Irvin Mcdowell, an American soldier, born in Franklin co., Ohio, Oct. 15, 1818. He attended for some time a military school in France, graduated at West Point in 1838, and from 1841 to 1845 was employed there in various capacities. In the Mexican war he was brevetted captain for his conduct at the battle of Buena Vista, and was subsequently adjutant general in Wool's division of the army of occupation. From 1848 to 1858 he was assistant adjutant general in various departments, and resumed his duties after a year's leave of absence in Europe. At the opening of the civil war he was stationed at Washington, engaged in organizing the troops there. He was appointed brigadier general of the United States army, May 14, 1861, and was placed in command of the department of N. E. Virginia, and on May 27 of the army of the Potomac. He commanded at the battle of Bull Pun, July 21, and subsequently had charge of the defences of Washington until March 14, 1862, when he was made major general of volunteers, and placed in command of a corps of the army of the Potomac. He was engaged in the operations in northern Virginia, took part in the pursuit of Gen. Jackson, and under Pope was present at the second battle of Bull Run, Aug. 29, 30, 1862. In 1863-'4 he was president of the court for investigating cotton frauds and of the board for retiring disabled officers.
From July, 1864, to June, 1865, he was in command of the department of the Pacific, and in the latter year was brevetted major general of the United States army. He was mustered out of the volunteer service Sept. 1, 1866, and has since commanded the departments of the East and of the South.