THREE-QUARTER STANDING VIEW OF MAJOR GENERAL IRVIN McDOWELL OF 1ST BULL RUN FAME

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Item Code: 1094-161

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CDV of McDowell wearing a double-breasted frock coat with black felt collar and cuffs with major general’s shoulder straps and matching dark trousers. At his waist is a general officer’s sword belt with sword attached.

Image is clear with excellent contrast. Paper and mount are good.

Reverse has photographer imprint for E. ANTHONY FROM A BRADY NEGATIVE. Top has a faint period pencil ID and below it in modern ink is “McDOWELL.”

Irvin McDowell was born October 15, 1818 in Columbus, Ohio. He initially attended the College de Troyes in France before he graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1838. He then taught tactics at the academy from 1841 to 1845. Many of his students he would later face on the battlefield. He served as an aide-de-camp to General Wool during the Mexican War, and received a brevet promotion to Captain for his service at the Battle of Buena Vista.

On May 14, 1861, Irvin McDowell was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Although he had never before commanded troops in battle, McDowell was pushed to premature action by political and public pressure and attacked Confederate forces at the first battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861 where he was consequently defeated.  After the defeat McDowell was replaced by General George B. McClellan who formed Army of the Potomac, and McDowell was detached from the army to protect Washington, DC.  He would later command a corps at the Second Battle of Manassas, which resulted in another defeat.  On July 1, 1864, McDowell was put in command of the Department of the Pacific, and was relatively inactive for the remainder of the war.

From July 27, 1865 to March 31, 1868 McDowell briefly commanded the Fourth Military Department, then commanded the Department of the East from July 16, 1868 - December 16, 1872. On November 25, 1872, he was promoted to major general. On December 16, 1872, McDowell succeeded General George G. Meade as commander of the Military Division of the South, and remained until June 30, 1876. From July 1, 1876 to his retirement on October 15, 1882, he was commander of the Division of the Pacific.

Following his retirement from the army in 1882, General McDowell exercised his fondness for landscape gardening, serving as Park Commissioner of San Francisco, California until his death on May 4, 1885. In this capacity he constructed a park in the neglected reservation of the Presidio, laying out drives that commanded views of the Golden Gate. He is buried in San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio of San Francisco.    [ad]

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