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JORDAN, POWHATAN (1827–1904?). Powhatan Jordan, Confederate Army officer and physician, son of Meritt and Paulina (Voinard) Jordan, was born in 1827 in Portsmouth, Virginia. He graduated from a Virginia military academy before taking up the study of medicine with two local physicians. He attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania in 1848, then transferred to the medical school of Columbian University at Washington, D.C. After receiving his M.D. degree in 1850 Jordan practiced in the capital for six years before moving to Texas in 1856. He served as a civilian surgeon at Fort Inge from October through December of that year and then moved to San Antonio, where he became a founder and the first secretary of the San Antonio Board of Health. He served as surgeon on John Salmon (Rip) Ford's expedition against the Comanches in 1858 and in Capt. William G. Tobin's company in October and November 1859. In January and February 1860 he served as a private in Capt. Peter Tumlinson's company and on April 26 applied to Sam Houston for a commission either as surgeon or as captain to raise his own company of rangers for twelve months' service on the frontier. Houston did not appoint him, however.
When Texas seceded from the Union, Jordan raised a company of cavalry in Bexar County that mustered into Confederate service at Camp Manassas, near San Antonio, on October 4, 1861. Officially designated as Company A, Seventh Texas Mounted Volunteers, Jordan's men were assigned to the army with which Gen. Henry H. Sibley invaded New Mexico in 1862. Jordan was promoted to regimental major on February 21, 1862, "in consideration of gallant and meritorious service in the battle field of Valverde," and Lt. Alfred Sturgis Thurmond succeeded him in command of the company. At the battle of Glorieta Jordan commanded a battalion of the Seventh Mounted Volunteers. He was left as a physician at the Santa Fe hospital when Sibley evacuated New Mexico and was taken prisoner on April 20. He was paroled at Fort Union on April 30, transferred to Camp Douglas, and exchanged at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on September 22, 1862. After returning to San Antonio in November, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and sent back to his regiment. He served in the Teche campaign in southern Louisiana, resigned his field commission on July 2, 1863, and served as an assistant surgeon in charge of the post hospital at Sabine Pass, Texas, from 1864 until the end of the war.
In 1864 he married Jessie Alberta Edwards; the couple had four children. After the war Jordan returned to San Antonio, where he reestablished his practice and in 1876 helped to establish the Western Texas Medical Association. He was married a second time in 1874, to Ada Hoskins. In 1883 he moved his family and practice to Beaumont, where he is thought to have died in 1904.
Lewis E. Daniell, Types of Successful Men in Texas (Austin: Von Boeckmann, 1890). Martin Hardwick Hall, The Confederate Army of New Mexico (Austin: Presidial Press, 1978). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Theophilus Noel, Campaign from Santa Fe to the Mississippi (Shreveport, Louisiana, 1865; rpt., Houston: Stagecoach Press, 1961).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Martin Hardwick Hall, "JORDAN, POWHATAN," accessed July 22, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fjo72.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 2, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.