Irvin McDowell (1818-1885): Civil War general (Union). A graduate of West Point in 1838, he fought in the Mexican War. A major at the time the Civil War broke out, he was promoted Brigadier General and given command of the army that was supposed to attack Richmond. Defeated at First Bull Run, mostly because of the inexperience of his troops rather than his own failings, he saw George McClellan promoted over his head; McDowell became first a division commander, then a Major General and corps commander, in McClellan's army. At the time of the Peninsular Campaign, he was in charge of the forces left behind to guard Washington. Considered to have intrigued against McClellan, he was relieved, demanded a court of inquiry, was exonerated, and stayed in the regular army. But he was never again given a command of high importance.