Confederate Army Officer, Author. He reached the rank of Colonel in the Confederate Army commanding in the 1st Maryland Cavalry. He also served as the Baltimore Police Commissioner from 1874 to 1879. He was born on his family estate, "Glen Ellen", in Baltimore County, Maryland. Today, his family's estate has been underwater since 1881 in the Loch Raven Reserve. He received a private tutored education. As a young man, he traveled west to Wisconsin and Nebraska in hope of homesteading but returned to Baltimore knowing of civil unrest. He was arrested as a spy and imprisoned in Fort McHenry following the “Pratt Street Riots” of April 19, 1861. Upon his release in August, he traveled to Charleston, Virginia joining Confederate forces under Colonel Ashby Turner. By December 15, 1861 he was made a full sergeant. Within two years he had earned the rank of major and organized his own 200-men unit,"Gilmor's Raiders". They were a rowdy group with Gilmor answering to their mischief more than once. Their most documented action was the raid in July 1864 of Magnolia Train Station. By 1864, he was seriously wounded twice with once being in his right jaw that became a chronic health problem. During the Maryland Campaign, he was recaptured while visiting his home in Baltimore spending five months more in prison. Colonel Gilmor was ordered to West Virginia where he was finally captured in Hardy County, on February 4, 1865. He remained a prisoner at Fort Warren at Boston Harbor until July 24, 1865. As a dashing, well-dress officer at 6 foot 3 inches, he had several photographs of himself made in full uniform; some were done by noted photographer Mathew Brady. He was excellent horseman. Two of his brothers, Howard and Arthur, died in the war as young men. After the Civil War, he relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana where he married a Floridian, Mentoria Nixon Strong. After traveling to Europe, he owned a farm in Mississippi by 1969 with two of his brothers, Graham and Charles. After a 14-year marriage, he became a widower with three young children: Alice, Harry, and Elsie. At this point, he returned to Baltimore, where he was recognized as a war hero serving as an officer in the Maryland National Guard and as Baltimore Police Commissioner. After his death, all Baltimore Police stations flew their flag at half-staff. In 1866, he war memoirs, "Four Years in the Saddle", were published. Written mostly while he was a prisoner of war, his memoirs are still in print and considered by Civil War scholars as an accurate, yet colorful, account of the war. There are historical markers on Civil War battlefields in which the description of the battle includes his name. A street in West Baltimore was named “Gilmore Street” in his honor. Baltimore's chapter of the Sons of the Confederacy was also named in his honored,the Colonel Harry W. Gilmor Camp #1318. A memorial ceremony is held at his grave side each year.
Bio by: Linda Davis