“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Macon in Bibb County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Cowles-Bond House

Railroads, Planters and Widow Bond


— Wilson's Raid Heritage Trail —

Cowles-Bond House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
1. Cowles-Bond House Marker
Inscription.  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
Cowles-Bond House (Now the Woodruff House) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
2. Cowles-Bond House (Now the Woodruff House)
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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:
Union Major General James H. Wilson
Henrietta Moughon Bond
Winnie Davis

Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureNotable PlacesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is April 20, 1865.
Location. 32° 50.516′ 
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N, 83° 38.042′ W. Marker is in Macon, Georgia, in Bibb County. Marker is on Bond Street, 0.2 miles south of Orange Street, on the right when traveling south. Bond Street is one-way heading south from Orange Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 988 Bond Street, Macon GA 31201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jefferson Davis (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Harris-Hall-Bennett House (about 400 feet away); P.L. Hay House (about 600 feet away); Historic Macon (about 600 feet away); Dick Wooley's Home (about 700 feet away); Judge Asa Holt House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Duane Allman's Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fencing from Findlay Foundry (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Macon.
Regarding Cowles-Bond House. Part of the Jefferson Davis Heritage Trail.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 593 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Feb. 9, 2023