George Washington Bowie was born 1827 in Maryland. He moved to the Iowa Territory town of Burlington, where he would be a delegate in the Second Constitutional Convention. When America entered the Mexican American War, Bowie became a First Lieutenant in Company K of the United States 15th Infantry. He was brevetted Major for his action at the Battle of Churubusco. Following his mustering out in 1848, he returned to Burlington, Iowa and his legal practice. In 1850 Bowie immigrated to California where he was elected to the California state assembly in 1854.
When the Civil War started Bowie became the Colonel of the Union 5th California Infantry. The 5th served mostly in the New Mexico Territory which was part of the military District of Arizona. He became the commander of the District on January 29th 1864, a position he held until November 1864 when he and the 5th mustered out of service. Bowie received a brevet to Brigadier General of Volunteers March 13th 1865.
Bowie died August 11th 1901, and is buried in the Alhambra Cemetery in Martinez, California.