I also considered the bowman as a fiddler, musician, because when typing bowman in my
search engine one of the pages it took me to was musicians (black) as bowmen. A single
stringed instrument of Africa. If a slave owner had a Black who had been quite familiar
with such an instrument perhaps the leap to fiddle playing would not be hard for such a
man. He would also be a servant to the officer.
The bowmen from the cavalry perspective is interesting as the gofer would be a servant to
some extent. A page type person. Takes care of the feed, equipment, horse, etc, while
learning from the master.
I'd love to see the context and exactly who wrote it. It might offer more clues. It's not in
the Vulgar Dictionary as we looked.