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Sarah A. Blake Bowman
Birth: 1813
Missouri, USA
Death: Dec. 22, 1866
Fort Yuma
Imperial County
California, USA

Military Heroine. No one is sure when or where she was born but this woman who stood over six feet tall became the first lady to be a ranking US Army officer. She acquired the nickname "Great Western" probably because of her size. In 1845 she enlisted as a cook and laundress with one of her many husbands and became the chief cook at Fort Brown Texas. In May of 1846 she gained notoriety for her courageous actions during the Mexican bombardment of the fort. Refusing to take cover with the other women, she continued to cook during the week long attack and while not cooking took up a musket to fight the enemy. Because of her bravery General Zachary Taylor brevetted "The Heroine of Fort Brown" to Colonel making her the first woman to be a ranking US Army officer. Later during the Battle of Buena Vista she once again demonstrated her bravery by loading cartridges and carrying wounded soldiers to safety. After the war she traveled back and forth across the Mexican and US border. She married several more times, and had many business interests operating diners, hotels and bordellos. She died from a spider bite and was buried on December 23, 1866 at the Fort Yuma post cemetery with full Military Honors. In August of 1890 the US Army exhumed the 159 bodies buried at Fort Yuma and moved them to the presidio at the San Francisco National Cemetery. Born Sarah Blake, she was known by many different surnames including Bourget, Davis, Borginis, and Phillips but she is buried with the surname of what may have been her last husband, Alfred Bowman. (bio by: Bigwoo) 
San Francisco National Cemetery
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA
Plot: Section PPE Site 55
GPS (lat/lon): 37.79918, -122.46351
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3521415
Sarah A. <i>Blake</i> Bowman
Added by: Carol
Sarah A. <i>Blake</i> Bowman
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Mary Harrell-Sesniak
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- Charlene MacKersie Sloan
 Added: May. 1, 2016

- sjm
 Added: Dec. 22, 2015

- Broken~★~Heart
 Added: May. 7, 2015
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