Abraham Bates Tower: Civil War Veteran
Andersonville Prison Survivor and My Great-Great Grandfather
Years ago, I read Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor and was appalled at the starvation and hardships that the prisoners endured there during the Civil War. Little did I know that my own great-great-grandfather was a prisoner there after being captured at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads.
Unfortunately we often don't become interested in our genealogy and family history until late in life. By then, many of the people who could answer our questions are gone. I'm lucky that my parents are still alive at 87 and my mother put in many years of dedicated research on the family tree. When older relatives passed away, many of them left their photos and memorabilia to my mom. She became the family historian.
Here's what I was able to find out about Abraham Bates Tower, my great-great grandfather, who fought in the Civil War.
(photo from our family album)
Abraham Bates Tower's Pocket Diary from the Civil War - August 4, 1865 - A List of Men in the 93rd Indiana Infantry
Follow the 93rd Indiana Infantry - in the Civil War
Abraham Bates Tower's Civil War Pension Record lists him as Company G. My mother's research found something showing him enlisted with Company B (possibly a mis-reading of a handwritten document). There is a complete listing at Civil War Archive online. Not all of the locations show on the map as some place names may be too small or have died out.
I Looked for a Book about the 93rd Indiana Infantry - but only found other letters and diaries of other Indiana regiments
I'll probably get a few of these to read so I'll have some concept of the day-to-day life of Abraham Bates Tower as an infantryman.
Further down on this webpage, you'll see more books about Indiana Infantry in the Civil War.
More Information about the 93rd Indiana Infantry
- Civil War Index - 93rd Indiana Infantry
Links to the 93rd Indiana Infantry Officer Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume 3, by W.H.H. Terrell, Adjutant General, Indiana, 1866 View Entire Book and to 93rd Indiana Infantry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adj
Field Rations for a Civil War Soldier - Even at the best of times, the food looks pretty skimpy
Photo from Zazzle: Field Rations by bhbphotos
Abraham Tower Suffered Starvation and Scorbutus at Andersonville
- Starvation at Andersonville Prison
Andersonville Prison in Georgia was notorious for the starvation suffered by Union soldiers there during the Civil War. Why did it happen and how did the prisoners survive the brutal conditions there?
- What Is Scorbutus?
It's an old-fashioned word that you might find describing an American Civil War soldier. Read more about this health problem that caused the deaths of many in years gone by.
Abraham Tower Was Captured at Guntown
The area where the battle took place is called both Brice's Crossroads or Guntown. The outnumbered confederate troops pulled off a stunning victory against the Union here on June 10, 1864.
Around 1500 prisoners were captured. Among those was my ancestor, Abraham Bates Tower. He would spend the next six months as a prisoner of war.
A Re-enactment of the Battle at Brice's Crossroads - The 145 anniversary of the battle
My First Introduction to Andersonville - the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by MacKinlay Kantor
An epic account of the notorious prison camp in Southwest Georgia which operated from February 1864 till the end of the Civil War. There are not-always subtle parallels between Andersonville and the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. The horrors of the prison are contrasted with outside digressions. One digression is the prisoners' memories of happier times in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and in what is called York State. Kantor's aim is to make the prisoners real people, not just faceless statistics. Another digression is the existence of residents in the vicinity of the stockade, whose lives are blighted by the neighboring corruption. Many readers have commented on Kantor's decision not to use quotation marks....It gives the narrative a tougher, more documentary tone, appropriate for such a grim topic. Grim it ineviatably is. (review by Edward on Amazon)
My Ancestor Was Sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia
Learn More about His Experience
- Andersonville Prison Photos
It was 150 years ago that the Civil War ravaged the United States. One particularly dark memory is the thousands that died at Andersonville Prison. These photos show it as it is today.
- Andersonville Timeline 1864
In reading many diaries and books on Andersonville, I've created this timeline. It will help me and others trying to understand their ancestor's experience in this Civil War prison.
A Documentary about Andersonville Prison
In December 1864, He Was Paroled
- Abraham Tower Leaves Andersonville Prison
My Civil War ancestor survived 6 months at Andersonville Prison. In December 1864 he was released. Here's what I've been able to discover about this part of his experience.
Abraham Tower Survived Andersonville
This is how a Civil War soldier imagines his homecoming.... (see photo below)
Library of Congress picture available from Zazzle: Civil War Soldier Being Welcomed Home by lc_civilwar
For Abraham Bates Tower, it was quite different. He was released on parole December 6, 1864 weighing only 73 pounds. He spent some time in a Union hospital as his health was seriously affected by starvation and scurvy in the prison. When he returned to Indiana, his wife and children were no longer there. Thinking he was dead, his wife had moved to Missouri to live with her sister. Abraham finally found them. He died in Tyro, Kansas on February 8, 1930 at the age of 93.
The photo on the right shows Abraham with his family later in life. He had four more children after the Civil War and my great-grandmother was one of them.
Gail Martin's Book Includes a Section about Abraham Bates Tower - Her Great-Grandfather
This is my mother's book.
A childhood on the Kansas prairies in the 1930s springs vividly to life in the detailed memories of Gail Martin. Her simple accounts of long ago school days, celebrations and family life are a treasure. Travel back in time to life in the Flint Hills during the Great Depression and the time leading up to World War II.
The memories include her father's work in the oil field, trips to town in the family's Model A, raising her pet badger, fishing on the Cottonwood River, and wearing dresses made from feed sack material.
This edition includes a section with About The Author and a McGhee, Vining, and Tower Family Album.
Read the Family Memories of Abraham Bates Tower - Preview Sections of My Flint Hills Childhood which includes my mother's description of Abraham Bates Tower's L
To read the whole book, order it at that website. It is print-on-demand, so it takes two or three weeks for printing and mailing.
Two sections of the book includes family memories and photos of Abraham Bates Tower.
In October 2010, the book was awarded the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award.
Find Information about Your Civil War Ancestors
- Civil War Records
Civil War Records on Access Genealogy
- Cyndi's List - United States - U.S. Military: Civil War
More than 270,000 links! 260,000 links, categorized & cross-referenced, in over 180 categories. Another 10,000+ uncategorized new links in the works.
- Military History Online - Civil War Genealogy Database
Civil War Genealogy by Regiment
- Civil War
Genealogical resources available at the National Archives and Records Administration
- American Civil War Research Database
American Civil War Research Database; a database of over 4 million American Civil War Union and Confederate soldiers fully searchable by soldier's name and by regiments. The American Civil War Research Database will assist military tactics, reenactme
Civil War diaries on eBay - Letters and diaries from the Civil War are much sought after
Links to Tower Family Genealogy Online
- Family Tree Maker's Genealogy Site: Genealogy Report: Descendants of Robert Tower
This page shows Abraham Bates Tower was born March 25, 1832 in Crawford Co, IN, and died in 1930 in Tyro, Montgomery Co. KS.
- Abraham Bates Tower - After the Civil War
Abraham Bates Tower lived into his 90s in Missouri and later Kansas after reuniting with his family when the Civil War ended.
- Decendants of Abraham Bates Tower
The information that I'm collecting on Abraham's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, etc.
- Abraham Tower before the Civil War
Find out about Tower family history and A.B. Tower's early life in Indiana. This currently includes information about his grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. but eventually I plan to make a separate web page for that information. I will put the li
If you've come this far in looking up information about Abraham Bates Tower, perhaps we are distant relatives. If you are descended from A.B. Tower, please click on my profile picture, and then on the CONTACT button. I'd love to hear what you know about the family history.
© 2010 Virginia Allain
More in this Series
I've managed to collect some photos of my Civil War ancestor, Abraham Bates Tower. Here's what I've discovered from examining these vintage photographs.
Erastus Laban Tower, born shortly before the Civil War, lived in Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, then back to Indiana. Here's what I've found about his life.