Sowell, Andrew Jackson (1815–1883)

By: Bill Groneman

Revised by: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Type: Biography

Published: June 1, 1995

Updated: January 27, 2021

Andrew Jackson Sowell, Alamo defender and courier, son of John N. and Rachel (Carpenter) Sowell, was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, on June 27, 1815. He moved with his family from Tennessee to Missouri, and then to Texas; the family settled in Gonzales in 1829. Sowell was a farmer, and in 1833 he and his brothers became the first White men to raise corn in Guadalupe County. During the Texas Revolution he took part in the battles of Gonzales and Concepción and the Grass Fight. Sowell served in the garrison of the Alamo, but shortly before the final battle he and Byrd Lockhart were ordered out to obtain supplies. They were delayed in Gonzales buying cattle and other supplies and did not return to the Alamo before its fall. Sowell then assisted his family in the Runaway Scrape and therefore missed the battle of San Jacinto. After Texas independence, he served with various Texas Ranger forces and participated in the Comanche Council House Fight in San Antonio, the battle of Plum Creek in 1840, and the battle of Salado Creek against Mexican Gen. Adrian Woll's forces in 1842. Sowell married Lucinda Smith Turner on July 21, 1842, and the couple had ten children, all born in Seguin, Texas. He enlisted in Company J of the Third Regiment of the Texas Mounted Volunteers on June 8, 1846, and served during the Mexican War. He was a noted scout and friend of Christopher (Kit) Carson. Sowell died in Seguin on January 4, 1883, and is buried in Mofield Cemetery.

Austin American-Statesman, November 25, 1986. Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders (Austin: Eakin, 1990). Darren L. Ivey, The Texas Rangers: A Registry and History (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2019). Andrew Jackson Sowell, Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas (Austin: Ben C. Jones, 1900; rpt., Austin: State House Press, 1986). Andrew Jackson Sowell, Rangers and Pioneers of Texas (San Antonio: Shepard, 1884; rpt., New York: Argosy-Antiquarian, 1964).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Bill Groneman Revised by Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, “Sowell, Andrew Jackson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 22, 2022,

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June 1, 1995
January 27, 2021