Hugh Rees Bowen, Lt (c.1737 - 1780)

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Birthplace: Augusta County, Virginia
Death: Died in Cleveland County, North Carolina
Cause of death: Shot in Battle of Kings Mt., SC
Occupation: farmer; Indian fighter; militiaman, m. 1759 in Augusta Co., Virginia
Managed by: Martin Severin Eriksen
Last Updated:

About Hugh Rees Bowen, Lt

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA. DAR Ancestor #: A012714

William, b. 1742; was a Capt. in the VA militia and was to have lead the Campbell riflmen on that faitful trip to Kings Mountain in S.C., in Aug of 1780. But due to illness, he was delayed and his older brother, famed Indian fighter, Lt. Rees Bowen took over for him. Historically, the Battle of King's Mountain,, Oct. 7th, 1780 was the decisive battle that finally turned the tide for the fledgling nation. The discription can be found in "King's Mountain, and it's Hereos" by Draper.

These wonderful mountain men of VA., fresh from their battles with Indians, dressed in buckskin, hair long, feather's on the ends of their rifles, came whooping and hollering with a combination of Indian War whoops and Highland battle cries that scared the daylights out of the British troops, waiting on King's mountain. They were routed so badly that they never did recoup.

Unfortunatley Lt. Rees Bowen was killed, William when hearing his brother was downed, went crazy, running to find his brother hoping that it was not to late. As he ran to where his brother had fallen, a sentry demanded the password of the day. William so distraught, couldn't make sense of what the man was yelling and forgot the password. When they were about to shoot it out, an officer, recognizing William grabbed him, bringing him back to his senses. They hugged, grateful for not having to shoot each other, but distraught about his brother. When Rees was found, it was too late, he had died, the only son of 13 children to be lost in a battle fought in the Rev. War. Years before, while on patrol, his brother Moses Bowen, died of a simple flesh wound recieved in the field. It seems while washing wound, it was done with river water that had not been boiled and he developed a fever from which he died in 1776.

Of a family of 13 children, 8 boys and 5 girls, all had made it to adulthood, only 2 were lost in wars fought settling the colonies. All eight sons served in the Militia, all were considered Revolutionary War heroes and are on the list's as Patriot's for membership to the DAR and SAR. McIllhaney Bowen. During the War years, Lillian gave money, supplies and openned her home to the wounded. Lillian died just 2 months before her beloved son Rees, in 1780, in Washington CO., VA. Her son had been one of the first settlers in S.W.VA., and a founding father of Tazewell CO., VA. Rees's homestead, "Fort Maiden Spring's", which became "Maiden Spring's Farm" is still in existance and has had a "Rees Bowen" in residence for over 250 years. The homestead is located in the Upper Clinch Valley, Tazewell CO., VA. He left 8 small children upon his death. It's said that one of the reasons that William moved on, was the crushing lose of his brother Rees. They were a remarkable close family, and remain so to this day.

From "History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia" by Pendleton, p. 407: "Rees BOWEN was the second white man who brought his family to make permanent residence in the Clinch Valley. therefore, it is meet that he and his family should be the second considered in the sketches I am writing of the pioneer families. The Tazewell BOWENs are of Celtic blood. Their immediate ancestor was Moses BOWEN, a Welshman, who married Rebecca Rees. They came from Wales to America a good many years before the Revolution, and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Their son John was a Quaker, and he married LillyMcIlhaney. He and his wife moved from Pennsylvania to Augusta County, Virginia, soon after the first settlements were made in the Shenandoah Valley, perhaps as early as the year 1732, and located in that part of Augusta now embraced in the county of Rockbridge. They had twelve children and Rees was one of their five sons. He married Louisa [?] Smith, whose parents then liven in that section of Augusta now known as Rockingham County. It is said that, after his marriage, he took up his abode on the Roanoke River close to where thecity of Roanoke is now situated. In some way Rees BOWEN learned of the fertile lands and abundance of game that could be found in the Upper Clinch Valley; and he concluded to abandon his home on the Roanoke River and settle in this region, where he could locate and occupy, without cost, a large family in the vicinity of the great spring, to which he gave a peculiar name, he had not then selected the boundary of land upon which he would settle. After they went into camp, on the evening of the day he reached the place that has since been the home of the BOWENs, he went out to find and kill a deer to get asupply of fresh meat. While thus engaged he discovered the spring. Bickleythus tells of the discovery of the immense fountain and what followed: WhenMr. BOWEN first saw the spring, he discovered a fine young female deer, feeding on the moss within the orifice from which gushes the spring. He shot it,and when he went to get his deer, saw a pair of elk horns standing on their points, and leaning against the rocks. Mr. BOWEN was a very large and tall man, yet he had no difficulty in walking upright under the horns. He chose this place for his, and the spring and river have since been known as Maiden Spring and Fork. The first four years after he and his family located at Maiden Spring were free from any hostile demonstrations by the Indians against the Clinch settlements. He was possessed of great physical strength and was very industrious, and in the four years he erected a large and strong log house,extended his clearings into the forests, and added considerably to the number of horses and cattle he brought with him from his home on the Roanoke. Then came trouble with the Ohio Indians, in 1773, when the whole frontier of Virginia was threatened by the red man; and Rees BOWEN built a heavy stockade around his dwelling, converting it into an excellent neighborhood fort. In themeantime, his four brothers, John, Arthur, William, and Moses moved out from Augusta to find homes in the country west of New River. John settled at some point in the Holston Valley; Arthur located in the present Smyth County, four miles west of Marion; and William and Moses took up their abode in the Clinch Valley, but in what immediate locality is now unknown. When Dunmore's War came on the three brothers, Rees, William, and Moses went with Captain William Russell's company on the Lewis expedition to the mouth of the Kanawha River; and wer prominent figures in the eventful battle of Point Pleasant. Moses BOWEN was then only twenty years old; and on the return march from the Kanawha, he was stricken with smallpox, from which frightful malady he died in the wilderness.

Rees (all documents of the time spelled it that way), was the son of John BOWEN and Lily Mcilhaney who spent most of their lives in Augusta Co, VA. Rees' grandparents were Moses BOWEN and Rebecca REES (originally spelled Rhys) who came from Wales to Gwynedd township, Chester Co, PA (near Philadelphia) in 1698 and purchased 10,000 acres. Rees BOWEN (I've never seen the name Hugh) was born in 1737 in Augusta Co, VA and died at the Battle of Kings Mountain in North Carolina, in 1780. About eight years prior to his death, Rees and Levisa, as she was commonly called, purchased a large tract of land in what is today Tazewell Co, VA and many of their descendants have remained there. That same land and the original house they built, with many additons through the years, is today owned by Rees BOWEN VII. Levisa Smith BOWEN lived to a very old age, reared her children as a widow, and was known for her courage, leadership, and strong business abilities. Margaret's family came to this country during the 1600's and that her linage qualifies for membership in the Colonial Dames. -------------------- Lt. Rees Bowen, born 1737 in Rockingham County, Virginia, died October 7, 1780, in the Battle of King's Mountain. He was married in 1756 to Margaret Louisa Smith (1740-1834), daughter of Capt. John Smith.

Lt. Rees Bowen was one of the first settlers in Tazewell County, locating at Maiden Spring about 1772. He and Louisa had 8 children. -------------------- Died at the Battle of King's Mountain in 1780 during the Revolutionary War. -------------------- A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of LIEUTENANT. DAR Ancestor #: A012723

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Hugh Reece Bowen's Timeline

1737
1737
Augusta County, Virginia
1758
1758
Age 21
of, Rockingham, Virginia, USA

Augusta Co.
Harrisonburg, Augusta Co, VA

1759
1759
Age 22
Augusta County, Virginia
1759
Age 22
Augusta County, Virginia
1760
1760
Age 23
Glade Creek, Augusta County, Virginia
1760
Age 23
Glades Creek, Rockingham, VA
1761
1761
Age 24
1761
Age 24
Rockingham, VA, USA
1763
October 1763
Age 26
Glades Creek, Roanoke Valley, VA
1765
1765
Age 28
Tazewell, Tazewell, Virginia, United States