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Major-General Joseph Anthony Mower Biography
Major-General Joseph Anthony Mower
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Born:  Monday, August 27, 1827 Woodstock Vermont
Died:  Thursday, January 6, 1870 New Orleans Louisiania
Age:  42
Buried:  Arlington National Cemetery Arlington Virginia
Plot:  Section 2 Lot 141
Pre War:  Carpenter, Mexican war, entered US Army 1855
War Service:  May 1862 Col. of 11th Missouri, Iuka, Corinth (w,c), escaped and recaptured, November 1862 appointed Brig. Gen. of Volunteers, commanded 2nd Bde/3rd Divn/XV Corps in Vicksburg campaign, Jackson, served in Red River campaign, Ft De Russy, Yellow Bayou, August 1864 promoted Maj. Gen. of Volunteers, commanded 1stDivn/XVII Corps in March to the Sea, Carolinas campaign.
Brevet Promotion(s):  Brig. Gen. U.S.A. 13 March 1865, Maj. Gen. U.S.A. 13 March 1865.
Post War:  Army service, commanded Dept of Louisiana.
Born to Nathaniel Mower and Sophia Holmes Mower in Woodstock, Vermont, Joseph Anthony Mower moved with his parents to Lowell, Massachusetts, when he was a small child. He was educated locally before attending Norwich University in Vermont. At the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, Mower enlisted as a private and served until 1848. Not finding a niche in civilian life, he sought a commission in the army and was appointed a second lieutenant in 1855. He had achieved the rank of first lieutenant at the commencement of the Civil War.

Mower"s Civil War career was characterized by conspicuous bravery throughout. He was mentioned constantly in many engagement reports for his gallantry in battle. Because of these actions he was rapidly promoted and given ever-greater responsibilities.

His first promotion in September 1861 to captain came because of the need for experienced regular officers. He served that first year in the West, primarily in Missouri, fighting under John Pope at New Madrid and Island No. 10 in early 1862. On 3 May 1862 he was promoted to colonel of volunteers and given command of the 11th Missouri Infantry.

Mower commanded a brigade beginning in August 1862 and received a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel in the regular army for the gallantry he displayed in leading his men at the battle of luka on 19 September. Two weeks later, Mower was wounded and captured at Corinth and managed to escape but was recaptured. After his exchange, Mower was given command of a brigade in William T. Sherman"s corps during the Vicksburg campaign. During this time, he came increasingly to the attention of his commander, who came to view him as one of the most promising of the younger generals in the army. Mower was promoted to brigadier general in March 1863.

Mower was commended again for his bravery in leading a charge deemed responsible for the fall of Jackson, Mississippi on 14 May 1863, and as a reward for his actions there he was given command of the garrison that occupied the town. He did not remain on garrison duty long, however. Mower returned to the front and participated in the formal siege of Vicksburg until its conclusion.

During the summer of 1863, Mower operated out of Vicksburg and at the end of September was put in command of guarding the Black River railroad bridge. The following spring, Mower was given command of a division in Nathaniel P. Banks"s Red River campaign. On 14 March 1864 he led on horseback the charge of his division that resulted in the capture of Fort De Russy. On 30 May 1864 he was relieved from duty with the Army of the Gulf and sent to Memphis. During the summer of 1864, he participated in several expeditions from Tennessee into Mississippi and Arkansas in an effort to stop Confederate raids. All the while, William T. Sherman was trying to arrange his transfer to participate in Sherman"s Atlanta campaign. Mower was promoted to major general of volunteers in August 1864.

In September 1864 Sherman finally accomplished Mower"s transfer, but before receiving the order to report to Atlanta, Mower received orders to move his division to Missouri to combat Sterling Price"s raid there. As a result, Mower did not report to Sherman until November 1864, just in time to receive command of a division in Sherman"s March to the Sea. Mower led his division south to Savannah and then up through the Carolinas. His division underwent considerable hardship in the early phases of the march into South Carolina, particularly in the passage through the swamps around the Salkehatchie River. On 7 April 1865, he assumed command of XX Corps of the Army of Georgia. He held that command until early June, when he was granted a much-needed leave of absence. At the end of July 1865, Mower was sent to command the Eastern District of Texas in the Department of Texas. His primary responsibility was to guard the railroads around Galveston from disgruntled former Confederates. Upon the reorganization of the army the following year, Mower stayed in the army as colonel of the 39th Infantry, an African-American unit. In 1869 he was given command of the Department of Louisiana as the commander of the 25th Infantry, another African-American regiment. He contracted pneumonia during the winter of that year and died on 6 January 1870 in New Orleans.
My Source:  Encyclopedia of the American Civil WaróDavid S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler