John B. Bowen

1873 Deposition of John B. Bowen in the Southern Claims File of
Maria Catherine McLean Buie
Jefferson County, Mississippi
October 28, 1873
Transcribed by Linda Durr Rudd

Testimony of John B. Bowen

My name is John B. Bowen. My age is 52 years - my residence is Jefferson County Miss at Union Church. And I have resided there 16 or 18 years and I have lived in the county near my presence residence ever since 1855. My occupation that of a local preacher in the Methodist church and farming.

I have known Mrs. Buie the claimant ever since she was a little girl and before her marriage. She was a daughter of Mariah McLean dec’d. I knew Mrs. McLean intimately up to the time of her death which occurred in 1868 as well as the claimant. I lived within a quarter of a mile of both of them during the war. I met with them very often during the war for I was at home within a quarter of a mile of them all the time.

The reason of my being at home during the war was because I was a preacher and exempt by law from conscription and besides I was opposed to the war.

I conversed frequently with Mrs. Mariah McLean during the war about the war and she always expressed herself as being violently opposed to it - that it would result in great loss to every body and that no good could ever come of it. I remember one occasion particularly and that was - she had three sons in the army who had gone into the army to prevent conscription against her will. They were then at home on furlough (at least two of them) and their furlough had expired and were compelled to return to Jackson to prevent being arrested. I volunteered to take them if she woul loan me her mule to put in my buggy - and she then in a most emphatic manner expressed her disappointment of the war especially was opposed to her children taking any part in it and would have ended the war if in her power by refusing and preventing soldiers from entering into it. This conversation was at her house and was before the fall of Vicksburg and Mrs. McLean was a widow and hardly ever went from home and besides it would have been dangerous to show by outward acts on opposition to the war or that she was in favor of the Union - and I warned her to this effect. She was a Union woman and it would have been dangerous to have such sentiments known at the time.

I do not know of anything said or done by her against the Union cause and do not believe she ever did do or say anything against it - and I know she agreed with me in sentiment against the rebellion and in favor of the Union. The most prominent Union men of the neighborhood was Dr. McLean and Sterling Cato and probably some others. Yes I was a Union man and Mrs. McLean must have been aware of it from our conversations - and my opinion is that her daughter Mrs. Mariah C. Buie the claimant always agreed in sentiment with her mother in reference to her union sentiments - although I can not now recollect having talked with her especially on the subject.

Mrs. Mariah McLean to the best of my knowledge left no heir except Mrs. Mariah C. Buie the present claimant and I know now she is at present the only one who would be entitled to her estate.


NARA - Record Group 123 - United States Court of Claims - Congressional Jurisdiction - Southern Claim File of Mariah McLean Buie - Case # 2723

Southern Claims Case of Maria McLean Buie

Remembering Their Names