John David McAdoo


John David McAdoo was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, on April 4, 1824, the son of John and Mary Ann (Gibbs) McAdoo. A brother was a prominent Tennessee politician; his nephew William Gibbs McAdoo was secretary of the treasury in the Wilson administration. McAdoo attended the University of Tennessee from 1846 to 1848. In 1852 he was admitted to the Tennessee bar. McAdoo migrated to Texas in 1854, finally settling in Washington County. There he operated an extensive plantation and practiced law. In 1860 McAdoo ran (unsuccessfully) for state attorney general on the Constitutional Union (old-Whig) party ticket.

McAdoo's first war service was as a private in the 20th Texas Infantry. The 20th, organized in the spring of 1862, was a garrison regiment that guarded the Texas coast throughout the war. McAdoo does not appear to have risen above the rank of lieutenant and adjutant (promoted June 11, 1862) in the Confederate army. By 1863 McAdoo had transferred to state service, as lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general of state troops, with additional duties as chief inspector general. McAdoo was relieved as adjutant general, at his own request, on January 12, 1864- The following March Governor Murrah appointed him brigadier general of the 6th District of the Texas State Troops. On June 20, 1864, he was assigned to the command of the 3rd Frontier District in southwestern Texas, with special responsibilities for guarding the frontier against Indian raids. The area was overrun with outlaw gangs, deserters from the Confederate army, and roving bands of Indians. Under McAdoo's direction, his scattered companies of state troops restored order to the region. He then reorganized his forces (about 1,400 men were enrolled in his district) into larger, more permanent units in order to stop Indian raids. McAdoo's troops fought the Indians throughout 1864 and 1865. McAdoo eventually was put in command of the 2nd Frontier District (in central Texas) as well.

After the war McAdoo relocated in Brenham, Texas. Appointed judge of the Seventh Judicial District in 1871, he moved to Jefferson. In August, 1873, he was appointed an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court by the Reconstruction governor. McAdoo and his colleagues (the "Semicolon Court") earned much public criticism in their decisions, particularly one overturning the results of a state election based on a semicolon in the law. McAdoo resigned from the court in January, 1874- From 1874 to 1876 he was a postmaster in Marshall, then returned to his farm near Brenham. General McAdoo died in Brenham on June 16, 1883, and is buried there in Prairie Lea Cemetery.

McAdoo's rank of general in the Texas state army qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.

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Reference:  More Generals in Gray.  Bruce S. Allardice.  A companion volume to Generals in Gray.  Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.