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It was reported by one of the early researchers of Civil War veterans in Australia that a physician named Sherwood A. Owens who had served in the American Civil War had migrated to Australia and indications were that he was buried in Australia. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and to clear it up, his story is being made available so others won’t waste their time trying to prove it.

Sherwood A. Owens was born in Kentucky around 1824 and married Lucy J. Thurman in Waco, McLennan County, Texas in 1859. Sherwood and Lucy Owens and family are recorded on the 1860 and 1870 census of McLennan County and he was reported as a physician. He is also shown on census records in 1850 in Cole County, Missouri; in 1860 in McLennan County, Texas; in 1870 in McLennan County, Texas; in 1880 in McLennan County, Texas and in 1900 in Mills County, Texas.

Dr. Sherwood A. Owens of Jefferson City, Missouri and Miss Lucy J. Thurman of Osage County, Missouri were married in Osage County, Missouri on December 3, 1856 by D. J. Marquis, an ordained preacher of the M. E. Church South.

Upon the illegal declaration of war by Lincoln’s Unites States Government against the Southern seceding states, Sherwood A. Owens, his brothers and two cousins, Samuel H. Owens, Dr. Thomas Owens, Eli Watt and Lock Watt all enlisted for service with the Confederacy States of America.

Sherwood A. Owens later enlisted as a Surgeon in the Field & Staff, CS Medical Staff, as a Surgeon in the Confederate States Army. He served with the 2nd Texas Provisional Regiment as a Surgeon and Medical Officer with the 2nd Texas Partisan Rangers, serving in the District of West Louisiana, Trans-Mississippi Department in November 1863. He was on duty in the field with Stones Regiment and his file contains his written request:

Acting Senior Surgeon, Stone's Regiment

2nd Cavalry Brigade, Green's Division

February 25, 1864 

Galveston, Texas

"I ask a leave of absence for 20 days for the following reasons. I have rec'd. letters from home stating that my only child is at this time not expected to live . . . “

He was last seen on the official Muster Rolls on February 24, 1864, being granted leave to return home per his request to visit as his only child who was expected to die and any moment. He had been on duty for fourteen months when he received a pass from Galveston, Texas to return to Houston, Texas.

The first card in his file notes states, "See personal papers of James S. Pippin, Private, Company A, 2nd Texas Partisan Rangers, Certif. dated Feb 8/64A

Surprisingly, according to military records, he was also listed as a Private in Company "B”, 7th Texas Infantry under the name S. Owens. In addition to being shown on the records of the Texas Compiled Confederate Military Service Records, he was also found in the archives of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, but he is not shown in the Confederate rosters index under the name of Sherwood Owens, the Generations Civil War database or the Units of the Confederate States Army by Joseph H. Crute, Jr.; which contains no history for this unit.

He apparently at some point did migrate to Australia, as he is said to have practiced medicine in Melbourne, Victoria; but he did not die in Australia.

He apparently returned to the United States, as Dr. Sherwood A. Owens and his wife, Lucy J. Thurman, are buried in the Center City Cemetery in Mills County, Texas. Although 1819 is noted for his birth year, census records indicate he was born in Kentucky in 1824.

Center City Texas is located in the eastern part of Mills County, Texas and is mainly a farming area raising cotton, wheat and corn. Many of the graves in the cemetery can be traced back to its early settlers.

 

Barry Crompton, ACWRTA

Census Records, Missouri and Texas, 1850 - 1900

Center City Cemetery Index, Mills County, Texas

Civil War Databank

Civil War Soldiers Buried in Mills County, Texas

Compiled Service Records of Confederate General and Staff Officers, and

Non-regimental Enlisted Men, M331

Confederate Veteran, magazine, Dec., 1923

George Martin, Texas Regimental Researcher

Index to Compiled Confederate Military Service Records

Mills County---The Way It Was, Hartal Langford Blackwell, 1976

Mitchell Sanders, Mills County, Texas, Researcher

NARS Microcopy #331

Osage County, Missouri Archives

Sharon Ivy, Researcher, Mills County, Texas, Researcher

Shirley Shipman Runnels, Mills County, Texas, Researcher

Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc, Columbia, Tennessee

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

U.S. National Parks Service, Soldiers and Sailors Database

 

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