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William Nivison Blow, Major USV

4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry

Contributed by John Blow
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The following is the biography of Capt. William Nivison Blow, who served as Major, U.S.V. for the 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry.

The Biography:

Captain William Nivison Blow, USA was born August 11, 1855 at "Tower Hill", Sussex County, Virginia, and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with high honors in 1876.  For some years he devoted himself to the practice of civil engineering.

In 1882 he married Mary Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of General H. G. Thomas. He was appointed second lieutenant of the 15th Infantry on October 20, 1884.  He served with his regiment at Fort Randall Dakota till 1890 and Fort Sheridan Illinois until 1896.  He acted as adjutant general of the troops engages in suppressing the riots in Chicago, Ill. in 1894.  He was commended in General Orders No. 33 Headquarters of the Army, for courage and prompt energy in rescuing, at the peril of his life, a young man from drowning in Lake Michigan, near Fort Sheridan. He served for four years as adjutant quartermaster of the 15th Infantry.

He was serving at Fort Bayard, NM, when he was appointed in 1898 a major of the 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry, with which he served in Cuba till Jan. 11 1900, when the regiment was mustered out.He was first lieutenant in the Regular Army at this time, and by a singular coincidence his father and grandfather had served in the 4th as first lieutenants.  His first cousin, Lt. George Preston Blow, USN, was on board the MAINE when she was sunk in Havana harbor.

He was disbursing officer of the Cuban census until Feb. 1901.  Blow was promoted Captain in 1899 and served with his company in the relief expedition in China in 1900 when he went with his regiment to the Philippines, serving there until 1902.

He returned to the U.S. in 1902 and was stationed at Monterey, California at the time of his retirement Nov. 25, 1905, for disability in the line of duty. He died October 28, 1907 at Sarah Leigh Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia., Oct. 28, 1907 following an operation for appendicitis.


Unknown Virginia newspaper, pasted inside Blow Family Bible.

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