Townsley, Clarence Page, Sr., MG

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Service Branch
Coast Artillery Corps (1901-1950)
Last Primary MOS
1102-Coast Artillery Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Coastal Artillery Corps (Officer)
Service Years
1881 - 1918

Coast Artillery Corps (1901-1950)

Major General

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Townsley, Clarence Page, Sr., MG USA(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
De Kalb, New York
Last Address
Washington, DC

Date of Passing
Dec 28, 1926
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section V, Row A, Site 4

 Official Badges 

US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Clarence Townsley was born September 24, 1855, at De Kalb village, New York, son of Elias P. Townsley and his wife Louise Thompson. Townsley's grandfather Gideon had become postmaster, was elected town supervisor and operated a tannery close to the Oswegatchie River. Townsley's father Elias was also postmaster, was elected De Kalb town supervisor and also to the New York State Assembly.

The younger Townsley was raised in the harsh St. Lawrence County winters in the shadow of the Adirondack Mountains. He attended preparatory school at St. Lawrence Academy in nearby Potsdam, and graduated Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1876. Townsley spent a year in Sioux City, Iowa working as a civil engineer on the Covington, Columbus and Black Hills Railroad, then was appointed from Iowa to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in July 1877, graduating 14th out of 53 in his USMA cadet class.

On graduation in 1881, Townsley entered the 4th Artillery regiment, and the artillery corps is where he would spend his entire career. After a brief tour in California, Townsley returned to upstate New York, then to several coastal artillery posts. He spent three years teaching drawing at the academy, then back to garrison duty.

In 1905, Major Townsley commanded the Artillery District of Pensacola for a period, then was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the Coast Artillery Corps and was put in command of the Coastal Artillery School and the artillery district of Chesapeake Bay in 1909.

Townsley commanded several artillery garrisons before returning to the academy to occupy the superintendent's billet in 1912. Townsley was in command of the USMA during the outbreak of World War I, and continued to serve in this capacity until July 1916, when he was promoted to brigadier general and returned to garrison duty. As the U.S. Army was preparing for entry into the war, Townsley commanded the coastal defenses of the South Atlantic district before brief assignment to Corregidor Island, Philippines, inspecting the formidable artillery emplacements of Manila and Subic Bays.

Recalled to the United States to train and command the 30th Infantry Division (United States), Townsley was promoted major general before deployment with his command to France. Townsley was in Walter Reed Hospital and on sick leave until just before the Armistice, and then was retired, being over the legal age for retirement.
Other Comments:
Not Specified

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 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1877-1881, United States Military Academy
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