Andrew Jackson Sowell - The Alamo
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SOWELL, ANDREW JACKSON

.MANY books have been written about him and his
brother, Asa, in Texas history...

SOWELL, ANDREW JACKSON
- An Alamo Survivor -
(See Stories Below)

Andrew Jackson Sowell

Andrew Jackson Sowell and ''Big Foot'' Wallace

 

   Andrew Jackson Sowell, b. June 27, 1815, Davidson County TN; d. Jan. 4,
1883, Seguin TX residence: Gonzales TX son of John N. Sowell Sr. of TN
served with CSA.

   Andrew Jackson Sowell was a couriour who brought messages back and forth
from Arkansas. He was also known as a great Indian fighter.

   Andrew Jackson 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. Reprinted from the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

SOWELL, ANDREW JACKSON - Another account

   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.

Andrew Jackson 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 Jackson 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 1888 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.

Cause of death listed as "dysentery".


From Now You Hear My Horn
Diary of James Wilson Nichols.

Now the life and doings of Andrew J. Sowell is already out and I shal not say mutch for or against him. One incident will sufise though he was my step brother, my father haveing married his mother in 1839. But to the incident. A croud of us was out on a camp hunt this same fall. We found several bee trees and filled all of our vessels and had som ten or fifteen gallons more than we had vessels to hold it, and it was sugested that we kill a deer and cure the hide to carry the honey home in. As Andrew and myself was concidered the most succesfull hunters we was to try our luck first, so we mounted our horses and set out on our mission and we hunted until late that evening when we ware rideing slowly and I was in front and discovered an old bucks head and homes over a log. I says, "Be still. Theres a deers head." It was about one hundred yards away, and I was about dismounting when Andrew says, "Let me shoot. Not that I think I am a better shot than you, but my gun is larger in the bore than yours and is more apt to kill if it hits." I says, "I believe I can hit his head from here." Andrew says, "No, dont risk it. I can git to yon tree and then I can hit his eye." The tree was over half way to the deer. I says, "Try it." Then he slid of his horse and commenced crawling. The deer had not discovered us. Andrew went half bent to the tree, and then peeped first on one side and then on the other, and then lay down flat on the ground and commenced slideing himself along until I became almost out of patiance, but after so long a time he arived at a saplin not over thirty steps from the deer, and he raised his gun by the side of the saplin and fired.
When the gun fired I, being on horseback, could see the deers head fall to the ground, but at the nois of the gun another buck with head and homes jumped to his feete and away he ran with his tail up. I taken Andrews horse by the bridle and led him up to whare Andrew was. He was cursing and beating his old gun with his fist and about the time I got to him he drew his hacknife and commenced to hack his gun stock to peaces. He beat his gun with his knuckles and hand until his hand was so swolen next day he could use them with great difficulty. I says, "Whats the matter. Are you crazy." He says, "No, but this old gun is. Why, if she had not mad long fire I could have hit that deers eye." I says, "May be you did." He says, "Hit. Hell. Dident you see him ran of untouched." I says, "Well you kilt one anyhow." He says, "Its you thats crazy. I seed the deer git [up] and run of." I says, "Well, you kilt one anyhow." He says, "I dide not."

I says, "You did." He says, "I did'nt for by the Lord, I had taken my gun down when she fired and I know I missed it ten feete." I says, "You kilt one anyhow." He says, "You are a fool. Dident I see the deer [git] up and run of." I saw his nose begin to swell and knew he was gitting mad. I says, "Andrew, you kilt a deer, and if you will go to the log you will see." He was so confident that thare was but one buck, and he saw him git up and run of, that he would not go only about thirty steps to see. By this time he had quit hacking his gun and commenced reloading, and wh[en] he finished and steped towards it his horse I says, "Lets g[o] skin the old buck." He says, "By the Lord, dont say bu [ck] to me again." I knew then he was gitting hot so I sayed no more, and he mounted his horse and galloped of in the direction the well deer had went. I stood gazeing after him until he was out of sight then led my horse to the log and examined the old buck. The ball had taken effect in his head and the brains was oozeing out at the bullet hole. The sun was now nearly down and I was near two miles from camp, so I lifted him into my saddle and mounted up behind and set out for camp. On ariveing I found that Andrew had not yet put in an apearence and I told the story to the other boys and they laughed harty. As soon as Andrew arived they commenced to tease him. They would go up to him and look at his swolen fist and say, "Long fire," then look at the hacks on his gun and say laughing, "Long fire," until he became fighting mad. Then they would hush awhile. After that if any of us said, "Long Fire," we had simpley to git out of Andrews way.


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