Born to English and Irish emigrants, Lowrey was ordained a Baptist minister before serving in the Mexican War. He was well known in northern Mississippi, having pastored several churches there, including one in my great grandfather’s hometown of Kossuth where Lowrey also lived. That he was a man of high esteem is evidenced in the fact that early in 1861, he led a regiment of Mississippi state militia in the campaign into Tennessee and Kentucky. After it was disbanded, Lowrey was urged to organize, another regiment for the Confederacy—largely from the same men—the 32nd Mississippi Infantry, of which he was elected Colonel, unanimously.
|Brig. Gen. Mark P. Lowrey|
Is it any wonder that one chronicler summarized Lowrey's character this way: "General Lowrey was greatly loved and implicitly trusted by his men, who felt that he had their interests at heart and who knew that he himself was always willing to go where he commended them to go."
Photo by Mark Dolan, 2010Lowrey's Blue Mountain College today
* One old soldier recalled that Lowrey would "preach like hell on Sunday and fight like the devil all the week!" A more noble compliment was made by Gen. William J. Hardee after the war when he wrote that Lowrey was "the parson soldier, who preached to his men in camp and fought with them in the field with equal earnestness and effect."
Sources: A Light on a Hill: A History of Blue Mountain College, Robbie Neal Sumrall; Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. 16; The Confederate Veteran, Vol. 8 (January 1900 -December 1900)