Historic Markers Across Georgia

Cowles-Bond House

Marker ID:  
Location: 988 Bond Street, Macon, GA
County: Bibb
Coordinates: N 32° 50.516    W 083° 38.042
  32.84193333    -83.63403333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Cowles-Bond House
Railroads, Planters and Widow Bond

—Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails —

This impressive home was already more than a quarter century old when Union Major General James Harrison Wilson occupied it in 1865. It is a masterpiece of one of Macon's most notable early master-builders, Alexander Elam who designed this house for Jere Cowles. Constructed in 1836, it is a Greek Revival mansion of stucco covered brick with a colonnade of eighteen columns surrounding three sides of the structure. It is representative of Macon's private residences which played an important role during the war.

Cowles became known as the "irrepressible railroad man of the age." He was responsible for making Macon a railroad network hub linking both the Georgia and Gulf coasts with points east and west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Federal cavalry under the command of General Wilson captured Macon on April 20, 1865, and subsequently occupied the city. Wilson's original quarters were in the Lanier House, then a hotel located downtown on Mulberry Street. He soon sought more suitable lodging. The Widow Bond's house afforded a commanding view of Macon from its hilltop perch. When Wilson called upon Mrs. Bond to inform her she must vacate the house, she replied she would comply. Bond added that she would place her household valuables in a dining room closet and expected they would still be there when she was allowed to return. According to her family, they were. Wilson stayed here until July 2, 1865, although the last of his occupying troops did not leave Macon until October.

During the decades after the war, the Sam Coleman family was among several others to own the house. In October 1887 their daughter Birdie Coleman hosted a party here in honor of Winnie Davis, the youngest daughter of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, during the Davis family's final visit to Macon. The house became a private school in 1960. Later acquired by Mercer University, it was renamed the Woodruff House in honor of George W. Woodruff who provided for its restoration.

[Portrait captions )see HMDB.org for photos)]
Union Major General James H. Wilson
Henrietta Moughon Bond
Winnie Davis

Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc.