Chenango in the Civil War: The Rowe Brothers

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the Chenango County Civil War Commemoration Project Team, The Evening Sun will present a monthly series chronicling items of local interest during the war between the states, compiled and written by a number of local history enthusiasts.



By Charles J. Decker

Afton Town and Village Historian

It was not uncommon for two or three males from the same family to serve in the Civil War, and there are examples from Afton. However, Seymour, Delos, Hanford, and Homer Rowe, the four eldest sons of Henry and Celina Smith Rowe of Perch Pond all served in that war and survived to come home.

The Rowes originally came from Wales and eventually settled on Perch Pond Hill, adjoining Perch Pond toward Nabinger Road. Henry and Celina had four other children. Henry later married Elvira Morse, by whom he had a daughter.

Seymour, 1830-1909, married Mary P. Johnson, 1836-1906. He enlisted in Herkimer County on March 12, 1862 for three years and was mustered out on July 18, 1865 at Washington, D.C. He served in the 97th Regiment which was involved in the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, among others. Casualties were high, including 73 enlisted men killed in action and 326 who died of disease and other causes. It was common in those years for more men to die of disease than from battle wounds. On April 2, 1902, Seymour was appointed Aide de Camp for the Grand Army of the Republic, with headquarters in Albany, N.Y. His daughter Nellie wrote a poem “Seymour,” dedicated to him at the time of his death. He is buried at Perch Pond Cemetery with a G.A.R. marker.


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