Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The McDowells' Legacy of Service

Excerpt of a letter from Samuel McDowell, Jr, of Mercer County, Kentucky, to his brother-in-law General Andrew Reid of Rockbridge County, Virginia, dated 22 September 1813:

    "There were seven of the family out last fall and winter [i.e., in the war], and they all behaved well . . . Brother Joseph is [Isaac Shelby's] adjutant-general, and my son John his assistant. William McD.'s sons, Sam. and Madison, and James McDowell's son John are also with him . . . My son Abram was out with the army all last winter; he was with Colonel Campbell at Massasineway. He went out last spring as assistant quartermaster-general from this state; he was taken down with the fever in July last, and has not yet entirely recovered. I could hardly prevent him from going out with Shelby . . . I believe it is the wish of all Kentuckians that the war should be prosecuted with vigor."
Samuel McDowell, Jr, [1764-1834] son of Colonel Samuel McDowell and Mary McClung, had entered the Revolutionary army as a private in General Lafayette's troops, and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. He became the first United States Marshall for Kentucky, appointed by George Washington in 1787, and served for twelve years. During the Indian war of 1811, he served under Kentucky General Charles Scott.