Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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TOWSON, Nathan, soldier, born near Baltimore, Maryland, 22 January, 1784; died in Washington, D. C., 20 July, 1854. He was educated at the common schools, and at the beginning of the war with Great Britain was appointed captain in the 2d United States artillery, 12 March, 1812. He was transferred to the corps of artillery in May, 1814, and to the light artillery, 17 May, 1815. He served with distinction during the war of 1812, particularly in the capture of the brig "Caledonia" from under the guns of Fort Erie, 8 October, 1812, for which he was brevetted major, and for gallantry at the battle of Chippewa, 5 July, 1814, he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel. In the assault upon Fort Erie in August of the same year he again distinguished himself, and received the recognition of the government as a brevet colonel. He was appointed paymaster-general of the army in 1819, and in 1821 colonel of the 2d artillery. The senate failed to confirm the president's nomination, and Colonel Towson was reappointed paymaster-general, 8 May, 1822. He was brevetted brigadier-general, 30 June, 1834, and major-general, 30 May, 1848, for meritorious conduct during the war with Mexico.
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