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Civil War Soldiers - McDowell

McDowell, Irvin, major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Ohio, Oct. 18, 1818, received his early education at the College of Troves in France, and was graduated at West Point in 1838, becoming second lieutenant in the 1st artillery. He was recalled to the military academy in 1841, and served four years, first as assistant instructor in infantry tactics, and afterward as adjutant. On the outbreak of the Mexican trouble he was appointed aide-de-camp to Gen. John E. Wool, and took a creditable part at the battle of Buena Vista in 1847, which earned for him the brevet of captain. He continued with the army of occupation for a while, and was then made assistant adjutant-general in the war department serving in Washington, New York, and elsewhere, and attaining the rank of major on March 31, 1856. After the Civil war was declared he occupied himself in organizing volunteer companies at the capital until he was made brigadier-general, May 14, 1861, and assigned to the command of the Department of northeastern Virginia. On May 29 he was transferred to the Army of the Potomac, and in such command fought the well-planned but unsuccessful battle of the first Bull Run. On March 14, 1862, he was made major-general of volunteers, and took part in the engagements of Cedar mountain, Rappahannock Station, and the second battle of Manassas, but ill fortune continued to follow him and he was retired from active duty on the field, Sept. 6, 1862. On July 1, 1864, he was assigned to the command of the Department of the Pacific, and on July 27, 1865, he was transferred to the Department of California, holding the latter office until March 31, 1868. Meanwhile he was mustered out of the volunteer service and received the brevet of major-general, U. S. A., Sept. 1, 1866. In July, 1868, he was assigned to the Department of the East, and on Nov. 25, 1872, he was promoted major-general. After this he had command of the division of the South until June 30, 1876, and again of the Department of the Pacific until his retirement, Oct. 15, 1882. Gen. McDowell died in San Francisco, May 4, 1885.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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