Alexander (E. Porter) Papers, 1863, 1 Item

Administrative Information

Access: Unrestricted

Copyright: The copyright of these letters is held by Navarro College Archives, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave., Corsicana, Texas. Internet:

Cite As:E. Porter Alexander Papers, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas

Forms Part of: Pearce Civil War Collection

Location: 1-S11

Transcription(s): Yes

Scanned Copies on File: No

Accession Number: 2000.240

Processed by: Emily Brickhouse, June 2002

Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.

Abstract: One letter (May 11, 1863; 4 pages) by E. Porter Alexander documents his participation as an engineer in the battle of Chancellorsville. The letter is written to Alexander’s father to “try & give you a clearer account of the fighting than I have yet seen in the papers.”

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Edward Porter Alexander was born in Washington, Georgia on May 6, 1835. He graduated third in his class in 1857 from the United States Military Academy and was given the commission of second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. Prior to the Civil War Alexander was a West Point instructor. When war became evident, he resigned his commission with the United States military to join the Confederacy on April 3, 1861. Alexander entered the war as an engineer for General P.G.T. Beauregard and fought his first engagement at First Manassas. Alexander continued on as commander of an artillery battalion in General James Longstreet’s corps to fight at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. At Gettysburg Alexander’s artillery attempted to clear the way for Pickett’s Charge and he was wounded. Alexander spent the remainder of the war under Longstreet as a brigadier-general serving through Tennessee and the Overland Campaign. Alexander was injured during the siege of Petersburg and received parole at Appomattox. After the war Alexander became a professor of military and civil engineering and mathematics at the University of South Carolina, served as president of Columbia Oil Company and worked extensively on railroad serving as president in several companies. Alexander was also the author of several books and essays about the railroad and the Civil War. He died April 28, 1910 in Savannah Georgia. He was 74.

Scope and Content Note

One letter (May 11, 1863; 4 pages), written to Alexander’s father five days after Chancellorsville and was meant to describe the battle better than the newspapers. The Union army, under the command of Hooker, had crossed the Rappahannock with one hundred thousand men against Lee’s sixty thousand men. The Union was repelled. The letter details Alexander’s experiences under the command of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (who later died of his wounds) and then General James “Jeb” Stuart. “Gen Jackson received his wound (from our own men) in this woods after sundown, Iverson’s and Pender’s (N.C.) Brigades firing into each other...Gen Stuart succeeded to command of the Army there.” Alexander’s artillery was placed to hit Chancellorsville, “a large brick tavern,” where Hooker’s headquarters were placed and Hooker was injured in the bombardment.

The copyright of these materials is managed by the Navarro College Archives on behalf of the Navarro College Foundation, 3100 W. Collin St., Corsicana, Texas 75110. Phone: 903-875-7438. Internet: