri), DC, Department of Arkansas, Duvall, Helena, Henry, Iowa, Kansas, Little Rock, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, New York (New York), New York City, Ohio, Scouts, United States Colored Infantry,