Andersonville Prison Survivor and My Great-Great Grandfather

Years ago, I read Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor and was appalled at the starvation and hardships that the prisoners endured there during the Civil War. Little did I know that my own great-great-grandfather was a prisoner there after being captured at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads.

Unfortunately we often don't become interested in our genealogy and family history until late in life. By then, many of the people who could answer our questions are gone. I'm lucky that my parents are still alive at 87 and my mother put in many years of dedicated research on the family tree. When older relatives passed away, many of them left their photos and memorabilia to my mom. She became the family historian.

Here's what I was able to find out about Abraham Bates Tower, my great-great grandfather, who fought in the Civil War.

(photo from our family album)

Abraham Bates Tower's Pocket Diary from the Civil War

August 4, 1865 - A List of Men in the 93rd Indiana Infantry

Follow the 93rd Indiana Infantry

in the Civil War (click on the red arrow to see the dates/notes)

Abraham Bates Tower's Civil War Pension Record lists him as Company G. My mother's research found something showing him enlisted with Company B (possibly a mis-reading of a handwritten document). There is a complete listing at Civil War Archive online. Not all of the locations show on the map as some place names may be too small or have died out.
  • Until March 1863
  • until March 1863
  • until March 1863
  • March 13, 1863
  • until May 3, 1863
  • Abraham Bates Tower enlisted here on August 28, 1862 as a private
  • May 3-14 and May 18-July 4, 1863
  • siege July 10-17
  • june 10, 1864

I Looked for a Book about the 93rd Indiana Infantry

but only found other letters and diaries of other Indiana regiments

I'll probably get a few of these to read so I'll have some concept of the day-to-day life of Abraham Bates Tower as an infantryman.

Further down on this webpage, you'll see more books about Indiana Infantry in the Civil War.

More Information about the 93rd Indiana Infantry

93rd Indiana Infantry Rosters
Links to the 93rd Indiana Infantry Officer Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume 3, by W.H.H. Terrell, Adjutant General, Indiana, 1866 View Entire Book

and to 93rd Indiana Infantry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume 6, by W.H.H. Terrell, Adjutant General, Indiana, 1866
Primary Source Material on the Soldiers and the Battles
Following the 93rd Indiana Infantry
This is a page that I created showing the location of the 93rd Indiana Infantry at different times during the Civil War.
93rd Indiana Infantry
A page I made with further information about this regiment.
Enlisted Men of Company G, 93rd Indiana Infantry
Research on individuals who served in Company G with my great-great grandfather.

Field Rations for a Civil War Soldier

Even at the best of times, the food looks pretty skimpy

A Re-enactment of the Battle at Brice's Crossroads

The 145 anniversary of the battle

145th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Brice's Crossroads 06/13/09
by Todd Vinyard | video info
0 ratings | 2,341 views
curated content from YouTube

A Documentary about Andersonville Prison

by John Bott | video info
19 ratings | 14,996 views
curated content from YouTube

Abraham Tower Survived Andersonville

type=text This is how a Civil War soldier imagines his homecoming…. (see photo below)

Civil War Soldier Being Welcomed Home print
Civil War Soldier Being Welcomed Home by lc_civilwar

For Abraham Bates Tower, it was quite different. He was released on parole December 6, 1864 weighing only 73 pounds. He spent some time in a Union hospital as his health was seriously affected by starvation and scurvy in the prison. When he returned to Indiana, his wife and children were no longer there. Thinking he was dead, his wife had moved to Missouri to live with her sister. Abraham finally found them. He died in Tyro, Kansas on February 8, 1930 at the age of 93.

The photo on the right shows Abraham with his family later in life. He had four more children after the Civil War and my great-grandmother was one of them.

Gail Martin's Book Includes a Section about Abraham Bates Tower

Her Great-Grandfather

type=text This is my mother’s book.

A childhood on the Kansas prairies in the 1930s springs vividly to life in the detailed memories of Gail Martin. Her simple accounts of long ago school days, celebrations and family life are a treasure. Travel back in time to life in the Flint Hills during the Great Depression and the time leading up to World War II.

The memories include her father’s work in the oil field, trips to town in the family’s Model A, raising her pet badger, fishing on the Cottonwood River, and wearing dresses made from feed sack material.

The book also explores her family’s role in early Kansas history with details of covered wagons, homesteading, the Civil War and fledgling industries. These range from Tyro to Teterville to Eureka.

This edition includes a section with About The Author and a McGhee, Vining, and Tower Family Album.

Read the Family Memories of Abraham Bates Tower

Preview Sections of My Flint Hills Childhood which includes my mother's description of Abraham Bates Tower's Life

My Flint Hills Childhood by Gail Lee Martin | Make Your Own Book
To read the whole book, order it at that website. It is print-on-demand, so it takes two or three weeks for printing and mailing.

Two sections of the book includes family memories and photos of Abraham Bates Tower.

In October 2010, the book was awarded the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award.

Find Information about Your Civil War Ancestors

Civil War Records
Civil War Records on Access Genealogy
Cyndi's List - U.S. - Civil War / War for Southern Independence
More than 270,000 links! 260,000 links, categorized & cross-referenced, in over 180 categories. Another 10,000+ uncategorized new links in the works.
Military History Online
Civil War Genealogy by Regiment
Civil War Records
Genealogical resources available at the National Archives and Records Administration
American Civil War Research Database
American Civil War Research Database; a database of over 4 million American Civil War Union and Confederate soldiers fully searchable by soldier's name and by regiments. The American Civil War Research Database will assist military tactics, reenactment or genealogy research.

Civil War diaries on eBay

Letters and diaries from the Civil War are much sought after


More about Civil War Diaries

Compiled by Virginia Allain


Civil War Items on eBay

This changes regularly


Have You Explored Your Family's Civil War Background?

Civil War Battle Flags no.5 print
Civil War Battle Flags no.5 by historicimage

Continue on down the page for a comprehensive list of Indiana Infantry books, information about Tower family genealogy and more about Andersonville and Brice’s Crossroads.
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  • BarbRad Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:55 pm
    For some reason, few of the images are loading for me, so I'm sure I'm not getting as much as I'd like to from this, but I did read Andersonville when I was in high school, and it made a lasting impression on me. It's a wonder anyone survived it. I wasn't hungry for two weeks after reading it -- especially for meat. I'm sure Abraham Bates Tower would have quite a lot to tell us, except I'm not sure he would have wanted to talk about it. I think after an ordeal so gruesome, one would want to put it completely out of one's mind.
  • vallain Dec 20, 2012 @ 12:00 am
    I've read a number of books on Andersonville while researching my great-great grandfather's life. You're right it is a most distressing topic.
  • tjmaj1959 Mar 06, 2012 @ 8:27 pm
    I love reading about the Civil War, thanks for the great lens
  • PaperQuest Feb 20, 2012 @ 6:13 pm
    Great lens. Very interesting information. I have a number of lens about Civil War ironclads, check them out when you have time. Good job!
  • AaronSquid Jan 13, 2012 @ 6:02 pm
    Interesting lens, thanks for sharing your family history

See all comments

Indiana Infantry Books

Skirmishing Post Card
Skirmishing Post Card by Dividenda
See other Civil war Postcards at zazzle

Find More Indiana Infantry Books on eBay

Many of the Civil War Regimental Histories are Out-of-Print

If you can't find the Indiana Infantry book that you want on my list above, check this eBay auction list. It changes frequently as fresh items are posted for bidding.

Abraham Tower's Brother Died Shortly after This Battle

Battle of Stones River at Munfreesboro

The cemetery records gives Nashville, Tennessee as his place of death.

Battle of Stones River mousepad
Battle of Stones River by atominfo

Tower Genealogy

type=textHere's some background on Abraham Bates Tower. The Tower family genealogy is well-researched back to Robert Tower (1582) in Hingham, Norwich, Norfolk County, England.

Links to Tower Family Genealogy Online

Family Tree Maker's Genealogy Site: Genealogy Report: Descendants of Robert Tower
This page shows Abraham Bates Tower was born March 25, 1832 in Crawford Co, IN, and died in 1930 in Tyro, Montgomery Co. KS.
Abraham Bates Tower - After the Civil War
Abraham Bates Tower lived into his 90s in Missouri and later Kansas after reuniting with his family when the Civil War ended.
Decendants of Abraham Bates Tower
The information that I'm collecting on Abraham's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, etc.
Abraham Tower before the Civil War
Find out about Tower family history and A.B. Tower's early life in Indiana.
This currently includes information about his grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. but eventually I plan to make a separate web page for that information. I will put the link here when that is done.

Map Showing Location of Hingham, England

Tower Family Genealogy

Pages by Virginia Allain


Andersonville Prison

93rd Indiana Infantry grave at AndersonvilleIn the fall of 2010, we visited the museum, recreated stockade and the cemetery at Andersonville, Georgia. To my great disappointment, the file on my great-great grandfather was listed as being lost during a move of the museum in the last ten years.

Below are links to my Andersonville photos and some books for further reading on this topic.

Learn More about Andersonville and Abraham Bates Tower


Are We Related?

Comments are moderated, so won't show up right away.

If you’ve come this far in looking up information about Abraham Bates Tower, perhaps we are distant relatives. If you are descended from A.B. Tower, please click on my profile picture, and then on the CONTACT button. I’d love to hear what you know about the family history.
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  • Julie Jun 07, 2013 @ 2:35 pm
    Yep, apparently so, but back a ways, if I found your Abraham's correct family tree. Actually, I think we're related through both the Bates and the Tower lines. Nabby Bates was the sister of my Lebbeus Bates. And to think that I was just looking up Andersonville.
  • vallain Jun 07, 2013 @ 3:14 pm
    Julie, how exciting to meet you. Did you know there's a Tower Family group on Facebook. It's a great place to link up with other relatives.
    Was your ancestor at Andersonville too?
  • Julie Jun 07, 2013 @ 8:38 pm
    No. I was googling Andersonville because I have been interested in it ever since I bought ratty old book at a garage sale about 25 years ago, written by a McElroy or something, a survivor of Andersonville.
  • vallain Jun 07, 2013 @ 9:37 pm
    What marvelous serendipity! You will notice that I have quite a few pages about Andersonville (a timeline, first-hand accounts, starvation, scorbutus, my ancestor getting paroled from there, and a booklist).
  • Julie Jun 08, 2013 @ 12:15 am
    Where did Abraham's wife and family move to in Missouri? I'm only a few miles from the Iowa/Missouri border.
  • vallain Jun 08, 2013 @ 9:10 am
    LaClede, Missouri (not Laclede county). Take a look at my page, Abraham Tower after the Civil War.
  • cr00059n Jan 17, 2012 @ 11:05 am
    This seems really interesting. I've had a great read through of your article. Intriguing.
  • gottaloveit Jul 27, 2011 @ 6:47 am
    Nope, sorry, my family is from Minsk Russia but I loved the lens!

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