The McDowell house served as headquarters for both General Ormsby Mitchel and General John A. Logan during the Union occupations of Huntsville. This etching from the March 19, 1864 issue of Harper's Weekly depicts the McDowell house while it was serving as the headquarters for General Logan.
Facing north toward the town, it provides glimpses of other houses and churches which still exist today.

By: Harper's Weekly

Rights: Harper's Weekly


General Ormsby M. Mitchel led the initial occupation of Huntsville by Union troops in 1862. During that occupation 12 prominent citizens were held as prisoners by General Mitchel until they agreed to sign a statement condemning guerrilla warfare.

By: Mathew Brady

Rights: Wikipedia

Wikipedia article about General Ormsby Mitchel


General John A. Logan was the commander of the Union troops during the second occupation of Huntsville during the Civil War. He used this house at 517 Adams Street as his headquarters.

By: Dewitt C. Pratt

Rights: Wikipedia

Wikipedia article about General John A. Logan

Audio History of 517 Adams Street

Nancy Rohr
Local Historian & Author

By: Nancy Rohr

Rights: Reproduced with the permission of Nancy Rohr

Date: 2011


"The McDowell Home, at 517 Adams Street, was built in 1848 for William McDowell, a cotton merchant from Mobile. Mr. McDowell was one of the twelve citizens of Huntsville imprisoned by General Mitchell during the Civil War. "

Huntsville-Madison County
Public Library

Rights: Huntsville-Madison County Public Library

Date: unknown

Visit the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library website


517 Adams Street SE

Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA

By: Carey Cooper

Rights: Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA, Dept. of Archives/Special Collections, M. Louis Salmon Library, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL.

Date: c1972


517 Adams Street SE

Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA

By: Carey Cooper

Rights: Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA, Dept. of Archives/Special Collections, M. Louis Salmon Library, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL.

Date: c1972


Col. positions relative to architrave correct 1986.

Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA

By: Harvie Jones

Rights: Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA, Dept. of Archives/Special Collections, M. Louis Salmon Library, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL.

Date: c1997


517 Adams Street SE

Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA

By: Harvie Jones

Rights: Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA, Dept. of Archives/Special Collections, M. Louis Salmon Library, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL.

Date: c1997


Gar. = 1986, J&H Arch. - HJ (used as guesthouse now).

Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA

By: Harvie Jones

Rights: Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA, Dept. of Archives/Special Collections, M. Louis Salmon Library, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL.

Date: c1997


Hand-sawn limestone, probably 1848, w/hse.

Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA

By: Harvie Jones

Rights: Architectural Collection of Harvie P. Jones, FAIA, Dept. of Archives/Special Collections, M. Louis Salmon Library, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL.

Date: c1997


Historic American Buildings Survey W. N. Manning, Photographer, March 17, 1934. FRONT. HABS ALA,45-HUVI,6-1

Historic American
Buildings Survey

By: Library of Congress; . N. Manning

Rights: Historical American Buildings Survey

Date: c1934


Historic American Buildings Survey W. N. Manning, Photographer, March 23, 1934. REAR AND SIDE VIEW. HABS ALA,45-HUVI,6-2

Historic American
Buildings Survey

By: Library of Congress; . N. Manning

Rights: Historical American Buildings Survey

Date: c1934


Historic American Buildings Survey Alex Bush, Photographer, May 25, 1935 HALL AND STAIRS, ON W. SIDE OF HALL. HABS ALA,45-HUVI,6-3

Historic American
Buildings Survey

By: Library of Congress; lex Bush

Rights: Historical American Buildings Survey

Date: c1935


Historic American Buildings Survey Alex Bush, Photographer, May 25, 1935 MANTEL IN PARLOR, S.E. FRONT ROOM. HABS ALA,45-HUVI,6-4

Historic American
Buildings Survey

By: Library of Congress; lex Bush

Rights: Historical American Buildings Survey

Date: c1935


Historic American Buildings Survey Alex Bush, Photographer, May 25, 1935 MANTEL IN DINING ROOM, S.W. CORNER, 1st FLOOR. HABS ALA,45-HUVI,6-5

Historic American
Buildings Survey

By: Library of Congress; lex Bush

Rights: Historical American Buildings Survey

Date: c1935

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