Col. Samuel McCartney Jackson

line.gif (2154 bytes)

Samuel McCartney Jackson, who has attained considerable prominence, both civil and military, was born upon a farm near Apollo, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, September 24, 1833, and was the son of John and Elizabeth (McCartney) Jackson, both of whom were of Scotch-Irish descent. As boy and youth he shared the toils of the farm, and when sixteen years of age was sent to the Jacksonville Academy, in Indiana county. It was his intention to obtain there a good academic education, but the death of his father at the close of his first year in the school compelled him to abandon his cherished design. He was naturally studious and had early exhibited a marked liking for history and biography, and had became quite well versed in those branches of literature. That he had some inherent taste for martial affairs is shown by the fact that at the age of thirteen he joined the local militia organization, and his subsequent promotions show that he was regarded as possessing good qualities for an officer. He rose successively to the rank of lieutenant and captain. When the war of the rebellion broke out his military spirit and patriotism were brought promptly into action. He recruited for the Union service in the vicinity of his home a company of infantry which was mustered in as Co. G of the 11th regt. Pa. Reserves of which he was chosen captain. He commanded his company, known as the Apollo Independent Blues, until July, 1861, when he was promoted to the rank of major. In October of the same year he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and in April, 1863, to colonel of the regiment. He served gallantly through his three years' term of service, and on two occasions was slightly wounded. The principal engagements in which he participated were Gaines' Hill, the second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and Bethesda Church. He particularly distinguished himself at South Mountain, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the Wilderness, where the conflicts were of such a nature as to try officers and men to their utmost, and especially to test the bravery, decision and skill of the former. At Spottsylvania he commanded a brigade and was brevetted brigadier-general for gallant conduct. At Gettysburg he was thrown forward on the bloody ground where 3rd corps had been driven back, and supports from several corps which had been sent to the relief of the 3rd had been terribly broken. The position there taken was held, and the entire field was subsequently regained. At the battle of the Wilderness, while in command of his own 2nd regiment, he was cut off from the balance of the division by a strong force of the enemy, but rallying his men about him, he charged the hostile lines, and by a circuitous route reached the Union front, where he had for several hours been given up for lost. The appreciative regard of the officers and men of the 11th regiment for their colonel was indicated by their presenting him with a superb gold-encased and jeweled sword, together with sash and spurs, the accompanying speech being made on behalf of the regiment by Capt. Timblin. At the close of his term of service Col. Jackson was mustered out and returned to his home and to private life. He was engaged for a time in the oil business in Venango county, but returning to Armstrong county was elected to the legislature of the state upon the republican ticket in 1869. He was re-elected the following year and during both terms maintained the character of a wise and faithful legislator. In 1871 he was the leading spirit in organizing the Apollo Savings Bank, which he was elected cashier. He served satisfactorily in that position until 1882. In the meantime he was again called from private to public life, being nominated and elected to the state senate in 1874. He represented the forty-first district, composed of Armstrong and Butler counties, so acceptably that he was tendered a renomination, which however, he saw fit to decline. He was chairman of the committee on banks, and a member of several others, among them the centennial committee. In April, 1882, Col. Jackson was appointed by President Arthur collector of internal revenue in the twenty-third district, composed of the counties of Beaver, North Allegheny, Butler, Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson and Clearfield. He entered upon his duties in this office July 1, 1882.

Col. Jackson has taken an active and prominent part in local affairs in Apollo, of which town he has been burgess for two terms and school director for many years. He was instrumental in securing the act authorizing the building of the free bridge at Apollo and has been interested in almost every measure of public improvement.

He is a member of the Presbyterian church, a trustee and a member of the session.

He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Martha J. Byerly, of Westmoreland county. They were married in 1860, and she died in 1864, leaving two children, Mary Gertude (Townsend) and Lizzie Virginia. In December, 1869, Col. Jackson was united in marriage with his present wife, who was Miss Mary E. Wilson, of Clarion county. Five children were the offspring of this marriage, namely; Frank Wilson, John Howard, Bessie, Mamie and Emily Louise.

Source: Page(s) 232-246, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
November 1998 by Rodney G. Rosborough for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Rodney G. Rosborough for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

Armstrong County Genealogy Project Notice:
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.

Return to the Biographical Index

Return to the Smith Project


Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project


Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project