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Sunday, October 30, 2016


If you have lived in the Scottsdale area very long, you are probably familiar with how many items carry the name “McDowell.” You can observe the McDowell Mountains, gamble at Fort McDowell, visit McDowell Mountain Park or buy a car on McDowell Road. One would think this guy McDowell must have been quite a guy. In his own way, he was.

General Irvin McDowell (1818-1885) 
(National Archives)
In his early career beginning in the late 1830’s, Irvin McDowell held his own with guys like Ulysses Grant and Robert E. Lee. He graduated from West Point in 1838 at age 20 where he received his commission as a second lieutenant.  By 1856, he had fought in the Mexican War and had been promoted to the rank of major.

After his promotion to brigadier general during the Civil War in 1861, he fell into the trap of the Peter Principle as he was routed by Southern troops in the first and second battles of Bull Run in Virginia. After those embarrassments, he was considered an ineffective field general and was assigned to the lesser duty of being commander of the Department of the Pacific. Supposedly, during this duty he became familiar with the West and Arizona.  However, some historians claim that he never set foot in Arizona.

Regardless, in 1872 McDowell was promoted to major general in spite of his war record. He had served his country faithfully such as during his service in the West which included building a railroad bridge for the Southern Pacific over the Colorado River at Yuma in 1877. That bridge was important to western expansion.

In 1882, McDowell retired from the Army at age 64 having served for 44 years. He became a park commissioner for San Francisco and remained in that position until he died on May 4, 1885.

There will never be a movement to list General McDowell with guys like Eisenhower, Patton, Grant, and MacArthur as one of our greatest generals but his 44 years of military service are an accomplishment that should be noted. It would be a fitting gesture if some year on November's Veteran's Day, if you live in Arizona and are watching the sun shine on the McDowell Mountains, to give a nod, and maybe even a salute, and say, “Happy Birthday, Irvin and thanks for your 44 years of service to your country.”


Jim McAllister said...

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment if you wish. JM

Glo, Daughter, Niece, Sister of Vets said...

Happy birthday, General! And in honor of the upcoming Veteran's Day - thanks to all vets for their honor and service. PS - Let's all remember the reason for Veteran's Day - it's not to rush to the stores for a sale.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Glo.

As a former vet, I thank you. It's hard to believe it has been 51 years since I got out of the USAF. The 4 years I served was an eye opening experience. Too bad they stopped the draft. I see a lot of guys these days who could use a hitch in the military

Jim McAllister said...


Excellent words from Bill Still. It's going to be interesting to see what happens. If she gets elected it will be the final straw on the camel's back of proof that this country is a washed up failure.

Jim McAllister said...

This is worth reading from Middy.

Jim McAllister said...

Here is Jim McAllister's blog site article. For those of you that are new to the Roundtable, Jim is the reporter that wrote so many nice articles about us when the members of the Roundtable were involved in locating the Stoneman Road from Fort McDowell to Fort Whipple.
You can subscribe to his blog site for some entertaining articles.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks for the nice words, Doc. Always great to hear from you.

Jim McAllister said...

To All: Hopefully Hillary is through but I wouldn't count on it until it is a fact. Even if she wins, I doubt if she has the brains or stamina for the job. However, on second thought, either did Obama.

This is not the country many of us were born in. We need Trump now.

AzDavey said...

What a great article....I never knew this story and the McDowell mountain connection.

Being from Memphis, my roots go back to the Confederate side some 150 years ago, but now in 2016, here we sit waiting on November 8, just a few days away when our life could change glad I am 78 years old ...saw the best of life, and can 'shoot my age' in up to 47 times.....

Hit to Barb.

Jim McAllister said...

AZ Davey,

I'm with ya; I've never seen anything like it with this crew of Democrats. Between Obama and Hillary we have two of the most objectionable losers I have ever seen. She is an absolute bitch who would love to see open borders and erase the American way of life. Obama is the same. Screw both of them; we still have enough real people in this country to counteract their idiotic nonsense. I'm glad Assange released those Wikileaks on her ass and that Comey seems to be coming around on her too.

Trump upsets a lot of people with his comments but most of them are the ones who are standing in the welfare line taking free stuff when they probably could be working for a living. He still loves America and that is something that can't be said for the other two.

Mike Slater said...

Jim, I love your articles on history. I've been a history buff since High School. In fact I got straight A's in history class. I especially enjoy Arizona history being a native.

Not sure I'd have Ike in that group of great generals. He was never in combat like the rest of them.

Got my fingers crossed that Trump can pull it off. If that POS Hillary wins this country is screwed.

Jim McAllister said...

I did not know the story of Gen McDowell. Thanks.

Jim Johnson

Jim McAllister said...

You're Welcome, Jim. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the note.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Mike.

I have always loved history, especially American History. I got my BA in History and Political Science for two reasons: I loved the subjects and I'm not sure I could have earned a degree in much else!

Mike Slater said...

Jim, I've always been fascinated with American history and Arizona history. I have history books all over the place at home. I also love politics. My kids and grand kids always call me when they have questions about history, politics or the constitution. When they call I always kid Deb and tell her I'm the answer man.

Jim McAllister said...


You and I have the same interest in history. In high school I loved my courses in history and political science and got A's and B's through high school and college in those subjects. I hated Algebra and Plane Geometry. They were boring! The same with some of the novels we were supposed to read for English. I was always anxious to get to history and geography.

One of my favorite moments in the 8th grade was in Social Studies class. Each Friday the teacher (Ms. Coe) would have a couple of us give a presentation to the class. There were student judges and Ms. Coe who graded each presentation on a 1-10 basis. I studied my ass off when it was my turn to make a presentation. I received all 10's and Ms. Coe pronounced me to be her "star pupil."

What an ego trip THAT was as the kids all applauded me. That's probably the day I said "Screw math and science."

Jim McAllister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Slater said...

Jim, I managed to pass Algebra in High School although I didn't care for it. Didn't care for English or science classes much but passed. Geography and Civics classes I enjoyed especially since the Civics teacher was a 24 year old blond that was well endowed. It was kinda hard to concentrate staring at her every day.

After High School I spent 2 years at Glendale Community College that had a three hour course on Arizona history.

Jim McAllister said...


I flunked Algebra in high school. I re-took it in summer school and barely passed with a D. I think I actually failed it in summer school too but the teacher probably gave me a D since I showed up every day. I then took Plane Geometry the next year and instantly failed it. Needless to say, that was the end of my math career. Once I got past the basics of adding, subtracting, multiplication, and division I was sunk. Fortunately, I have never before or since felt a need for knowing higher math. Good thing I didn't want to be a chemist!

Like you, I was more into history, geography, political science, etc. and always got good grades in those subjects.

Mike Slater said...

Jim, If you're interested in a subject it's easy to get good grades.

Nice to see the Cubs win the World Series. Now the Arizona Cardinals have the title of longest drought in pro sports without a title. By the way they're playing it won't end this year.

Jim McAllister said...


I like to laugh at the Cardinals. When I was in KC they were in St. Louis and the Bidwill family was despised by St. Louis fans. Even their own players didn't like them. That was when the old man was running things. He threatened to leave Phoenix if they didn't get a new stadium and the suckers fell for it and barely passed the bond issue for the county to pay for it since they said some of the money would go toward playing fields for kids.

I still don't like them and am glad they are losing. Arians is being a jerk and trying to play the hard ass role. It won't work with the players he has. Fitzgerald is still pretty good but getting up in years. Same with Carson Palmer who is even a bit injured. They were expected to be great and they are 3-4-1; not so great. It should be interesting if they miss the playoffs.

Rick Kepple said...

I never did pass a math class ... ever. I can't even balance my checkbook.

However, I am to register myself as a researcher at the University of North Carolina to help sort out the unknown songs from music history and figure out who did them. I figured out some of Dell Mack's songs with Gold Band Records, you see. As a result, Delbert "Dell Mack" McKinnon, certified inducted as Number 421 in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, November 3, 2016. I'll get the certification in a few days and then send out press releases.

Jen resigned, Jimmy. Me and the computer tech are keeping the company going.

Here's a new film that we did and it took a month to edit! On the last day of editing, I got the email that Dell's application for hall of fame was approved.

Great story, Jimmy. You always seem to write well!

Jim McAllister said...


Thanks for the nice words. Good to hear about Dell. He is a talented guy and deserves the attention.

Jen resigned? My guess is that she will be back.

Rick Kepple said...

Oops, forgot the film.

Steve Hooks agreed to let me use the footage of him visiting the farm early in the building of the studio. He's played with some of the biggest names in prime time show business! Long ago, Dell played with all those guys.

Yeah, Jen doesn't like the spotlight.

So I'm pretty much alone again. It would be cool to move to Colorado or somewhere into a real live soundstage. Gee, I could live in one with a green screen. Get new doctors. Jen said she'd move with me if I got like $30k. Yup. Cost that much to move. I filed that in the, Never Gonna Happen folder.

Mike Slater said...

Jim, what a great day. The wicked witch is dead. President Trump, has a nice ring to it don't you think?