(1836 - 1901)
Home State: Virginia
Education: Washington College (1856), U of Virginia, Wash Coll Law, Class of 1859
Command Billet: Battery Commander
Branch of Service: Artillery
A native of Lexington, Virginia, he had attended Washington College and graduated from the University of Virginia and the Washington College Law School (founded by his father John W. Brockenrough in 1849), and then practiced in Lexington. At the start of the War he was an organizer of the Rockbridge Artillery and was commissioned First Lieutenant on 29 April 1861 (under Captain W.N. Pendleton). At First Manassas on 21 July 1861,
in command of a part of Pendleton's battery, was knocked off his horse by a fragment of a shell, and slightly wounded.He resigned his commission on 26 August 1861.
On the Campaign
He commanded the Battery on the Maryland Campaign and was said to have "opened the battle on the Confederate side", firing the first rounds on the morning of 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He was wounded in the arm at Fredericksburg in December 1862 while serving a gun of the Battalion under his direction while deailed to the staff of General Taliferro. He was promoted to Major on 2 March 1863 and assigned as Taliferro's Chief of Artillery. On 15 July was assigned to Jones' Battalion of Artillery. He was discharged for disability on 24 March 1864.
After the War
He was a lawyer in Lynchburg and Liberty, Virginia, and moved to Baltimore, MD in about 1883. In 1886 he was appointed special agent for the Department of the Interior by President Cleveland and went West. He held several government posts there over his remaining years: as a Land Inspector and Revenue Collector in Oregon and Special Agent to the Arapahoe tribe in Colorado and Wyoming. He also practiced law in Oregon City from 1890 to 1894.
References & notes
His bio from notes to the diary of Michael Reid Hanger from the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia, and biographical notes by S. Bassett French in the Library of Virginia. Further service details from Robert J. Driver, Jr.'s The 1st and 2nd Rockbridge Artillery (1987) and his Compiled Military Service Records via the Historical Data Systems database. The quote above from a 22 July 1861 letter of William Brockenbrough Newton, from a piece by Joseph Pierro in the July 2007 issue of Civil War Times, online courtesy of HistoryNet. Personal details from the Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Washington and Lee University (1888) and the Official Register of the United States (1899). His gravesite is on Findagrave.
Some sources have him as a recent graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) at the start of the war. Although there are several Brockenbroughs who were (including John Mercer and William Austin), John Bowyer is not listed among alumni.
4/6/1836; Lexington, VA
11/17/1901 Evanston, Wyoming; burial in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, MD