To The
Carroll County Biographies

Contributed by Steve Behr

Velie Sowles was born Junius, New York May 3, 1847 His father Jonathan died when Velie was 11, mother Catherine when he was 2, grandfather Joseph Soule when Velie was l0, grandmother when he was 2. Two of his siblings died before he was born Geo David 1837-42, Mary F 1839-9, and 3 before he was 6. Wm H 43-48, May 45-53, Lucy 49-53. He moved to Illinois when he was 7 with his father.

Family tradition says that in 1854 Velie and his older brother Joseph came to Illinois by themselves in a wagon with a team of mules, Joseph (b 1841) sitting on the back playing his violin. (It is likely that they came with his father, step mother,other siblings and grandfather, but perhaps they were in another wagon). When his father died April 1859 Velie was 11 and he went to work for a cousin Stephen Crouch and his compensation was room, board and clothing. His first experience in the Civil war was when he was 14 in 1861. His cousin Louis P Crouch was a Methodist minister (b 1833) chaplain of the Illinois 55th Infantry. He wanted Velie to take care of his horse and offered the boy room, board and clothing and $5 a month as long as he stayed with him. This was September 1861.

Crouch resigned to return home to sick family. This was just before the battle of Shiloh.(April 6, 1862) Velie followed him with the horse, going by boat to Cairo, then in a box car to Decatur, riding the horse the balance of the way l50 miles. Spring of 62 he hired out to a neighbor for $5 per month. During that time he went to country school.

Nov 1863 he volunteered at age 16, even though he was too young they needed a person who was light weight and good with a horse, so they overlooked his age. His application states that he was 17. 2nd Illinois lite artillery. Battery F. July 22, 1864 he was captured along with 33 others in company F while they were approaching Atlanta. He spent time in Andersonville prison and was paroled at Charleston SC Dec l0, 1864. He was down to 90 pounds. He had a 30 day furlough home to Milledgeville and was charged for the transportation. Returned to duty Jan 29, 1865, hospital Feb l0, 1865 and sent home to muster out Feb 20-28, 1865. Reportedly he threw his gun in the Mississippi river on his way home saying he had had enough of war.

In Dec 18, 1872 at 25 he married in by G..W. Perry, clergyman. To a teacher Mary Louisa Barnes ( who was l8 and daughter of Alfred Barnes (superintendent of schools) b 1824 and Adaline Olin). Feb 18,1877 He went to look at land in Iowa, along with his cousin Elliot Crouch. He eventually moved to Crawford county Iowa, against the wishes of his in laws.

Verlie Sowles and wife

Headstones of Verlie and Mary Sowles
Buried at Nishnabotna Cemetery - Manilla, Crawford Co. Ia, by Sue Jensen at Find-A-Grave

Cleon and Effie (Sowles) Jordan Daughter of Verlie & Mary

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