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About this collection

William A. Cowles, who was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1834, served two tours of duty with the 42nd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers during the Civil War. For the first tour, he served as a private for nine months from 1862-1863 in New Orleans, as a French Horn player in the Regiment’s Band. The second tour, in 1864, he served as a corporal for 100 days. He married Josephine Lewis of Quincy in 1858, and eventually the couple had two daughters. The Cowles family later moved to Billerica, Massachusetts, where he died on September 15, 1905.

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