Col. Thomas G. Lawler

The Commander-In-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1894.

Thomas G. Lawler was born in Liverpool, England on April 7, 1844.
The Lawler family came to America and settled in Rockford, Illinois during his childhood. When the Civil War broke out Tom, at age 17 enlisted in the 19th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, serving first as a Private, then as Sergeant, later elected 1st. Lieutenant. He participated in every battle in which his regiment was engaged. At the Battle of Mission Ridge, he was the first of his command over the enemy's works. Along with other engagements he was in the battles of Stone River, Perryville, Chickamauga, and through the Atlanta camp- aign and on to the sea. Although his clothing was pierced many times by bullets, he was only slightly wounded. He mustered out of service on September 19th 1864.

Col. Thomas G. Lawler would become the Commander of the Garrett L. Nevius Post No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic in Rockford, Illinois for Fourth Years.
The Department Commander of the State of Illinois in the year 1881.
The Commander-In-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1894.
Postmaster of the City of Rockford for Forty Years under commissions signed by five presidents of the United States.

All who knew him addressed him as 'Tom," and he always responded with his kindly military salute.
It was he who inaugurated the custom of having and American flag flying over every school house in Winnebago County.
It was he who as Nevius Post Commander, presented the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors with as signed petition by Post members asking that they find a way to get their Memorial Hall built.
He then served on the Memorial Hall Building Committee.
He married Fannie A. Rodd, on December 24, 1866, and lived in a beautiful home at 218 Kishwaukee Street in Rockford.
Thomas G. Lawler passed away on February 3, 1908, and is buried in Rockford's Cedar Bluff Cemetery. Fannie joined him on November 10, 1928.
There is a bronze tablet placed in his honor in the Great Hall of Memorial Hall which reads:
Patriot, Honored Citizen, True Friend, Faithful to Every Trust
Died February 3rd, 1908.

"The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tattoo!
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame's eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread;
And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead."

Bio Provided by: Bro. Terry Dyer PCC

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