United States Army Officer. A cavalry officer who served with distinction in both the Civil War and on the frontier, Henry Nowlan was born to Irish Catholic parents on the Greek island of Corfu, where his father was a quartermaster in the British Army. Educated at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, young Nowlan served as a British officer during the Crimean War. In 1862 he came to the US, responding to the call for experienced foreign officers to serve in the Union army, and consequently received a commission in the 14th NY Cavalry. Captured in June 1863, Nowlan endured the horrors of life as a POW at Andersonville and Charleston, but ultimately escaped and joined Sherman's "March to the Sea" in 1865. After the war he received a lieutenancy in the newly-formed 7th Cavalry, but was on duty elsewhere when the regiment was decimated at the Little Big Horn. Nowlan subsequently assumed command of the 7th's Troop I, succeeding his close friend Myles Keogh, who had been killed in the battle. Admired for his marksmanship, professionalism, and gentlemanly mien, in 1877 he was made a brevet major for gallantry at the Battle of Canyon Creek, and in 1895 promoted to the rank of major. Nowlan remained on active duty with the 7th until his death of a heart attack 2 years later in 1897. He was 61 years old.
Bio by: Nikita Barlow