Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ROWLEY, William Reuben, soldier, born in Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, New York, 8 February, 1824 ;: died in Chicago, Illinois, 9 February, 1886. After teaching in Brown county, Ohio, he settled in Galena, Illinois, where he held various civil offices, and in November, 1861, entered the military service as 1st lieutenant in tile 45th Illinois regiment. After the capture of Port Donelson he was commissioned captain, 26 February, 1862, and appointed aide-de-camp on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant. He distinguished himself at Shiloh by riding from the thickest of the fight at the Hornet's Nest toward Crump's Landing with orders to General Lewis Wallace to bring his troops to the field, for which service he was promoted major, 1 November, 1862. He served on the staff until the siege of Vicksburg, when he was temporarily detached from headquarters, and acted as provost-marshal-general of the departments of the Tennessee and Cumberland, with headquarters at Columbus, Kentucky When General Grant was promoted lieutenant-general, Major Rowley was made lieutenant-colonel and military secretary on his staff, which office he held until 30 August, 1864, when he resigned, owing to impaired health. He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers on 13 March, 1865. He then returned to Galena, Illinois, was elected county judge in 1877, which office he held at his death, and was also engaged in real-estate business. Before his death he was the only surviving member of General Grant's military staff when he commanded the Army of the Tennessee, and he died on the day that closed the official term of mourning for General Grant.
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