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W. Harrow

W. Harrow

Federal (USV)


William Harrow

(1822 - 1872)

Home State: Indiana

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 14th Indiana Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He studied law and was admitted to the bar in Lawrenceville, Illinois. He was an associate of Abraham Lincoln (see related story) on the Eighth Judicial Circuit there. Harrow moved to Vincennes, Indiana, and then to Mount Vernon, Indiana, in the late 1850s. When the Civil War broke out, Harrow became a captain of a militia unit, the Knox County Invincibles, followed by a commission as a major in the 14th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Harrow, as a Lt Colonel, commanded the 14th at the battle of Kernstown, Virginia, in March. Harrow was then promoted Colonel, although later he would be accused of drunkenness at Kernstown. Harrow resigned in July 1862, but was reappointed in August.

On the Campaign

He led the Regiment in its attack on the Confederate position in the Sunken Road, with very high losses.

The rest of the War

Harrow was promoted to brigadier general in April 1863 (ranking from the previous November). He commanded a division at Gettysburg--in the face of Pickett's Charge. After Gettysburg, he was relieved of his command, but President Lincoln revoked the order and Harrow was given an assignment. In January 1864, Harrow was assigned to division command in the western theatre and took part in the Atlanta campaign. After a reorganization in September, Harrow was left without an assignment. Several commanding generals refused to accept him, including Oliver O. Howard, William T. Sherman and Winfield Scott Hancock. Harrow submitted his resignation in April and it was accepted. (It was reported that Harrow was ill-tempered and officious.)

After the War

He returned to Mount Vernon to resume his law practice and interest in politics. On September 27, 1872, while campaigning for presidential candidate Horace Greeley, William Harrow was killed in a train wreck at New Albany, Indiana.

References & notes

Source: Heitman, Francis Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, Washington, US Government Printing Office, 1903.; and

Indiana in the Civil War

More on the Web

See a nice, brief biography at Indiana in the Civil War.


11/14/1822; Winchester, KY


9/27/1872; New Albany, IN; burial in Mount Vernon, Indiana