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Alexander, Edward Porter (26 May 1835–28 April 1910), Confederate soldier and author, was born in Washington, Georgia, the son of Adam Leopold Alexander, a planter and banker, and Sarah Hillhouse Gilbert. Educated by tutors in his wealthy family’s household, Alexander entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1853 and graduated third in the class of 1857. He was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant of engineers on 1 July 1857 and was promoted to second lieutenant on 10 October 1858. Marked from the first as a promising officer, he taught at West Point immediately upon graduation, accompanied ...

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Allen, Henry Watkins (29 April 1820–22 April 1866), Confederate soldier and governor of Louisiana, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, the son of Thomas Allen, a physician, and Ann Watkins. Allen and his family moved from Virginia to Ray County, Missouri, when he was thirteen. His father secured him a position working in a store, but Allen found business distasteful and enrolled in Marion College at age fifteen. At seventeen he ran away from college and traveled to Grand Gulf, Mississippi, where he became a tutor on a plantation a few miles outside of town. After tutoring for two years, Allen moved to Grand Gulf to open his own school and to study law. On 25 May 1841 he received his license to practice law in Mississippi. In 1842, when Allen was becoming an established lawyer in Mississippi, President ...

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Anderson, George Thomas “Tige” (03 February 1824–04 April 1901), Confederate brigadier general, was born in Covington, Newton County, Georgia, the son of Joseph Stewart and Lucy Cunningham Anderson. Although his family was in comfortable circumstances, he early became accustomed to the hard work of farm life. After attending Emory College near his home, he served in the Mexican War from 1847 to 1848. Joining the Georgia Mounted Volunteers as a second lieutenant in 1847, Anderson participated in the fighting around Mexico City and served under Major General ...

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Anderson, Joseph Reid (16 February 1813–07 September 1892), industrialist and Confederate soldier, was born in Botetourt County in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the son of William Anderson and Anna Thomas, farmers. Anderson received his early education in the local schools. After having been rejected twice, he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1832 at age nineteen. Graduating fourth of forty-nine in 1836, he preferred a post in the elite Corps of Engineers but was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery. Soon he was assigned to Fort Monroe, where he met his first wife, Sally Archer, daughter of the post physician, Dr. Robert Archer. They were married in the spring of 1837 and eventually had five children....

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Joseph R. Anderson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2073).

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Anderson, Patton (16 February 1822–20 September 1872), Confederate soldier, was born James Patton Anderson in Winchester, Franklin County, Tennessee, the son of William Preston Anderson, a soldier and U.S. district attorney, and Margaret L. Adair. His father died in 1831. Patton Anderson attended common school in Tennessee and Kentucky and in October 1836 entered Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. His stepfather, J. N. Bybee, suffered financial reversals that led to Anderson’s withdrawal from college in 1837. In the autumn of 1838 Anderson accompanied his stepfather and the family to Mississippi, where they settled at Hernando, in De Soto County. Anderson reentered Jefferson College in April 1839 and graduated in 1840....

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Anderson, Richard Heron (07 October 1821–26 June 1879), Confederate general, was born at “Hill Crest,” near Statesburg, in Sumter District, South Carolina, the son of William Wallace Anderson, an eminent surgeon, and Mary Mackenzie. His grandfather, Richard Anderson, served in the revolutionary war as an officer in the Maryland Line. Anderson’s early schooling was at Edge Hill Academy in Sumter District. At age seventeen he entered the U.S. Military Academy, from which he graduated number forty of a class of fifty-six in 1842. He was appointed a brevet second lieutenant in the First Dragoons....

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Archer, James Jay (19 December 1817–24 October 1864), Confederate brigadier general, was born at Stafford in Harford County, Maryland, the fourth son of physician James Archer and Ann Stump. The early career of James Archer is often confused with that of kinsman John Archer, who graduated from West Point. James Archer graduated from Princeton in 1835, obtained an engineering degree in 1838 from Bacon College, studied law under an older brother, and was admitted to the Maryland bar. Though he never married, as a young man Archer was so attractive that his friends called him “Sallie.” He entered the U.S. Army during the Mexican War as a captain of infantry and earned brevet promotion to major for gallantry at the 1847 battle of Chapultepec. He resigned from the army and practiced law until 1855, when he reentered the service. Archer was in command of a post on the Pacific coast at the outbreak of civil war. He resigned from the army and handed over command of his station to Lieutenant ...

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Armistead, Lewis Addison (18 February 1817–04 July 1863), Confederate general, was born in New Bern, North Carolina, the son of Brigadier General Walker Keith Armistead of the U.S. Army and Elizabeth Stanley. George Armistead, Lewis’s uncle, commanded Fort McHenry near Baltimore during its famous defense in 1814. Lewis entered West Point in 1834, finding nothing but trouble there. He barely passed academically in his first year and remained in deep disciplinary difficulties until forced to resign in February 1836 for “imprudence” and “disorderly conduct.” Tradition has it that the final straw came when Armistead broke a mess-hall plate on the head of fellow cadet ...

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Ashby, Turner (23 October 1828–06 June 1862), Confederate cavalry leader, was born on the family farm in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Turner Ashby (Sr.) and Dorothea Green. He was the grandson of noted revolutionary war soldier Captain “Jack” Ashby. Educated privately, Turner Ashby spent the pre–Civil War years in farming and operating a mercantile business in the village of Markham. In October 1859 abolitionist ...