Thomas Henry Bowyer
Dates of Service: 8/16/1815 - 9/10/1815
Death Date: 1822
Bowyer’s place and date of birth are unknown.
Bowyer was educated at Washington Academy in Virginia. He received his midshipman’s warrant on January 1, 1812. He was ordered to USS Congress as a midshipman on January 27.
Bowyer joined the Constitution ’s crew as a midshipman on August 16, 1815. He was discharged after September 10, 1815.
Midshipmen were officers in training. Drawn from the ranks of the middle class, they went to sea to learn seamanship and leadership. They received some formal training in mathematics, languages, and literature from the schoolmaster or chaplain, but most of their education was hands-on. In time, if they mastered their trade, hey could expect to receive a lieutenant’s commission. A midshipman had no specific duties as such, but would be expected to do whatever was ordered of him. This could include supervising the men aloft, running orders for the officers, co-commanding a division in battle, sending and receiving signals, or standing a watch. In addition to their various shipboard duties, midshipmen were expected to keep a journal of every cruise, in which they recorded essential information and observations. Midshipman were paid $19.00 per month and got only one ration per day
On February 24, 1817, Bowyer was nominated by James Madison to be a lieutenant. On March 5, he received his commission for lieutenant. Bowyer died in 1822.