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Collection Title: Lowrey (Mark Perrin) Autobiographical Essay

Collection Number: M49

Dates: September 30, 1867

Volume: 1 Item

Provenance: Given by Rosewell G. Lowrey, date unknown.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Mark Perrin Lowry, son Adam and Margaret Doss Lowrey, was born December 29(30), 1828, in McNairy County, Tennessee. He was one of eleven children left fatherless when Adam Lowrey died on a trip to market in New Orleans. When M. P. Lowrey was fifteen, the family moved to Farmington, Mississippi, a village four miles from the present town of Corinth, and it was here that sources say he learned the trade of brick-laying.

Lowrey volunteered for service during the Mexican War, but neither he nor his regiment was in battle. When succession came and Mississippi called out state troops, Lowrey enlisted for sixty days of service, despite his position as a Baptist minister in Kossuth, and was elected captain of his company. Following the sixty-day service, he reluctantly consented to raise a regiment (32nd Mississippi), of which he was chosen colonel. The regiment was assigned to Wood's Brigade of Hardee's Division and was in battle at Perryville, Kentucky, where Lowrey was wounded, at Murfreesboro and other engagements in middle Tennessee, and in the Georgia campaign. After his unit served meritoriously at Chickamauge in 1863, Lowrey was promoted to brigadier-general. Because of his involvement with religion in the army, Lowrey was at one point called the "Preacher General." He preached actively to the men of his command and at one time baptized fifty within a two-week period. After the war, Lowrey returned to his work as a Baptist preacher. He then became state evangelist and for a number of years was the editor of the Mississippi department of The Baptist. Lowrey also served as president of the Mississippi Baptist state Convention.

In 1869, Mark Perrin Lowrey purchased the Brougher estate six miles from Ripley, Mississippi, and began planning for a girl's school there. The school, named Blue Mountain Female Institute, was opened in September 1873 and prospered for twelve years under the presidency of General Lowrey. His sudden death occurred at Middleton, Tennessee, on February 27, 1887, as he was accompanying some Blue Mountain students and teachers on a trip.

Scope and Content:

This document is an autobiography written by Confederate Brigadier-General Mark Perrin Lowrey on September 30, 1867, at Ripley, Mississippi, to Colonel Calhoun Benham. This was sent to Colonel Benham for use in a book he was writing. It deals with Lowrey's early life through the end of his military career in the Civil War.

General Lowrey begins his autobiography by telling about his birth, siblings, and move to Mississippi. He then skips to the 1840's when, during the Mexican War, he enlisted in the 2nd Mississippi Regiment of Infantry, but never saw action. When the Civil War broke out he was at Kossuth, Mississippi, studying to become a minister.

In 1861 he was elected captain of a company from his home area near Corinth, Mississippi. He was then elected colonel of the 4th Mississippi Regiment of 60 day Volunteers at Corinth. They were ordered to Bowling Green, Kentucky, in December where a majority of the men died from measles and pneumonia. On April 3, 1862, he raised the 32nd Mississippi Regiment at Corinth and was elected colonel.

Throughout the document Lowrey lists who is in command of divisions and corps he fought under or with. He commanded his brigade at Perryville and was wounded in the left arm. His brigade took part in the skirmishing during the retreat from Murfreesboro.

At Tullahoma, in 1863, Lowrey tells about his drilling his troops and their proficiency. He writes about Chickamauga in which his regiment fought gallantly and was congratulated by General Cleburne. He was promoted to Brigadier-General on October 4, 1863. He mentions his brigade's position at Missionary Ridge. At the battle of Ringgold or Taylor's Ridge, he gives details of his troops movements as he does about the battle of New Hope Church. He commanded his division at the battle of Jonesboro and he goes into depth about the battle of Cobb's Mill. Lowrey then writes about what happened in the Middle Tennessee campaign. He includes a list of his reasons for resigning from the army that he gave to the government in Richmond. Lastly he writes about religion in the army and his part in it.


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