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T.A. Rowley

T.A. Rowley

Federal (USV)


Thomas Algeo Rowley

(1808 - 1892)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry

Before Antietam

He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, Company A, First Pennsylvania Volunteers on 6 May 1846 and was commissioned Captain of Company H (Pittsburgh Co.) in the Regiment of Maryland and District of Columbia Volunteers for Mexican War service on 8 October 1847. He mustered out on 18 July 1848. He was a cabinet maker in Pittsburg, Street Commissioner (1850), Captain of the Washington Infantry militia company, and was appointed clerk of the courts for Alleghany County in 1857.

By then 52 years old, he was appointed Major of a battalion of troops at Camp Curtin near Harrisburg in April 1861, and was commissioned Colonel of the 3-month 13th Pennsylvania on the 25th. After they mustered out in August he recruited its former members and others in Pittsburgh and was commissioned Colonel of the new 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry to date from 6 August 1861. He was wounded by gunshot to the head in action at Fair Oaks, VA on 31 May 1862, but remained with his regiment.

On the Campaign

He commanded the regiment in Maryland. They arrived near Sharpsburg on 17 September and were in reserve there.

The rest of the War

He was commissioned Brigadier General on 29 November 1862. He led a rookie Brigade in Doubleday's Division, First Army Corps, and commanded the Division on 1 July 1863 at Gettysburg after Doubleday took the Corps when General Reynolds was mortally wounded. After a Confederate attack broke through his lines on McPherson Ridge, he behaved erratically, screaming at other officers and claiming to be in command of the Corps. He was arrested and removed from the field, and was court-martialed in April 1864 for his behavior there. He was convicted on several charges, including drunkenness, but remained in the service after the intervention of Army Judge Advocate Holt and President Lincoln.

He was assigned to local defense duty in Western Pennsylvania, but was never to have another field command and resigned his commission on 29 December 1864.

After the War

He was United States Marshal for Western Pennsylvania 1866-1870 and then practiced law in Pittsburgh.

References & notes

His service from Heitman1 and Bates.2 Personal details from Appleton's,3 John F. Krumwiede's Disgrace at Gettysburg: the arrest and court-martial of Brigadier General Thomas A. Rowley, USA (2006), the US Census for 1850, and from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph sold by Heritage Auctions in September 2016.

He married Isabella J. Cust (1821-1860) in 1848 and they had 6 children; 4 of them died young.


10/05/1808; Pittsburgh, PA


05/14/1892; Pittsburgh, PA; burial in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 849  [AotW citation 23698]

2   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871  [AotW citation 23699]

3   Fiske, John, and James Grant Wilson, editors, Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 6 vols., New York City: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889  [AotW citation 23700]