Thomas Algeo Rowley

Thomas Algeo Rowley, a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh except for his service in two wars, was born there on October 5, 1808. He learned the cabinetmaker's trade, but subsequently was elected a justice of the peace. When war was declared with Mexico, he served as captain of a company of Pennsylvania volunteers from 1847 until 1848 known as the "Jackson Blues." On his return he did work for the city as a contractor, was active in politics, and from 1857 to 1860 was clerk of courts of Allegheny County. On April 25, 1861, Rowley was commissioned colonel of the 13th Pennsylvania, a three-month regiment which was designated the 102nd Pennsylvania upon reenlistment. The 13th was mainly employed in garrison duty on the Potomac line. The 102nd was present throughout the war from the Peninsula to Appomattox, reenlisting almost to a man at the end of 1863. Rowley and his command fought at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, and Malvern Hill in Couch's division of Reyes's IV Corps. The brigade, first under John J. Peck and subsequently under Albion P. Howe, was detached from the IV Corps and helped cover the withdrawal of the Union army after Second Manassas, acting as support to a battery at Chantilly. At Sharpsburg it was in reserve, and upon Ambrose E. Burnside's taking command of the army, it was assigned permanently to the VI Corps. Rowley, who had been slightly wounded at Seven Pines, was promoted brigadier general on November 29, 1862. At Fredericksburg he was briefly in command of a brigade of Newton's division of the VI Corps, but for reasons not made apparent in the records was superseded by Frank Wheaton who was in command of the 2nd Rhode Island of Devens' brigade of the same division. During the campaign of Chancellorsville, Rowley directed a I Corps brigade in Doubleday's division; and at Gettysburg he was for a time in command of the division while Abner Doubleday directed the corps. When the decimated I Corps was broken up, Rowley was assigned to the draft rendezvous at Portland, Maine. Prior to the opening of the spring campaign of 1864, Rowley returned to the Army of the Potomac and was court-martialed at Culpeper, Virginia, on April 23, 1864. However, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton disapproved the sentence and ordered Rowley restored to duty. As a result, he was given the command of the District of the Monongahela, with headquarters in Pittsburgh, where he remained for the balance of the year. He resigned on December 29, 1864. After the war he practiced law and served as United States marshal from 1866 to 1870. He died May 14, 1892, and was buried in Allegheny Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.