David G. Cowand

(Tyrrell County)

Featured Character – 1863

Colonel David Cowand

David G. Cowand

Courtesy of North Carolina Museum of History

David Cowand was made lieutenant colonel in the 32nd Regiment North Carolina Troops. When Federal forces set out to destroy the locks of the Dismal Swamp Canal at South Mills on April 19, 1862, Cowand’s regiment marched to the locks and saved them. In May the regiment was moved to Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia, where it was incorporated into General Junius Daniel’s brigade. After this stint, the regiment moved down to North Carolina to Deep Gully outside of New Bern. Upon return to General Robert E. Lee’s forces in Northern Virginia, Cowand and his men made their way up the Shenandoah Valley through Maryland and into Pennsylvania where they helped outflank Union troops at Gettysburg. A surprise attack on May 10, 1864, killed the regiment’s colonel, thus promoting Cowand to colonel. The regiment continued their fighting in North Carolina and Virginia until Appomattox, where upon surrender; Cowand was given permission to keep his sword. There were only 117 men remaining in the 32nd Regiment.  David’s sister, Emilie, kept an autograph book in which David signed before going into the “Field of Battle.”