|Above: Cracked and battered almost beyond saving, this photograph of Corporal Harry Clinton Fowler, "A" Troop, 7th United States Cavalry and the one depicting the band of the
7th Cavalry at Camp Columbia, Cuba c. 1901 which were both found together (see below) in all likelihood were the property of a member of the 7th who served with Corporal Harry
Clinton Fowler prior to Fowler's first discharge and later reassignment to the 6th Cavalry.
5 Inches by 6 5/8 Inches
(12.8cm x 17cm)
Camp Chickamauga, Georgia, United States
23 May, 1903
Harry Clinton Fowler was born in Washington, District of Columbia on 17 April, 1874 to Edwin J. and Elizabeth Fowler. Aside from foreign posting while in service, Fowler would
remain a resident of the U.S. Capital for his entire life.
Fowler working as a porter when he first enlisted in the U.S. Army on 22 July, 1895 at Washington D.C. Assigned to “A” Troop, 7th United States Cavalry , he served his 3 year term
of enlistment being promoted Corporal prior to his discharge at Fort Duchesne, Utah on 11 July 1898. His character was deemed “Excellent”. In an interesting historical note while
Fowler was a member of the 7th another trooper in “B” Troop was none other than Edgar Rice Burroughs the future creator of Tarzan and the John Carter of Mars stories.
It seems that at the time there was no provision for long term enlistment in the U.S. Army or for the extending of service time once enlisted. As a result – and in the case of Harry
Fowler – men who wanted a longer that single term of enlistment would be discharged at the end of their short term enlistment the immediately reenlist. The system was not very
efficient but the added paperwork does offer the modern researcher additional bits of information that might otherwise not have been recorded.
Fowler reenlisted that same July this time being assigned to “A” Troop, 6th United States Cavalry and was discharged on 19 January, 1899 at Fort Riley, Kansas. While he character
was again listed as “Excellent” his rank was here shown as Private which implies that his previous rank of corporal must have been something akin to an acting appointment.
Reenlisting for the second time in April 1899, Fowler was assigned to yet another regiment, this time with “D” Troop of the 3rd United States Cavalry. He was again promoted
Corporal and discharged on 14 April, 1902.
Singing back up on 12 May, 1902, Fowler found himself back home with the 7th Cavalry this time being assigned to “A” Troop and apparently for some time with the 3rd Field
Artillery. He received his final discharge on 11 May, 1905 at New York City. Here he is listed as a “cook” but his formerly excellent character rating in now listed as merely “Good”.
Perhaps he was not that great of a cook.
Fowler did see overseas service with “D” Troop of the 3rd Cavalry. The U.S. Census for 1900 shows the troop stationed at Luzon, Philippine Islands. The regiment had deployed
there in October, 1899 as saw fierce fighting during the Philippine Insurrection taking part in sixty-two separate engagements. The regiment returned to the U.S. in detachments in
1902. For his service in the Philippines Corporal Harry Clinton Fowler was entitled to the Philippine Campaign Medal.
Eleven days after his final discharge, Harry Fowler married Miss Estelle Gertude Spicer at Washington D.C. The couple would have at least three children: Mollie (B. 1910),
Estelle (b. 1913) and Clarence Barton (b. 1917).
Fowler and family were living at 611 Eleventh Street, N.W. in Washington in 1910 with Fowler being employed as a clerk with the local water department. He later would work as a
civilian ordnance man at the Washington Navy Yard a job he held when he registered for the draft during World War One on 12 September, 1918. Given his age, number of children
and war related employment Fowler saw no further time in the military.
Harry Clinton Fowler passed away on16 February, 1944 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia just across the Potomac River from his home town. His regulation
marble grave maker shows him to have been a Corporal in the 3rd cavalry – the unit with which he saw so much action with in the Philippines.
|Above: The reverse side of Harry Clinton Fowler's portrait showing multiple and detailed inscriptions identifying the subject.
|Above: Found with the portrait photograph of Harry Clinton Fowler, this panoramic depicts the band of the 7th Cavalry at Camp Columbia, Havana, Cuba.
Dated 16 October, 1901, it was taken after Fowler had be reassigned to the 6th Cavalry.