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Irvin McDowell - Major General US Army Mcdowell family photo
Photo provided courtesy of the United States Library of Congress.

Irvin McDowell - Major General US Army

Major General Irvin McDowell spent his career as an officer in the United States Army. He began as an aid to various high ranking Generals and taught tactics at the prestigious West Point Academy until the beginning of the Civil War when he was promoted to Brigadier General and took command of theArmy of Northeastern Virginia. Unfortunately, his lack of experience commanding troops (and the troops inexperience) led to a decisive defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run which was the first major land battle of the civil war.

After various military failures and a court marshal, Major General Irvin McDowell was given command of the Department of the Pacific (perhaps to get him away from the battlefield?) and landed as Commander of the Department of California. After 44 years of service, Irvin Mcdowell eventually retired from the army in 1882 and served as Park Commissioner of San Francisco until his death.

Irvin McDowell, son of Abram Irvin McDowell and Eliza Seldon McDowell, was born October 15th, 1818 in Columbus Ohio and died May 4th, 1885 in San Francisco, California. Irvin is buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery.
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Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell
1 negative : glass, wet collodion.
  • Title from unverified information on negative sleeve.
  • Annotation from negative, inked on tape: 465.
  • Corresponding print is in LOT 4192.
  • Forms part of Civil War glass negative collection (Library of Congress).
  • Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints
  • Civil War
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Glass negatives--1860-1870.
  • Portrait photographs--1860-1870.
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Photo taken at United States of America
Irvin McDowell - Major General US Army

Irvin McDowell

Mini-biography
Born: Oct 15, 1818
Died: unknown
Also in this photo: Irvin McDowell at 47 years old