From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Philip Lowry '63

Date of birth: March 10, 1845

Date of death: February 12, 1866

Age: 21

Lucky Bag

The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.

Naval Academy Register

Philip Wager Lowry was admitted to the Naval Academy from Pennsylvania on September 22, 1859 at age 14 years 6 months.


Philip died of phthisis (pulmonary tuberculosis or a similar progressive systemic disease) on February 12th, 1866, at Fort Hamilton, New York. The Commandant of the New York Navy Yard reported that he was on sick leave at the time.

He is buried in New York. He was survived by his mother, Caroline Tilghman; he did not marry. His mother applied for a mother's pension in 1890, but it was not granted before her death in 1893.

The Navy Report from 1867 gives his date of death as February 12, 1866, as does the Commandant's letter. However, this genealogy gives February 10. It also gives his date of birth (March 10, 1845).


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Acting Midshipman, 22 September, 1859. Ensign, 16 September, 1862. Died 12 February, 1866.

In 1865 he was an Ensign aboard the 2nd rate ship Sacramento — though as of December 1864 he had been detached "and placed on sick leave." Another publication also reported on his sick leave in February 1865.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

September 1861

Acting Midshipman, Frigate St. Lawrence

September 1862

Midshipman, Steam Frigate Wabash

Others at this command:

January 1863

Ensign, Steam Frigate Wabash

Others at this command:

January 1864

Ensign, Steam Sloop Sacramento

Others at this command:

January 1865

Ensign, sick leave

January 1866

Ensign, sick leave


A special thank you to Kathy Franz, a historian who located Philip's cause of death.

Class of 1863

Philip is one of 14 members of the Class of 1863 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.