This image of M.K McDowell taken shortly after the Battle of Antietam in Sept 1862 shows McDowell on crutches.  He is confirmed to have been wounded at Antietam, September 17, 1862.

--Michael Kraus Collection, Used with Permission.

Image of original army discharge papers (sold on eBay--ownership credential pending contact with webmaster)

Image of original army discharge papers (sold on eBay--ownership credential pending contact with webmaster)



Wartime CDV of Marinus King McDowell (sold on eBay in 2000) ownership credential pending contact with webmaster



From Printed South Carolinian--

Marinus King McDowell, A Roundhead in South Carolina, n.p., 1949. King was a member of the 100th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers ("The Roundheads") which took part in the December 1861 expedition against Beaufort. This pamphlet prints a 9 January 1862 letter to McDowell's brothers, in which he describes the "rigors" of guard duty at the Barnwell plantation, including shooting livestock for food: "There is plenty of sheep and very fat, too, which goes pretty well with our sweet taters and turnips. We have a nice house to stay in and two piannoes in it and are learning to play on them."


A Roundhead in South Carolina

 A letter written by King McDowell

MARINUS KING MCDOWELL (1842-1926) of East Brook, Pennsylvania, wrote this letter to his brothers Benjamin (1830-1864) and Samuel (1832-1864) of Bear Grove, Minnesota, while with the Roundheads (100TH Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers) on  a water-borne expedition to Beaufort, South Carolina.  On their return to the North, the Roundheads participated in twenty-odd engagements, among which were Second Bull Run, Chantilly,  and Antietam where KING was severely wounded in the thigh.  After lying in a shed without medical attention for two weeks, he was hospitalized and six months later, having survived the amputation table, was discharged.   He later twice re-enlisted and, as a first lieutenant in the 6TH Heavy Artillery, P.V.V, was in Washington on the night of Lincolnís assassination.


























Barnwell Plantation, S.C.

Jan. the 9th,  1862


             I embrace the present opportunity of informing you that I am well and received your kind letter last night and was glad to hear from you.

            Since I wrote you last we have left Hilton Head and come up to Beaufort.  Was at Beaufort until the last day of Dec. 1861.  That day our brigade was ordered out to cross the river, which we done most completely but had a young fight after we got across.  The gunboats run up around the river and shelled them back until our men got over and all things ready.  We succeeded in driving them out of there fort, our side only losing two men killed and some seven or eight wounded.  On the rebel side there was some 200 killed and a great number wounded and taken prisoner.  Most of those were killed by the shell thrown from our gunboats.  After our men got all there property destroyed, and carried off what they could get, they come back to the Island.

            I will now inform you that I was not in the battle.  The reason why, I will try to explain.  The night before the battle our company was put out on picket and there was a call for 12 men to go to the other side of the Island to the Barnwell Plantation.  It was said to be a very dangerous post, being 10 miles from camp, so there was 12 picked out.  I, being one of them, missed the fun but the Roundheads were the first to plant the Stars and Stripes on main land in South Carolina.

 Us twelve have been here ever since and likely to be here for some time yet.  This plantation is right along the edge of the river bank between us and main land.  There is lots of rebels just across the river from here.  We can see them everyday but yesterday a gunboat came up the river and dropped a few shell over on them.  Since then we have seen nothing more of them.  Some of us got in a little boat one day and thought we would go over towards them so we could see them plainer.  By the time we got so far as we thought safe to go and was turning around to come back thirteen of them popped out of a house and fired at us, about three rounds apiece, but they could not reach us.

            We have to stand guard here every night along the beach but in day-time we have bully times.  Nothing to do but lay around and eat.  Have fresh meat all the time.  Whenever we get out of meat we go out and shoot the first hog, cow, sheep we get our eyes on.  Never ask anybody for them.  There is lots of sheep and very fat too, which goes pretty well with our sweet taters and turnips.  We have a nice house to stay in and two pianos in it and we are learning to play on them.

            Tom McCreary was out here to see us last night and brought all the letters down.  I got one from home.  Last night I filled out that half sheet of yours and sent it all to Dot.  I had no time to answer yours last night or I would have done it and sent it back with the lien.  I donít know when I will have a chance to send this to the office but will send it at the first opportunity.

            In answer to your questions, a married manís wife draws one dollar a week but I donít think yours could if you was to come because you are not from the State of Penn. 13 dollars a month is all anyone gets here.  That is privates, but there wives at home get a dollar per week.   If you were here now you would have a good chance to get to be our 2nd Lieut as Banks is about to be promoted, but before you could get here somebody else will have it.  I would like very much to have you but had better stay at home.  I think there is enough of us out to quell this cursed rebellion.  There is a great deal of sickness here now and I fear if you was to come from the north down here and endure the hardships which you would have to do that you would be on that list.

            It is warm here in day-time and cold at night.  It is as warm here now as it is at home in June.  I have had good health all the time but looks damnd hard just now.  My face is swelled up with a gumbile which makes me look as fierce as the old boy himself.

            When I wrote you a letter I want it to do for you and Sam both for I hant time to write to both of you.  I will have to quit for this time.  Tell me what Bob Simonton is doing and whether he has any notion of going to war.   If he donít he ought to be shot with a dry cowtird.

 From your brother,


To Ben and Sam,

My love to your families and some

For the nicest girl you know of.


















FISHER FAMILY GENEALOGY, History of the McDowells by Stephen Fisher

Marinus King McDowell, son of Abel and Mary McDowell, was married to Rebecca Wilson Johnston (Scotch-Irish) daughter of John and Mary Jennings Johnston (English), at Greenville, Pa., January 6, 1868, by Rev. Nathaniel Fetridge. To then were born five children, Mary Gyla, Benjamin, John J., Frances E. and Amanda King.

Marinus King McDowell served four years in the Civil War. He went out as a private in Company F, Pennsylvania Volunteers of the Roundhead or 100th Regiment, Army of the Potomac. Was wounded at Antietam September 17, 1862. After nine months in the hospitals he came home. Re-enlisted twice and served until the end of the war, in all about four years. Was promoted to first lieutenant in Battery M, 6th Heavy Artillery. Saw severe service.

Sarah Ann McDowell married James Banks, son of James Banks of Neshannock Falls. They lived west of East Brook and reared a family of five children, Josephine, Samuel, Edward, Louis and Eva. These children were all tall in stature.

When the Civil War broke out, James Banks enlisted and went with the East Brook boys to Beaufort, South Carolina. He was second lieutenant of his company. Soon after the army reached Beaufort James Banks died and was buried with military honors in the old Episcopal graveyard, near the camp. His wife had his grave marked at the time, but no trace of his tombstone can now be found. It is likely his body is now interred among the unknown dead in the national cemetery there.

Josephine, daughter of Sarah Ann and James Banks, married James Quest, soldier in Company F, Roundhead Regiment. They moved to Shelton, Nebraska, where they reared a family. Mrs. Quest died, 1910, and is buried at Shelton, Neb. Samuel Banks never married. He enlisted in Company F, One Hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served the entire four years in the federal army. He is said to have been a most fearless and daring soldier, vigorously enjoying every fight, yet though over six feet tall, he was never wounded. He says, "Iím so slim I couldnít stop a bullet." He lived for a time in Nebraska, then in the Northwest, but now lives most happily in Zephyrhills, Florida. He is one of the finest men that ever lived.

Able McDowell, who came from Ligonier when Samuel did, worked a few years with his uncle Fisher, over on the Shenango. He was married Jan. 29, 1829, to Mary King, daughter of Marinus and Elizabeth King (Holland Dutch). They were married in the sitting room of the King home, by John Fisher, Esquire. They lived for two years with Uncle Fisher, but at the end of that time Abelís cattle had increased as did Jacobís of old, when he lived with Laban.. So Uncle Fisher said, "Abel if you wish to depart, do so and Iíll get someone to farm for me who is not such a good manager." Thereupon Abel and Mary bought some wood land near Neshannock Falls at $2 per acre. They came (Mary riding on horseback with a child on her knee) and settled in the woods. Their first home was a mere hut, with no floor and no chimney. The built the fire against a flat stone they stood against the wall, the smoke found its way out through a hole in the roof. Mary cooked on the coals. Soon after they built a log house, plastered the chinks with mud. This had one large room and a loft above, reached by a ladder. There was a little porch with a bedroom off one end, built on the south side of the house. The house faced the east. Their children were not all born in this house, as the first son, Benjamin, was born at Uncle Fisherís July 1st, 1830. Whether Samuel was born at Uncle Fisherís or not, I am not sure. His birthday was Aug. 27, 1832, so it would seem he was born in the new log house. Elizabeth was born Oct. 24, 1834; Hannah was born March 9, 1837; Mary Jane was born May 17, 1839; Marinus King was born May 18, 1841. The new stone house was built in 1844. Little Rine was three years old when they moved in. He helped move by carrying the teapot. Margaret Emma was the only child born in the new house. Her birthday was Feb. 20, 1846.

Benjamin, oldest son of Abel and Mary McDowell, attended Westminster College, for a time, but did not graduate. He taught school, went west to Iowa to a maternal Uncle, and from there he went with his brother, Sam, and some King cousins, to Minnesota. They settled at Bear Groveónear Byron, Minn. Ben and Sam where surveyors in that new county.

After one or two years of struggle, Ben came home for a girl of his choice. He married Amanda Carlon, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Carlon, at the old Carlon home, near Rich Hill, on March 26, 1857. They went to his home in Minnesota, where their two daughters were born, Mary Elizabeth, born Jan. 1, 1851, and Sarah Jane, born Oct. 20, 1859. Mary Elizabeth, married Frank T. Hopper, Sept. 6, 1887, near Stockton, California. They live in California. Sarah Jane married Rev. J. B. Ricketts, at New Wilmington, Pa., Dec. 3, 1890. Died Aledo, Ill., March 9, 1909, and is buried in Rich Hill Cemetery, near Neshannock Falls, Pa.

Benjamin McDowell, father of these two daughters, was a soldier in the Civil War. His wife and children returned to Pennsylvania when he left for the front. His regiment, the Sixth Minnesota, was removed from the extreme North in the hot and sticky season to Helena, Arkansas. Ben died there, Aug., 18, 1864. His grave in unknown. He had done double duty to relieve a comrade. This weakened him to much to enable him to resist disease. He was an ideal citizen, and a brave soldier.

Samuel McDowell, second son of Abel and Mary McDowell, was married to Margaret Jane, daughter of Edward and Polly Medowell (Scotch-Irish) Feb. 25, 1858. He also lived near Benjamin McDowell, in Byron, Minnesota. He had attended Westminster College, after going to school in Greenville, Pa. He taught school and was s surveyor. Sam was real student all his life. To Samuel and Margaret McDowell were born at Byron, three children, Willis Abel, Emma Vashti and Mary Amanda,

Their father died of typhoid-pneumonia, October 28, 1864, only about two months after the death of his brother Ben. His son Willis Abel, graduated law at Ann Arbor, Mich. He married June 19, 1890, Anna Cochran (English), only daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Carolyn McDowell Cochran, of Minneapolis, Minn. Willis has three children, James, Carolyn and Marian. Willis Abel is a successful lawyer in Minneapolis, Minn.

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