Thomas' Legion
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers

(aka Bryan Gibbs McDowell)

MACON COUNTY, NC - LETTERS - Byron Gibbs McDowell, 62nd North Carolina Infantry

The Sixty-second Regiment was composed almost entirely of Western North
Carolinians, officers and men.

The companies composing the same met at Waynesville July 11, '62, and
organized by electing the following:
R. G. A. Love, Colonel,
Waynesville, N.C. G. W. Clayton, Lieutenant-Colonel, Asheville, N.C.,

The staff and company officers were as follows:
R. B. Johnson, Captain and Quartermaster, of Asheville.
Patrick Thrash, Captain and Commissary of Subsistence, Buncombe County.
Dr. H. M. Rogers, Surgeon, Haywood County. Dr. G. D. S. Allen, Assistant
Surgeon, Haywood County. Lieutenant James H. McAlister, Assistant
Commissary of Subsistence. Joseph E. Haynes, Adjutant, of Knoxville,

The commanding officers of all these companies were, as elected:

Company A - Haywood County - A. T. Rogers, Captain; W. H. Leatherwood,
First Lieutenant; E.R. Furgerson and Geo. H. Nelson, Second Lieutenants.

Company B - Clay County - Benjamin Moore, Captain; C. M. Crawford, First
Lieutenant; J. J. McClure and M. Passmore, Second Lieutenants.

Company C - Haywood County - John Turpin, Captain; J. M. Tate, First
Lieutenant; Jere Ratcliff and Robert L. Owen, Second Lieutenants.

COMPANY D - Macon County - R. M. Henry, Captain; M. L. Kelly, First
Lieutenant; L. Enloe and W. P. Norton, Second Lieutenant.

COMPANY E - Haywood County - Captain, R. A. Edmondson and J. Ramsay
Dills; W. H. Bryson, First Lieutenant; R. M. Wilson and M. L. Allison,
Second Lieutenant.

COMPANY F - Rutherford County - Captain, A. B. Cowan; Jas. M. Taylor,
First Lieutenant; Jno. Jones and D. D. Walker, Second Lieutenants.

COMPANY G - Jackson County - Captain, A. D. Hooper; D. F. Brown, First
Lieutenant; B. N. Queen and P[leasant]. M. Parker, Second Lieutenants.

COMPANY H - Henderson County - Captain, W. G. B. Morris; J. M. Owen,
First Lieutenant; G. W. Whitmore and I. F. Galloway, Second Lieutenants.

COMPANY I - Haywood County - Captain, William J. Wilson; I. P. Long,
First Lieutenant; J. A. Burnett, and P. G. Murray, Second Lieutenants.

COMPANY K - Transylvania County - Captain, L. C. Neil; S. C. Beck, First
Lieutenant; Jas. M. Gash and V. C. Hamilton, Second Lieutenants.

The Field Officers were happily chosen. Colonel Love was a leading and
influential citizen of Haywood county, a man of first-class ability and
often held places of trust, honor and profit, as the gift of his people,
until his health gave way under disease, which resulted in his death
after the war.
He was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Sixteenth North Carolina Regiment
in the Army of Northern Virginia, and was transferred by promotion
to the Sixty-second.

Lieutenant-Colonel Clayton was of Buncombe County, North Carolina, and a
resident of the city of Asheville, a graduate of West Point, of a most
excellent family, an elegant gentleman, a magnificent disciplinarian,
and was loved by every member of his regiment. Colonel Clayton died
recently greatly lamented by a large circle of friends and relatives and
mourned by his comrades in arms who shared with him the privations and
hardships of a soldier's life.

While stationed at Cumberland Gap, a point which figured conspicuously
in the late war between the States, Colonel Clayton fell a victim to
typhoid fever. He was removed to a hospital at Greenville, Tennessee.
Very soon after he left, the siege of Cumberland was on, and he could
not return to his command at the Gap. Colonel Love was off on sick leave
at the time, so the command of the regiment was left in the hands of the
Major of the regiment Lieutenant-Colonel Clayton was not, therefore,
able to return to his regiment until after the surrender of Cumberland
Gap (9 September, 1863), when that portion of the regiment which escaped
from the Gap was assembled at Pigeon river, in Haywood county, to be
again prepared to enter into active service.

Major, later Lieutenant-Colonel, B. G. MCDOWELL, was a native of Macon
County, N.C. Early in 1861, he enlisted in the 39th North Carolina
Colonel David Coleman and was transferred to the 62nd by promotion
to Major of the Regiment 11 July, 1862.

All three of these officers were descendants of revolutionary soldiers,
and appropriately commanded men, most of whom were also lineal
descendants of the heroes of 1776 and as brave and patriotic as their

Want of space precludes the possibility of the mention of even the names
of this heroic band which are given, with some occasions and
inaccuracies in Moore's Roster, Vol.8, p. 716, et seq. Their descendants
should remember and be proud of the membership of their parents in such
a command.

Soon after the organization the regiment started Haynesville (now called
Johnson's City), in Washington county, Tennessee, arriving there about 1
August, 1862, when it was placed under rigid drill and prepared for
active service. A braver or more courageous body of men did not belong
to the Confederate army. They left their homes, a majority of them
leaving families dependent upon them and offered their lives a sacrifice
upon the field of battle for a cause they thought to be right. The rank
and file of this regiment were of the very best citizens of Western
North Carolina. A finer or braver set of men, taken all together I have
never seen. This regiment when it went into camp for drill, was without
arms, except a few old muskets were furnished them for drilling

The regiment had not been in camp at Haynesville but a few days, when it
was separated, three companies going to Zollicoffer (now Bluff City).
Three to Carter's Depot (now South Watauga), two to Limestone, in
Washington county the rest of the companies remaining at Haynesville
(now Johnson's City)--all these points in Tennessee. The writer of this
sketch was sent to Zollicoffer, to take charge of the three companies
there, put them under rigid drill, and at the same time guard the bridge
spanning the Holston River at that point and prevent railroad
communication from being disturbed. The other two companies mentioned
were put to like service. A very small amount of ammunition was
furnished the forces placed in camp for drill and guard duties. This was
true as to this regiment. We had a few old fashioned muskets, and a
small amount of ammunition furnished for the purposes indicated. In this
condition, this regiment was by no means in condition to meet an attack
by the enemy, especially when in any sort of considerable force, being
simply in a camp of instruction.

In the early fall of 1862, date not now remembered, one Battalion of the
Regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Clayton was ordered to Causby Creek,
Cocke county, Tennessee, to help suppress an uprising of disloyal
citizens there. It seems that some conscripts and deserters had been
turned out of the Waynesville jail by their friends. Sheriff Noland
while pursuing them, was killed on Noland or Utah Mountain, three miles
north-east of town. The militia of the county was called out and
followed the outlaws to the Tennessee line, via Cattaloochee and Big
Creek, north forty miles.

Major W. W. Stringfield with 150 Cherokee Indians and whites of the
Sixty-ninth North Carolina, also on a scout in Sevier county, Tenn., and
Jackson county, N.C., rapidly crossed the Balsam mountains at Soco Gap
(fifteen miles northwest of Waynesville) and in company with several
hundred militia--old men and boys under Major Rhea and Colonel Rogers,
Green Garrett, Arch Herren and others crossed over the Tennessee line,
killed several of the outlaws and soon reduced the others to submission.

The Sixty-second, badly armed and equipped as it was, presented a
formidable and war-like appearance. The outlaws were killed, captured or
scattered and restive citizens were quieted. Not a great while after
this the Sixty-second was ordered to Greenville, Tenn., the home of
President Johnson. It was there brigaded with the Sixty-ninth North
Carolina and others and all were subjected to drill and discipline.
Railroad bridges were now threatened both from external as well as
internal forces. The raid of General Carter mentioned above and its
success emboldened all the people three-fourths of whom were "followers
of Belial" and disloyal to the South. All the bridges and depots were
threatened and some were burned. Hayden and others were hung and
hundreds sent South to prison and thousands ran off North and joined the
Union army.

I have noticed, in Brigadier-General Frazer's report, of his disgraceful
surrender of Cumberland Gap, he refers to this regiment as at one time
having been commanded by its Major (referring of course to the writer),
and as having been surrendered by him to a gang of Yankee scouts, or
raiders. A more unblushing falsehood was never penned by living man.

I have stated the condition of the three companies under my immediate
command at Zollicoffer, which eliminates necessity of repeating it here.
On the night of 30 December 1862, General Samuel P. Carter, with three
regiments of Federal cavalry, made his (the first) raid into East
Tennessee for the purpose of burning the bridges and destroying railroad
communication. The East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad bridge at
Zollicoffer was the first point struck by this "Yankee raid," of not
less than 2,500 men. I was there with three companies of poorly armed
men, with no means of defense and absolutely helpless. In this condition
these three companies were surrendered. And yet, the gallant Frazer has
me surrendering this whole regiment to a Yankee scouting party. His
false and slanderous statement is found on page 611, Official Records
Union and Confederate Armies, Vol. 51.

The men were paroled, and as soon as exchanged, which was but a short
time, they were ordered to Cumberland Gap, and composed a part of the
garrison of the Gap. In February, 1863, the balance of the regiment was
stationed at Greenville, Tenn., and in March and April were in General
A. E. Jackson's Brigade at Strawberry Plains. At the end of July the
regiment was in Gracie's Brigade at Cumberland Gap.

General Gracie was in command at the Gap when the regiment reached that
point, but did not remain but a short time, being ordered away, and was
succeeded by General Frazer.


62nd North Carolina Regiment
62nd North Carolina Regiment.jpg
62nd North Carolina fought for a strategic interest to both sides during the Civil War

General John W. Frazer was in command at Cumberland Gap when the
surrender of that stronghold occurred 9 September, 1863. The force we
had at the Gap was, of course, insignificant when compared with the
Federal forces which approached the Gap on both sides, when the siege
began, but the surrender of the Confederate forces there was a shame and
disgrace, when the situation is fully understood. The approaches to the
Gap were of such character that it would have been impossible for any
number of men to have captured the post by force. The opportunity of
General Frazer to have evacuated the Gap and saved his command from a
long imprisonment and death (as was the case with many of them) was
open, and nothing but treachery, or cowardice, or it may be both, could
have led to the unconditional surrender of this, the strongest natural
position in the Confederate States, and with it, 2,026 prisoners, 12
pieces of artillery, and the stores of ammunition and provision.

The writer has read, over and over again, the report of the surrender of
Cumberland Gap, as given by General Frazer, and wondered if an
opportunity would ever be offered for the vindication of our men at the
Gap, from the miserable slanders hurled against them by Frazer in his
attempt to shield himself from public censure. The report of this
surrender made by him in Volume 51, pages 604, et seq, is to my own
personal knowledge false in every essential particular, and does the
brave men who composed the garrison at the Gap the greatest wrong. It
should be corrected and handed down in history, just as it occurred, and
let the blame rest where it rightfully belongs. I think we have reached
the point that when known facts are given to the public for
consideration and approval, or rejection, public sentiment will
invariably reach a just conclusion.

It would, even at this late day, be exceedingly difficult for General
Frazer to convince the survivors of the Cumberland Gap disaster, that he
did not surrender for a money consideration.

This regiment when it reached the Gap, had about 800 men for duty. There
were a few deserters from this regiment, but not more than was common
from nearly all regiments. Desertions were by men who returned to their
homes. They did not go to the enemy.

Civil War in the Cumberland Gap
Civil War in the Cumberland Gap.jpg
Battle of the Cumberland Gap

Shortly after we reached the Gap, Colonel Love left the regiment on
account of extreme bad health, from which he never recovered, but
ultimately died as has been stated. It was not long thereafter until
Lieutenant-Colonel Clayton was taken sick of typhoid fever, and was
removed to the hospital at Greenville, Tenn., and was away from the Gap
when the siege began, and when the command was surrendered. The siege of
Cumberland Gap began 7 September, 1863. General DeCourcy commanded the
Federal forces on the Kentucky side and General Shackelford on the south
or Tennessee side. It was in reality Burnside's army on the south side
of the Gap. The writer was the only field officer of the Sixty-second
Regiment there at the time. I was placed, with almost my entire
regiment, out on the Harlan county road on picket duty. This road
overlooked the valley leading down what was then, and is I think still,
known as Yellow creek. Skirmishing and picket firing was continuous out
on road, after the siege began, and not unfrequently the enemy from the
Kentucky side assaulted our position along this road in strong force,
and made repeated determined to drive us from our position. It affords
me pleasure now to say, and will be a pleasure to me to know as long as
I live, that men never behaved with more coolness and courage than did
the men of the Sixty-second Regiment. Kain's Battery, commanded by
Lieutenant O'Connor, was stationed on what was known as the East
Mountain, only a short distance from where I was on duty with my
regiment. We had been advised during the day of the 9th of the repeated
demands that had been made for the surrender of the Gap, and of General
Frazer's refusal, and felt entirely confident that we would not be
surrendered, because it was utterly unnecessary owing to the fact that
he could take the entire command out of the Gap at any time, against any
odds. The situation was such that he could not have been prevented from
doing so; and he well understood this if he understood anything. It was
understood all along the line that the battle would open at noon on 9
September, 1863. Noon came, but no battle. The writer went up on top of
the East Mountain and found Lieutenant Thomas O'Connor at his battery,
from which point of vantage we had a splendid view of Burnside's army
and all that was going on. We both observed that flags of truce were
passing in and out of the Gap rather too frequently to make us feel
comfortable, but we had no information, though we suspected that
something was wrong in some way. Just about sunset that day, a courier
come to me from General Frazer with an order to report at the General's
headquarters, with my regiment at once. Then I began to realize that our
suspicions were well founded. I returned to the Gap with my men, who had
been on duty for nearly a week without intermission or relief, but not a
man had flinched from duty for a moment. There I found General Frazer
sitting in front of his tent surrounded by his staff officers. All the
commanding officers of regiments and batteries arrived at General
Frazer's headquarters about the same time. That was absolute]y the only
consultation called, and we were then informed by General Fraser that we
were surrendered. Every officer bitterly opposed being surrendered, and
some of them denounced it in the most vigorous terms as cowardly and
unwarranted by the conditions surrounding us at the time.

A detachment of sixty men (not one hundred and twenty five as stated by
General Frazer), had been detailed from the various regiments to guard a
little mill which rested just at the foot of the mountain on the south
side, and which served to grind meal for the army at the Gap.
Immediately in front of this little mill was Burnside's whole army. The
Federal commander sent a force sufficient for the purpose which under
cover of heavy artillery firing, attacked the guard at this mill and
dispersed it, the guard being utterly insufficient to meet the
emergency. They could do nothing but fall back on the command in the
Gap, or stand and be shot down like brutes, as they would have been, had
they not fallen back on their commands. And yet the gallant General
Frazer and his engineer, Rush VanLeer, would have according to their own
statement, 125 men hold this mill against Burnside's whole army, numbering
anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 men.

When I was told by General Frazer that I had been surrendered, and that
I and my regiment were prisoners of war my indignation and that of my
regiment knew no bounds. I informed him that I would not be made a
prisoner of war that it took two to make such a bargain as that under
the circumstances, and that he could not force me to do so. Sharp words
were exchanged, and I called up all of the Sixty-second Regiment who
were willing to take their lives in their hands and all of the other
commands in the Gap who were willing to join us, and said to them, "If
you will go with me we will go out from here, and let consequences take
care of themselves."

In all about 600 responded, and led by Colonel Slemp and a man from
Abingdon, Va., whose name was Page, as I remember, both of whom were
perfectly familiar with the country, we moved out of the Gap, eastward,
passing Kain's battery and pushing one rifle piece over the cliff as we
went along. We made our way along the north side of the mountain, on the
Kentucky side, until we reached a point opposite Jonesville, where we
encountered a pursuing force of Federal cavalry. Our entire escaping
force had kept their guns and ammunition, expecting a collision as we
went out, and being thus prepared, an immediate dash was made by our
men. Having the decided advantage of position, we forced the Federal
cavalry to retire and were permitted to pass on, the Federals returning
to the Gap, after burning the little town of Jonesville, in Lee county,
Va. We made our way to Bristol, Tennessee, and Zollicoffer, and I at
once reported the surrender to Major C. S. Stringfellow,
Adjutant-General, and awaited further orders from the General

After the surrender of Cumberland Gap, the men of the Sixty-second
Regiment who were at home on furlough, and all those who escaped capture
went into camp at Pigeon river, in Haywood County, N.C. After remaining
there for a few days, they entered again into active service and never
for one moment flinched from any duty assigned them, nor from constant
danger to which they were exposed, to the end of the war. In April,
1864, the fragment of the regiment was at Asheville under command of
Captain Aug. B. Cowan and reported 178 men.

About this time Colonel Love resigned as Colonel of the regiment, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Clayton was raised to the rank of Colonel, and the
writer to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain Rogers, of Company
A, to the rank of Major.

This regiment (and by this I mean that portion which escaped capture)
engaged in all the East Tennessee campaigns under General Breckinridge,
General Vaughn and General Williams. The men of this regiment were the
very last men to lay down their arms and very many of them never did
take the oath of allegiance, which was required as every one knows, of
all Confederate soldiers at the close of the war.

Immediately after the surrender of Cumberland Gap, General Frazer and
the men who did not escape from the Gap, were removed to Federal
prisons, where those who did not die from disease remained until the
close of the war. On 30 December, 1863, there were 443 of the
Sixty-second in person at Camp Douglas, 119 Official Records Union and
Confederate Armies, p. 797. What became of General Frazer the writer
does not know. After the surrender of the Gap, so far as I am advised,
he was never heard of again beyond his lying report above cited, which
purports to have been written at Fort Warren, in Boston harbor,
November, 1864.

General Frazer in his report of the surrender of the Gap reflects severely
and most unjustifiably upon the character of the troops and morale of
the command. I was at my post of duty from the day the regiment arrived
at the Gap till the surrender, and knew as much of the morale and
character of the command as General Frazer, or any one else, and do most
positively deny his charges.

On page 611, Vol.51, Official Records Union and Confederate Armies, he
says: "The Colonel was absent and soon after resigned and became an open
advocate of reunion in county." This, of course, refers to Colonel Love,
who later on resign on account of extreme bad health, from which he
died, as stated herein. But the allegation of his entertaining Union
sentiments as published by General Frazer, who was then in prison and
who never saw or heard of Colonel Love after the surrender of Cumberland
Gap, is unfounded in fact. It is due to the memory of Colonel Love, who
was loyal to the cause of the South, to the very end, and even after all
hope was lost, to denounce this statement as absolutely untrue.

There are now numerous living witnesses to attest the truth of the
foregoing. It is astonishing to think how docile, loyal and obedient
were the men to their superior officers. It was such a surprise however,
that no one had to think, here we were in the hands of our enemies.

General Frazer was bitterly denounced by his brother officers after
going to prison, and we are told by good men like Lieutenant J. M. Tate,
Lieutenant R. A. Owen, W. H. Leatherwood of Haywood county, and others,
that the indignation was so great against him that the Federals changed
him to another prison and permitted him, doubtless, gladly, to slander
his own men. Indignities were offered to these brave men all along the
way to prison. At Aurora, Indiana, as our men passed under guard, a
crowd of big rough toughs, crowded around our men and belabored them
much as "miserable cowardly rebels," etc. Captain Printer of 55th
Georgia, a big strong noble fellow finally said to the guards, "Stop
these cowardly curs, or we will." They stopped. Notwithstanding all
these slanders about this Regiment it can receive no higher endorsement,
no greater need of praise, no more complete refutation of slanders, than
the fact that though in prison, the dreadful prisons of the North, for
23 months, not a single man took the oath of allegiance to the North,
although it was offered to them often. Many of the command were sick,
starved, frozen to death. Shot down for any or no pretense, all kinds of
insults and indignity were daily, monthly and yearly thrust into their
faces. Disloyal indeed! Great Heaven!! Who will dare say so again!!!

The whole history of the surrender of Cumberland Gap, as given out by
General Frazer and his staff, and one or two others who seem to have
fallen under his influence, was a fabrication intended to mislead the
authorities at Richmond, never dreaming, perhaps, that it would come to
the eyes of the public, and of those who were on the ground and so
unjustly slandered by his report.

We knew, or had been advised of the repeated demands for the surrender
of the Gap, and also that these demands had been refused, and had not
the most remote idea that we were to be surrendered until I was
notified, as I have herein before stated; and as I stated in my
communication of 16 September, 1863, found on pages 636-37, Official
Records of Union and Confederate Armies, Vol. 51.

There was no insubordination among the troops of the Sixty-second North
Carolina Regiment, as far as I knew, and had there been, I certainly
would have known it. Furthermore, there was no want of courage,
discipline or determination among the men. We expected the battle to
come on every moment, and at no time during the whole war did I ever see,
or know, men more disappointed than these were when they found that they
were surrendered without an exhibition of their courage. Stalwart men
actually cried like children when they found that they were surrendered
and had to submit to being made prisoners without defending their right
and reputation, that our commanding General never lost an opportunity to

The Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment were the very last men to
surrender when the war closed. The fragment left of the regiment
composed part of Palmer's Brigade at Asheville 10 March, 1865, and under
General Martin aided to repulse Kirby's Brigade near that town 5 April,
1865. Many of them never did take the oath of allegiance. The remnant of
this regiment, along with other brave and noble men of the Old North
State, after General Lee's surrender in Virginia, resisted a Federal
force on the French Broad, near Asheville, and held them at bay for
hours, until overcome by overwhelming forces and when forced to
withdraw, under Colonel Clayton, did so and went to their homes and
never did take the oath of allegiance as then required by the Federal
authorities. No braver or more noble hearted men ever lived than those
composing the Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment of Infantry.

B. G. McDowell
Bristol, TENN.
30 May, 1901

Notes: Byron Gibbs McDowell was raised as a farm boy in Franklin, Macon
County, NC, and according to "Historic Names In Tennessee", he attended a
Sand Hill College in NC (possibly near Asheville) for three years,
beginning at age 20. He then worked in Athens, Georgia, in the
mercantile business from the fall of 1860 until the Civil War broke out.
He then went home to Macon County and joined the 39th NC Infantry as a
private in Company B. He served in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
and Kentucky. He was commissioned and rose in rank to Major in the
Sixty-Second Infantry. While in Cumberland Gap on September 13, 1863,
his regiment was surrendered by General Frazier. Major McDowell and
others thought the surrender was not necessary. He then led many in
this regiment and many from the Thirty-seventh Virginia regiment, about
600 men all together, through the Federal lines at night to safety and
to fight again. During the war Major McDOWELL met Miss Margaret Rhea
near Bristol, Tennessee. They were married at Bluff City, Tennessee.
and they had 6 Children. Byron McDowell became a lawyer and practiced
law with a firm in Bristol, Tennessee, where he lived for thirty years.

In the book, "Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans", Major Byron McDowell
is reported to be an attorney of the firm of Butler & McDowell, Bristol,
TN, and was born in Macon County, NC, June 22, 1834 where he grew up. He
was raised a farmer's boy until the age of twenty and then attended Sand
Hill College, NC, and three years after he went to Athens, Georgia, and
engaged in the mercantile business, first as a salesman and then as a
bookkeeper of Pitner, England and Freeman and remained there from the
fall of 1860 until the Civil  War broke out.  He joined the Southern
army as a private in Company B, Thirty-ninth NC infantry and served in
NC, TN and KY.  By the end of his military career he had been promoted
to major. McDowell was married at Union Depot (then Zollicoffer),
Sullivan County, TN, and settled with his wife in Union Depot and was
admitted to the bar in March 1866. In the fall of 1879 he formed a
partnership with Judge R. R. Butler which he still continued as this
article was being written. It is stated that Maj. Byron McDowell was
raised a democrat and  in religion was raised a Methodist but in 1880
joined the Presbyterian church at Bristol where for twenty years he had
been s Sunday School teacher and for four years a Sunday-school

It states the McDowell family is of Scotch-Irish origin. The advent of
the family into this county was previous to the Revolution and that many
of the family participated in the war for independence, some of them
were at King's Mountain and some figured in the war of 1812. Major
McDowell is a descendant of the fifth remove from General John McDowell.
Another McDowell, a kinsman of Maj. McDowell, was a member of Congress
from Maryland.

Copyright.  All rights reserved.

Return to:

62nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment

Recommended Reading: Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865. Description: The author, Prof. D. H. Hill, Jr., was the son of Lieutenant General Daniel Harvey Hill (North Carolina produced only two lieutenant generals and it was the second highest rank in the army) and his mother was General “Stonewall” Jackson’s wife's sister. In Confederate Military History Of North Carolina, Hill discusses North Carolina’s massive task of preparing and mobilizing for the conflict; the many regiments and battalions recruited from the Old North State; as well as the state's numerous contributions during the war. Continued below...

During Hill's Tar Heel State study, the reader begins with interesting and thought-provoking statistical data regarding the 125,000 "Old North State" soldiers that fought during the course of the war and the 40,000 that perished. Hill advances with the Tar Heels to the first battle at Bethel, through numerous bloody campaigns and battles--including North Carolina’s contributions at the "High Watermark" at Gettysburg--and concludes with Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Recommended Reading: Portals to Hell: Military Prisons of the Civil War. Description: The military prisons of the Civil War, which held more than four hundred thousand soldiers and caused the deaths of fifty-six thousand men, have been nearly forgotten. Lonnie R. Speer has now brought to life the least-known men in the great struggle between the Union and the Confederacy, using their own words and observations as they endured a true “hell on earth.” Continued below...

Drawing on scores of previously unpublished firsthand accounts, Portals to Hell presents the prisoners’ experiences in great detail and from an impartial perspective. The first comprehensive study of all major prisons of both the North and the South, this chronicle analyzes the many complexities of the relationships among prisoners, guards, commandants, and government leaders. It is available in paperback and hardcover. "An excellent work, a full and excellent treatment of Civil War prisons. Based on prodigious research in governmental records and manuscript collections, the book offers a judicious and balanced study of a controversial subject. Speer's writing is thorough, detailed, and unblinking. He spares neither side, offering solid evidence to support his critical assessments."--Civil War Times Illustrated "A telling indictment of how negligence led to mass death."--Booklist
Recommended Viewing: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns. Review: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns is the most successful public-television miniseries in American history. The 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. Continued below...
The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. "Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling." "[S]hould be a requirement for every student."
Recommended Reading: The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (444 pages) (Louisiana State University Press) (Updated edition: November 2007) Description: The Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier. Rather, it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced, the reasons he fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official records to construct this frequently poignant, sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb. In a new foreword for this updated edition, Civil War expert James I. Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell Irvin Wiley, who championed the common folk, whom he saw as ensnared in the great conflict of the 1860s. Continued below...
About Johnny Reb:
"A Civil War classic."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"This book deserves to be on the shelf of every Civil War modeler and enthusiast."--Model Retailer
"[Wiley] has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate private. . . . It is a picture that is not only by far the most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind we ever shall have."--Saturday Review of Literature

Recommended Reading: The Civil War in North Carolina. Description: Numerous battles and skirmishes were fought in North Carolina during the Civil War, and the campaigns and battles themselves were crucial in the grand strategy of the conflict and involved some of the most famous generals of the war. Continued below...

John Barrett presents the complete story of military engagements and battles across the state, including the classical pitched battle of Bentonville--involving Generals Joe Johnston and William Sherman--the siege of Fort Fisher, the amphibious campaigns on the coast, and cavalry sweeps such as General George Stoneman's Raid. "Includes cavalry battles, Union Navy operations, Confederate Navy expeditions, Naval bombardments, the land battles... [A]n indispensable edition." Also available in hardcover: The Civil War in North Carolina.

Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome