Abbeville in Abbeville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
This 1888 Queen Anne house was the home of Gen. Samuel McGowan (1819-1897) until his death. McGowan, a lawyer, Confederate general, and jurist born in Laurens Co., had moved to Abbeville in 1841. He was an officer during the Mexican War and in the S.C. militia after it. During the Civil War he commanded the 14th S.C. Infantry 1862-63 and commanded a S.C. brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia 1863-65.
After 1865 McGowan bought a house on this lot. Built by Col. James Perrin in 1860, it burned in 1867; this house was built on the old foundation. McGowan served as a justice on the S.C. Supreme Court 1879-93. The Barksdale family bought the house in 1905, and WWII Gen. W.E. Barksdale was the last to live here. In 1989 his nephew J.D. Bundy gave it to the Abbeville County Historical Society as its headquarters.
Erected 2006 by Abbeville County Historic Society. (Marker Number 1-11.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina, Abbeville County Historical Society/Commission, and the South Carolina, Abbeville Historical Sites Tour marker series.
Location. 34° 10.792′ N, 82° 22.871′ W. Marker is in Abbeville, South Carolina, in Abbeville County Click for map. Marker is located on the house grounds. Marker is at or near this postal address: 305 North Main Street, Abbeville SC 29620, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Last Cabinet Meeting Marker (a few steps from this marker); The Bundy-Barksdale-McGowan House (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Burt-Stark House / Jefferson Davis’s Flight (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Maj. Thomas D. Howie (about 600 feet away); Abbeville's Confederate Colonels (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thomas Chiles Perrin House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Old Livery Stable (approx. 0.2 miles away); Major Thomas Dry Howie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clarence E. Pressley (approx. 0.2 miles away); Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Abbeville.
More about this marker. The McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House is the 7th site on the Abbeville, South Carolina Historic Fitness Walk - North Trail.
Regarding McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House. The house (also known as the Generals House) is the 7th stop on the Abbeville History North Walking Trail.
Also see . . .
1. Biography of General Samuel McGowan. A son of Irish-Presbyterian immigrants to the United States, Samuel McGowan, though often wounded, excelled as a brigade commander in the Army of Northern Virginia.
2. Queen Anne Architecture. Reigning Style of the Industrial Age By Jackie Craven, About.com
3. 14th SC Infantry Regiment. In response to a call from President Davis, about the 1st of July, 1861, a large number of infantry companies, from all quarters of South Carolina, rendezvoused at Columbia, South Carolina.
4. McGowan’s Brigade at Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle by Mac Wyckoff. Precisely ten years ago (May 12, 1989) today I found a gentleman staring out across the fields in front of the Confederate works at the Bloody Angle.
5. General Samuel McGowan. Samuel McGowan (October 19, 1819 – August 9, 1897) was a general from South Carolina in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.
6. Samuel McGowan: Original Member of the Aztec Club of 1847. Born in the Crosshill section of Laurens District, South Carolina, he was the son of Irish immigrants.
7. Samuel McGowan (Find a Grave Memorial). Born in Laurens District, South Carolina, McGowan attended the school of Thomas Lewis Lesly, and the South Carolina College of which he graduated in 1841.
8. The History of a Brigade of South Carolinians, Known 1st as "Gregg's" & "McGowan Brigade". Account of the brigade by James Fits James Caldwell in 1866.
9. Abbeville Historic District. The Abbeville Historic District is comprised of a large portion of the city of Abbeville, the county seat of Abbeville County, South Carolina.
1. The Generals House
The McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House was designed by Atlanta architect G.L. Norman and is an excellent example of the Queen Anne style, characterized by towers, turrets, multi-faceted roofs, the utilization of windows in different sizes and shapes and the use of various textures in exterior materials. It is often referred to locally as 'The Generals' House' because two of its principle owners were Generals - Confederate Brigadier General Samuel McGowan and WWII General William E. Barksdale,
The outside of the house is painted with the Victorian multi-colors originally used, as determined by scientific paint analysis. Confederate General Samuel McGowan had this house built on the foundation of his Gothic Revival style house which was destroyed by fire in 1887. He had purchased the earlier house from the widow of Lt. Colonel James M. Perrin, CSA, who was killed at the battle of Chancellorsville.
The construction of the existing house was completed in 1888, as noted in the chimney display on the right side of the house. The house has 4 levels, (1) the basement level which houses 8 rooms where various domestic activities took place; (2) the main floor which consists of a large living hall, a library, a parlor, and a dining room; (3) the upstairs level which includes 4 bedrooms radiating from a central hall; (4) the commodious attic. Many interesting architectural features can be found throughout the house such as built-in-furniture, pocket windows, a coffered ceiling, and windows of multi-colored glass. The influence of the 19th century English architect, Charles Locke Eastlake is seen in the abundant use of solid woods and in the simple and rectangular style of the woodwork.
The Servant Cabins
Behind the main house are 3 servant cabins. The first two cabins, closest in proximity to the back of
General Samuel McGowan
At the time he built this house in 1887-88, General Samuel McGowan had distinguished himself as a staff captain in the Mexican War, as a successful lawyer, as a member of the S.C. House of Representatives, and as a Brigadier General leading McGowan's Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia of the Confederate Army. In 1879, he became an Associate Justice of the S.C. Supreme Court, a position he held until 1893. Upon retirement from the bench. McGowan spent his last years in this house, surrounded by family and friends. He died at home on August 9, 1897, and is buried in Long Cane Cemetery.
In 2005-06, the Society received a significant acquisition of General McGowan's personal property and family items, including photographs, books, and silver from Mr. and Mrs. William
The Abbeville County Historical Society
The Society, founded in 1957, is dedicated to the preservation of materials and architectures which have historic significance to Abbeville County. The major purpose is to share all that is preserved with Abbeville County residents and visitors to the County, now and in the future. The current focus of the Society is to continue to preserve and restore the McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House, which serves as Society headquarters, a museum and the Jane Greene Center for the Arts. The house, a true architectural treasure, was graciously deeded to the Society by Mr. J.D. Bundy, of Monroe, N.C., in December 1989. Mr. Bundy purchased the property from the estate of his aunt and uncle, General and Mrs. William Barksdale. Mr. Bundy mandated that the property be maintained as a historic site and all of Abbeville County is indebted to him for his foresight and generosity. (Source: The General's House, brochure printed by the Abbeville County Historical Society)
2. General's House
Two-and-one-half-story, frame residence built in the Queen Anne style. The first story is sheathed in weatherboarding and the second story in shake shingles. There is a hip roof of slate. Centrally located on the facade is a projecting, two-tiered portico with gambrel roof. The first level of the portico is supported by plain wood columns on brick piers. The balcony has plain wood columns on paneled wood piers with a turned balustrade. There is an oval window on the gambrel end. At the right corner of the facade is a two-story, round tower with cinical roof and metal finial. A small, polygonal dormer projects from the front roof slope. There is a single story porch on the facade and left elevation, above which is a small, recessed balcony and gabled dormer. (Source: Abbeville Historic District National Register Nomination Form.)
3. McGowan's Duel
On Saturday, March 16, 1844, Samuel McGowan and Col. John Cunningham met north of the village of Hamburg for a duel. Weapons were U.S. Yaugers and the distance was 30 paces. McGowan was severely wounded in the back of his neck, but the wound was not fatal. The duel was witnessed by a crowd of at least 200. Louis T. Wigfall was Cunningham's second; B.Y. Martin was McGowan's. The cause of the duel was not recorded. (Source: Old Abbeville: Scenes of the Past of a Town Where Old Times are not Forgotten, by Lowry Ware (1992), pgs 45-46.)
4. McGowan the Attorney
As one of Abbeville's most respected attorneys, Samuel McGowan was often involved in several high profile cases involving slaves. In April 1851, McGowan brought charges against three slaves. They were accused of planning an insurrection. Austin and Asa were both given one hundred and fifty lashes and ordered to leave the state. The third slave, Taffy, was given twenty five and discharged. It was felt that Taffy was less involved than the other two, his only real crime was being at the
In 1857, McGowan served as the prosecuting attorney in a case where a slave named Josh (owned by Dr. S.S. Marshall) was accused of the murder of a slave named Andy (owned by Abram Littles). Josh was convicted of the murder and sentenced to six months in prison and given 600 lashes, to be delivered twice a month, 50 lashes at a time.
In January 1875. McGowan again found himself in court. This time, he was a defense attorney, representing his, F.B. Houston, on charges of bigamy. Houston was charged with marrying Ida Lawson on or about December 30, 1874 and then marrying Carrie Davis on or about January 2, 1875. To make matters worse, Lawson was white while Davis was black. Davis was rich and spoiled while Davis was poor and uneducated. Both wives testified before the jury and the packed court room. Houston was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment. .(Source: Old Abbeville: Scenes of the Past of a Town Where Old Times are not Forgotten, by Lowry Ware (1992).)
5. Samuel McGowan's Brigade
Samuel McGowan. — Samuel McGowan was a
McGowan Becomes Commander of Gregg's Brigade. — In 1862 McGowan became colonel of the Fourteenth Regiment of Gregg's brigade. After the death of General Gregg, McGowan was made commander in his place and from that time onward this body of men was known as McGowan's brigade. General McGowan spent the winter of 1862 with his men near the battlefield of Fredericksburg. They built log huts and plastered them with mud and called their village by the name of Camp Gregg. In May, 1863, they seized their muskets and marched into the thickets to take part in the battle of Chancellors ville.
McGowan's Brigade at Chancellorsville. — After Stonewall Jackson was wounded in the woods at Chancellorsville, McGowan's brigade was led forward with the other brigades of A.P. Hill's division, to form the front part of the Confederate line of battle. They lay down under the
McGowan's Brigade at Gettysburg. — At the beginning of the first day's battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 1, 1863), a strong Federal force held the top of a long slope. A Confederate line advanced part of the way up the slope and fought with muskets. The battle went on and many men fell on both sides, but still the Federal troops held the top of the slope. McGowan's brigade was sent forward. When the men started
McGowan's Brigade in Northern Virginia. — Early in May, 1864, Lee wished to strike the first blow at Grant in the Wilderness of northern Virginia. General McGowan's wound had healed, and he led his brigade forward with the rest of the Confederates. The Carolinians took position for a moment upon a ridge. The cannon were already roaring some distance away. Orr's regiment of riflemen knelt down and uncovered their heads and offered prayer to the God of battles. The sharp crack of rifles came nearer and nearer, but the voice of the chaplain,
A few days later Lee and Grant fought a great battle at Spottsylvania. Grant captured a part of Lee's breastwork. McGowan's brigade with a Mississippi brigade was sent to drive Grant's men away. The logs were piled up high and there was a trench dug on each side of the works. The Carolinians stood on one side of the pile of logs and the Federal troops on the other side. Some men tlyust their muskets between the logs and fired. Some climbed to the top and shot down from above. Others put the muzzles of their rifles over the top log and blazed away. The terrible struggle went on for twenty hours. The rain was falling nearly all the time and the trenches were filled with water. The men stood and lay in this water, which soon became red with blood. Bushes and even trees were cut down by the rifle bullets. This awful place was known as the Bloody Angle. Carolinians and Mississippians were the heroes of the famous fight. General McGowan received a wound and was taken from the field. Col. J.N. Brown, of the Fourteenth Regiment, commanded the brigade throughout the battle until Grant was forced to march away from the field.
The next leader of the brigade was Gen. James Conner,
6. William Campbell and Clelia Peronneau McGowan
After General McGowan's death, his son and daughter-in-law, William Campbell McGowan and Clelia Peronneau Mathewes, lived in the house until William McGowan's death in 1898. It was William who oversaw the construction of the house. After William's death, Clelia moved to Charleston where she became the first female member of the Charleston City Council (1923). During her life, she also served as president of the South Carolina United Daughters of the Confederacy (1897-1899).
7. Obituary of William Campbell "Willie" McGowan
March 4, 1898
Capt. William C. McGowan died at his home at Abbeville, on the 27th ult. The deceased was a young man of brilliant intellect and bright promise of future usefulness and distinction. He was the only son of the late Judge Samuel McGowan. Perhaps no young man had more warm admirers and strong personal friends than did Willie McGowan.
The proceedings of Court were brought to a sudden termination at noon on Thursday of last week by the receipt of a telegram to Judge Benet, conveying the sad intelligence that his brother-in-law, Capt. W.C. McGowan, was extremely ill, and not expected to live more than a few hours. A recess was ordered and the Judge left for Abbeville. He returned Monday last, Capt. McGowan having died the evening previous, ordering an extra term to begin on April 19th.
8. Marker Style
The marker shown reflects the third style of South Carolina Historical Markers. It is currently in use and has been since 1996. The original design was cast aluminum and crowned with a bas relief of the state flag surrounded by an inverted triangle. The markers were painted silver with black lettering.
9. Society wants to preserve servant homes
By JENNIFER COLTON/ email@example.com
Friday, February 6, 2009 12:13 AM EST
ABBEVILLE -- No one knows how many people have lived in the three one-room servant cabins sheltered behind the McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House, but historians recognize the need to preserve the unusual 150-year-old buildings that dozens might have called home.
Often called The General’s House, the McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House is unusual itself.
Located on North Main Street, the mansion features its own tower, a turret, multi-faceted roofs and windows in different sizes and shapes.
The building’s nickname follows its two most prominent owners, both generals: Confederate Gen.
In its heyday, a time of carriages and wealth, multiple buildings would have stood behind the main home, including a kitchen building, stable, chicken coop and slave or servant quarters. Of all the adjoining buildings, only three remain: the raised one-room cabins built for the household servants.
“The family was a well-to-do family, and they would have had a lot of servants. You had people to do the cooking, butlers, people to care for fireplaces, somebody to take care of the horses,” Abbeville County Historic Society President Bob Speer said Thursday. “We don’t know if it was one family or multiple, but numerous people probably lived in each of these buildings.”
Two of the buildings date back to the 1850s and follow the gothic revival style of the first home, destroyed in a fire in 1887. The family rebuilt on the foundations of the old home the next year but moved away from the gothic revival style to the multi-colored Queen Anne still standing; the third cabin dates back to the 1880s or 1890s after the completion of the new home.
“Back in that period of time, people had really big families with seven or eight kids because the mortality rate was so high,” he said. “We haven’t been able to
Images of the families have not survived, but the buildings have, making them a rare find, Speer said.
“In the Upstate, these are some of the very few servant cabins that still exist,” he said. “The buildings were well made, and the pitch of the roof helped save them. At some point the family put a tin roof on, and with those two things, the water never got in and they didn’t rot. That’s why they lasted, whereas the barn was probably a cedar shingle roof, and we’ve lost that.”
But it isn’t just the buildings’ longevity that makes them unusual.
“What’s surprising about these houses is that they were done in the gothic style, so they are very tall, with high ceilings,” he said. “We think the gingerbread is original, which is very unusual.”
Both the gingerbread trim -- wood boards carved into delicate, decorative patterns for trimming gables, windows, porches or, in this case, roofing -- and the buildings’ steep, pitched roofs are typical of gothic revival architecture. The 14-foot tall ceilings would also have helped residents avoid the summer heat, and in the winter open fireplaces
“People lived in these houses up until the 1950s, when they moved on to better opportunities. The Depression lasted all the way up to World War I, and there were very poor economic conditions in South Carolina,” Speer said. “People took what they could afford.”
The cabins now belong to the Abbeville County Historic Society, along with the rest of the McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House property. Although any original furnishings are gone, the society is slowly stocking the buildings with period items collected from across Abbeville County, including old tables and large cast-iron pots once placed by the fireplace and used to boil water and wash clothes. Shutters cover the windows, and the buildings are kept closed and locked to protect them.
“We’re hoping to do some restoration work on these servant cabins,” Speer said. “They’re a part of Abbeville’s history, and they’re very important because so few of them exist.”
10. McGowan-Gary-Hagen House ("Magazine Hill") - McGowan's Home Prior to the General's House
One-and-one-half-story, weatherboard raised cottage with gable roof. Central, single door entrance with sidelights and transom has a formal entablature and is flanked by paired, shuttered, floor-length windows. Porch across facade is supported by paired, octagonal, wood columns and has an early wright-iron balustrade. A pedimented portico with carved brackers projects from the central bay and is also supported by paired octagonal columns. Two corbelled and stuccoed interior chimneys pierce the roof, which had a boxed cornice with returns. This house was moved from a nearby location on Magazine Street circa 1919. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
11. 1330th Army Air Force
The 1330th Army Air Force Base Unit was part of the India-China Wing of the Air Transport Command. It was formerly known as Station 21. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for actions in December 1943, per War Dept General order #18/1944. A Base Unit was responsible for supporting an air field (personnel, administration, mess hall, supply, transportation, etc.). It was one of the airfields responsible for the Hump airlift to China. (Source: Posting by barker944, 03/25/09, http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t7503.html.)
Categories. • Notable Buildings • War, Mexican-American • War, US Civil • War, World II •
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