Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. 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. Venturing to Abbeville, he studied law under T.C. Perrin, and was admitted to the bar of South Carolina in 1842. His military service began in 1846, when the Mexican-American War interrupted his civil career and he enlisted in the Palmetto Regiment as a Private. Overcoming three injuries received during battle, he was commended for his service, and rose to the rank of Staff Captain. He was elected Major-General in 1861 and was commissioned as Colonel of the 14th South Carolina Infantry, in 1862, which was assigned to Maxcy Gregg's Brigade. The Civil War also left him with battlescars, being injured in the battles of "Seven Days", "Second Manassas", "Chancellorsville", and "Spotsylvania". After Gregg's death at Fredricksburg, he was promoted over two senior colonels to Brigadier General, taking command of the brigade. Returning to his home, in Abbeville, at the end of the war, he resumed his civil career, being elected to Congress in 1865 and later being a leader in the fight againist "Carpet Baggers", he was elected to the Legislature in 1878, and as an Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1879. (bio by: Susan Jarrard)
Inscription: "Samuel McGown. Born in Laurens County 9 October 1819, Died in Abbeville 9 August 1897. Go soldier, to thy honored rest. The bravest are the tenderest, Thy truth and valour bearing. The loving the daring. A hero of two wars. Seven times wounded. A leader at the Bar. A wise lawgiver. A righteous Judge. He rests from his labours, and his works do follow him. In the Mexican War 1846-1848, Captain U.S.A. In the Confederate War 1861-1865, Brigadier General C.S.A. Member of Legislature 1848-1860. Elected to Congress 1866. Associate Justice Supreme Court of South Carolina 1878-1894. From humble birth he rose to highest honour in Civil and Military life. A patriot and leader of men. In peace his Country called him; he waited not her call in War. A Man's strength, a woman's tenderness, a child's simplicity, were his, and his a heart of charity, fulfilling the law and love. He did good and not evil all the days of his life, and at its end, his Country, his children, and his children's children, rise up to call him blessed."