Civil War Records of Arthur Harris Cowdrey

Arthur Harris Cowdrey, from History of Stoneham, Massachusetts, p. 218


Co. Regiment / Ship From To Residence/ Credit Occupation Notes
staff 7th MVI Asst. Surgeon; comm. Aug. 14, 1862; must. Aug. 15, 1862 disch. Oct. 26, 1863, for promotion. Stow physician  
  37th USCT Major, Surgeon; Oct. 26, 1863 resigned June 3, 1865 Stow    
MASSCW, 1:470, 7:294

Service Record (select pages from the National Archives): x
Service Ledger (Town of Acton): x


Co. Regiment Date Filed Type App. No. Cert. No. State Beneficiary/Remarks
  7th MVI
37th USCT

Invalid 1316 798 1083 253 Mass. C2513653

Pension File (select pages from the National Archives):  26 pages (PDF)

Grand Army of the Republic



Date November 4, 1907
Place Stoneham, Mass.
Age 71
Cause Bright's disease

Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.


(source for death information: "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910,"

Survived by  

Additional Information

Arthur Harris Cowdry is recorded in the 1855 Massachusetts State Census for Acton, age 19, "Doctor", in residence with his father Doctor Harris Cowdry, age 52 (Lainhart, 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Censuses for Acton: 16).

Arthur Harris Cowdry is recorded in the 1865 Massachusetts State Census for Acton, age 29, "Surgeon in Army", in residence with his wife, Mary Walcott Cowdry, age 24, "Lady" (Lainhart, 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Censuses for Acton: 71).

The photograph above and the text below are from:  William B. Stevens, History of Stoneham, Massachusetts. Stoneham (1891): 217-220. Digital edition,

Arthur Harris Cowdrey, M.D., was born in Acton, Mass., January 17, 1836, and is the son of Harris and Abigail (Davis) Cowdrey. His father was a physician and practised for fifty years in Acton, although he was born on Cowdrey's Hill, in Wakefield.
     The subject of this sketch obtained his early schooling in Acton, and afterwards attended the Lawrence Academy, in Groton, Mass., where he fitted for college and graduated, but owing to ill health he did not take a collegiate course but studied medicine with his father. He attended one course at the Berkshire Medical School, in Pittsfield, Mass., and three courses at Harvard Medical School, from which he graduated in 1857. He then practised med­icine with his father in Acton for six months and spent the next winter in Philadelphia, attending the Jefferson Medical School and the University.
     In the spring of 1858 he went to Stowe, Mass., where he remained in the practice of his profession until August, 1862, when he went into the army, having been appointed by Governor Andrew Assistant Surgeon of the Seventh Mass. Vol. lnfantry. He was in the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, under Generals Burnside and Hooker, and at Gettysburg under Gen. Meade, his regiment being of the famous Sixth Corps. In Oc­tober, 1863, he was appointed Surgeon of the 37th Regiment, U. S. Colored Troops, by President Lincoln, and went first to Newbern, N. C., where he stayed a short time and then went to Norfolk, Va., his regiment joining the Army of the James under Gen. Butler. Here they passed the winter and in the spring went up the James River with Gen. Butler's troops. The 37th Regiment landed at Powhatan, remained there awhile, and were then located at Wilson's Landing until General Grant came from Cold Harbor across the river. The 37th Regiment, then of Gen. Wilde's Brigade, joined Gen. Grant's forces and went to front of Petersburg, being there during a portion of the summer and at the camp near Dutch Gap during the balance. Dr. Cowdrey was on detached service through the fall at the hospital near Point of Rocks, on the Appomattox River.
     When Gen. Butler went on his Fort Fisher expedition Dr. Cowdrey was ordered on to the steamer Western Metropolis as Surgeon in charge of medi­cal supplies. Under Gen. Terry, who relieved Gen. Butler, Dr. Cowdrey was returned to duty in the 37th Regiment and went with his regiment through Wilmington, N.C., to Raleigh, the regiment being engaged in some skirmishing on the way. From Raleigh they went back to Wilmington and the war being over Dr. Cowdrey resigned. His resignation was accepted June 22, 1865, and he was mustered out.
     July 22nd of that year he came to Stoneham and has practised surgery and medicine steadily ever since. Being a skilful surgeon and a physician of knowledge and good judgment he has acquired the confidence of the people and has an extensive practice. He boarded for two years with Mrs. John Hill, and then built the house in the square where he lived until 1889, when he purchased the magnificent mansion on Maple street where he now resides. It is one of the finest and most costly residences in Middlesex County.
     He was married in Boston, February 16, 1859, to Miss Mary W. Emery, of Boston, and they have had two daughters, both living, namely: Maud Harlow and Helen Walcott Cowdrey.
     Like all active and busy men Dr. Cowdrey is connected with numerous ­societies and institutions. He is a prominent member of the Congregational Church, of which he has been an assessor for years, is a member of King Cyrus Lodge, F. and A. M., and was formerly an active member of the Royal Arch Chapter and De Molay Commandery, of Melrose, but being unable to attend the meetings on account of press of other duties he took out a card from these societies. He is a member of Columbian Lodge, I. O. O. F., Stoneham Council, American Legion of Honor, Middlesex East District Medical Society, and State of Mass. Medical Society, served three years on the Board of School Committee in the early part of' his residence in Stoneham, is now Town Physician, Vice-President of the Stoneham Five Cent Savings Bank, of which he was a Trustee for near]y fifteen years, a Director in the Stoneham National Bank and Stoneham Co-operative Bank. He is a public spirited citizen and has been one of the most active pushers in bringing to a successful issue the railroad scheme by which the town is to be connected by a short route to Boston via the Boston & Maine R. R., this latter project when completed, being considered the most important event in the history of the town.


From: Samuel A. Green, An Account of the Physicians and Dentists of Groton, Massachusetts (1890): 75.  Digital edition,

Dr. Arthur Harris Cowdrey is a son of Harris and Abigail (Davis) Cowdrey, and was born at Acton, on January 17, 1836. His father was born at South Reading, on October 6, 1802; and his mother at Acton, on September 28, 1807. He attended school at Lawrence Academy during the years 1852 and 1853, and graduated at the Harvard Medical School in the Class of 1857. He became a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society in the year 1866. On February 16, 1859, Dr. Cowdrey was married, in Boston, to Mary Wolcott, daughter of Francis Welch Roberts and Mary Baker (Wolcott) Emery. In the spring of 1858 he began to practise his profession at Stow, where he remained until August 14, 1862, when he was commissioned as Assistant Surgeon of the Seventh Massachusetts Volunteers. On October 26, 1863, he was promoted to the surgeoncy of the United States Colored Troops, which position he held until he was mustered out of the service, on June 22, 1865. He was present at the Battle of Gettysburg, and other engagements. (See " Harvard University in the War of 1861-1865," page 248.) After the end of the war Dr. Cowdrey established himself at Stoneham, where he is now living.


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