Commanded the Union army at the 1st battle of Bull Run in July 1861
(1818-1885) Graduated in the West Point class of 1838. From 1841 to 1845 he taught tactics at the United States Military Academy, and many of the students he taught went on to become Confederate generals who haunted him on the battlefields of the Civil War. He was awarded the rank of brevet captain for gallantry at the battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican War. He was appointed brigadier general on May 14, 1861. By July, political pressure demanded an advance by his half trained army on the Rebels under the command of General P.G.T. Beauregard at Manassas Junction, Va., where the railroad from Richmond to Alexandria met the line from the Shenandoah Valley. The resulting Union disaster at the 1st battle of Bull Run stemmed as much from misfortune as ineptitude although on paper General McDowell had a good plan, but wasn't able to inspire his officers or troops. He later commanded a corps of the Army of the Potomac which was detached to protect Washington, and in the 2nd battle of Bull Run he commanded the 3rd Corps. On July 1, 1864, he was assigned to command the Department of the Pacific.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Full standing view in uniform with rank of brigadier general, holding his kepi and sword. "Genl. McDowell" is written in period ink on the front mount. Backmark: E. Anthony, 501 Broadway, New York, made from photographic negative from Brady's National Portrait Gallery. Light age toning and corner wear, minor crease, and some light staining on the reverse of the card mount. Very fine early war pose.