The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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Burke and Rutherford Counties to battle and to victory, (7th October, 1780,) and his command was on the right wing of the attacking forces, and aided greatly in insuring victory. Ferguson fell bravely fighting and his army completely routed.

        The next important battle in which Colonel Joseph McDowell was engaged was the Cowpens, fought by Morgan and Tarleton on 17th January, 1781, in which he led the North Carolina militia, which terminated in a glorious victory of Morgan, whose name is preserved in gratitude for his services by the county town of Burke.

        This ended the military career of our patriotic soldier.

        His civil services were equally brilliant; from his elevated character, his acknowledged abilities, and popular address, he was always a favorite with the people. His name is preserved by calling a county for him erected in 1842. He was a member of the House of Commons in 1787 and 1788; also a member of the Convention that met at Hillsboro, 1788, to consider the Constitution of the United States, of which he was the decided opponent, and which was rejected by a majority of 100 votes. He was again elected to the Legislature in 1791 and 1792; in 1793 he was elected to represent this district in the Congress of of the United States.

        Of the influence and the popularity of the McDowells there can be no more ample proof than that in 1787, 1788 and 1792 the Senator and both of the members of the House were of this family.

        His presence was tall and commanding, of great dignity of demeanor, and of impressive eloquence. Scrupulous in his statements and faithful in all business transactions.

        He married Mary, the daughter of George Moffett of Augusta County, Virginia. He died in April, 1795, leaving two sons, John and James, and one daughter, Annie, who married Captain Charles McDowell, of "Quaker Meadows."

        His widow became the second wife of Colonel John Carson, whose first wife was Rachel, daughter of "Hunting John," of Pleasant Gardens, a sketch of whom we shall present when the McDowells are finished.

        John McDowell, son of Colonel Joseph and of Mary Moffett, above, was esteemed a man of superior intellect, and of a retiring and modest disposition, of exemplary purity of life and character. He was averse to public life; yet without any effort on his part, and indeed against his wishes, he was elected a member of the Legislature from Rutherford County in 1820 and 1821.

        He married Mary Mansfield Lewis, of Augusta County, Virginia, and lived on Broad River, 14 miles above Rutherfordton, until they moved to the village for the purpose of educating their children.

        Their children were Dr. Joseph McDowell; Mary, who married the Rev. W. A. Gamewell; Dr. James McDowell, (Texas;) Nancy; Martha, who married Dr. G. W. Michael, (Newton;) Mira, who married Col. J. M. C. Davis, who fell in the civil war; Sally; John, who was colonel of a regiment in the civil war. His sister Annie, only daughter of Colnel Joseph and Mary Moffett McDowell, married Captain Charles McDowell, son of General Charles, of Quaker Meadows, from which union there were five daughters and one son, namely: Eliza, married Nicholas W. Woodfin; Mary, married, first, General John G. Bynum, and second, Judge R. M. Pearson; Mira, married, first, John Woodfin, second, John Burnett; Margaret, married William McKesson; James, married Julia Manly, killed in battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Marye's Heights; colonel of 53d Regiment in civil war.

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