Andrew Jackson Sowell (1815 - 1883)

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About Andrew Jackson Sowell

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fso12

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jackson_Sowell

Andrew Jackson Sowell (1815-1883) was a 19th century lifelong soldier extraordinaire. He was a participant in the Texas Revolution, Mexican American War, and Civil War. He was a frontier defender, Texas Ranger and scout with Kit Carson in his spare time.


Early life and family


Andrew Jackson Sowell was born in Davidson County, Tennessee in June 1815. His family traveled from Tennessee to Missouri, and then moved to Texas. His father John Newton Sowell and family settled in Dewitt Colony, Texas in 1829. Like his father, A.J.Sowell tried his hand at farming in what is now Guadalupe County, Texas. His family were the first settlers near Walnut Springs and became the first Anglo-Americans to successfully raise corn in this area.


Texas Revolution


When the Texas Revolution erupted in 1835, he participated in the battle of Gonzales, that would not surrender the "Come and take it" cannon to Francisco de Castañeda and his Mexican troops. His father had been one of the "Old Eighteen", defending the colony's rights to keep the cannon. "Sowell participated in the Battle of Concepción and the Grass Fight and in December drove the army under General Martín Perfecto de Cos from Mexican Texas.


At the Alamo


In 1836, Sowell would volunteer his services during the siege of the Alamo. Although serving while the army of Santa Anna was in the vicinity of San Antonio, he and Byrd Lockhart were sent out as couriers and foragers. They went as far as Gonzales to buy cattle and supplies for the Alamo garrison and were not able to return until after the Alamo fell. From the Alamo they headed back to Gonzales, where he assisted the Texians in the Runaway Scrape. He marched towards San Jacinto to join Sam Houston in the battle, but was also too late.


The State of Texas


After Texas gained its independence from Mexico, Sowell served the State of Texas as a Texas Ranger. He served with Colonel Mathew Caldwell in the Council House Fight 1840, the Battle of Plum Creek and the Battle of Salado Creek (1842). Later he served with Rangers Jack Coffee Hays, Benjamin McCulloch, James Hughes Callahan and Mason.


He also participated in the Mexican American War and again served in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He was a celebrated scout and close friend of Kit Carson.


Death


Sowell died in Seguin, Texas on January 4, 1883, and is buried in the Rogers - Mofield Cemetery, north of U.S. Route 90 Alternate (Texas) near Darst Creek, Texas.


Legacy


In 1957, the State of Texas erected a historical marker in the San Geronimo Cemetery near Seguin, Texas in his honor.

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Andrew Jackson Sowell (1815-1883) was the son of John Newton and Rachel Carpenter Sowell who came to the DeWitt Colony from Tennessee via Missouri in 1829. The Sowells had a home in the inner town of Gonzales at the corner of St. George and Water St. Lots 1 and 6 of block 6 were owned by Andrew. John Newton Sowell is listed among the Original 18 Gonzales settlers that took part in the confrontation and Battle of Gonzales in which Andrew also participated. Andrew was present at the Battle of Conception and the Grass Fight. Along with David Boyd Kent and Ben Highsmith, Andrew Sowell was a member of the Alamo garrison and a courier and forager. He and Byrd Lockhart were foraging for beef as far as Gonzales when the Alamo was surrounded and due to delays were unable to return before the defeat. It is possible that both Andrew Sowell and Byrd Lockhart entered the Alamo on 1 Mar 1836 with the Gonzales Alamo Relief Force prior to their subsequent exit on the foraging mission. Andrew Sowell, David Boyd Kent, John Gaston and Galba Fuqua, the latter two of which died in the Alamo, were thought to have been close friends. Sowell family legends suggest that English-born Marcus Sewell was a cousin of John Newton Sowell Sr. who was a recent arrival to the colony just prior to joining the Alamo Relief Force. After the Alamo defeat, Sowell assisted his family in the Runaway Scrape, tried to return to San Jacinto, but missed the battle. After Texas independence, Sowell participated in the Comanche Council House Fight in San Antonio and the Battle of Plum Creek in 1840 and the Battle of Salado against Mexican Gen. Woll's forces in 1842. Andrew Sowell was a Texas Ranger and served under Hays, McCulloch, Mason, Caldwell and Callahan, he participated in the Mexican War and Civil War with the Confederacy. In 1842, Andrew married Lucinda Smith Turner and the couple had ten children, all born in Seguin, Texas. Both died in their home 12 miles east of Seguin in 1883 and are thought to be buried in Mofield Cemetery. State historical markers in honor of Andrew Sowell and brother John N. Sowell Jr. are in the San Geronimo Cemetery near Seguin.

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Andrew J. Sowell, according to the "American Sketch Book" by Bella French Swisher "is perhaps the only man living to see a monument erected to his memory." Andrew’s nephew, A.J. Sowell, in his book "Rangers and Pioneers of Texas wrote that Andrew "... escaped the massacre at the Alamo…yet he left such a short time before the fall his name was engraved on the monument erected to the memory…." of those who died. Born in Davidson County, Tennessee June 27, 1815, the son of John N. and Rachel Sowell, Andrew went to Texas with his parents in May, 1830, a young man of fifteen. Andrew loved the woods and was frequently absent from home "….hunting, fishing and exploring . . . he and his brother John kept the table supplied with honey, venison, turkey, bear and fish." Andrew was in his first Indian fight in 1832 at age seventeen, and early in October, 1835 he joined the volunteer army and helped defend Gonzales and the small cannon against the Mexicans. On October 28, 1835 he fought alongside Jim Bowie and Fannin in the battle of Concepcion and in November of that year was with Deaf Smith in the "Grass Fight." Shortly before the fall of the Alamo, Andrew and Byrd Lockhart were sent out by William Travis to hurry reinforcements and "secure beef for the garrison . . . but before they had time to procure the beef, the fort had been surrounded…" Andrew was in Gonzales when the news of the approaching Mexican army was received. He was given leave from the army to accompany his parents and others to safety. He then rushed back to join Houston's army but arrived too late to participate in the Battle of San Jacinto, no doubt the only major battle in the Republic of Texas history that Andrew Sowell was not a part of. In March, 1840 in San Antonio Andrew fought the Comanches in the "Council House Fight" and in August of that year was at the "Battle of Plum Creek." Andrew was almost constantly on the scout. He was at the "Battle of Salado" in 1842 and went on to serve in the Ranger Service under Hays, McCulloch, Mason, Caldwell and Callahan. During the Civil War he joined the Confederate services. Andrew found time between scouting and ranger service to court the young daughter of William S. and Elizabeth Smith Turner and July 7, 1842 twenty-seven-year-old Andrew and fifteen-year-old Lucinda Smith Turner were married. In the years that followed the couple had ten children, all born in Seguin, Texas. [Children were Asa J.L., Elizabeth, Mary, Virginia Bell, Albert Marion, Martha, John and Lewis--WLM] Andrew and Lucinda both died at their home about twelve miles east of Seguin in January, 1883, he on January 4 and three days later on January 7 Lucinda followed her "old warrior" to the grave. It was said that they were buried in the Mofield Cemetery near Seguin; however, in 1957 the State of Texas erected markers in the San Geronimo Cemetery to pay tribute to John N. Sowell Jr. and his brother Andrew Jackson Sowell. Dorcas Baumgartner (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas.)

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Andrew Jackson Sowell's Timeline

1815
1815
1883
1883
Age 68