General Edward Porter Alexander (1835-1910) was Robert E. Lee’s artillery commander for most of the Civil War. After the Confederate surrender, he served as an executive at various railroad companies and became a respected author. He died in Savannah, Georgia.
Military Memoirs of a Confederate: A Critical Narrativeby Edward Porter Alexander
First published in 1907, Military Memoirs of a Confederate is regarded by many historians as one of the most important and dispassionate first-hand general accounts of the American Civil War. Unlike some other Confederate memoirists, General Edward Porter Alexander had no use for bitter “Lost Cause” theories to explain the South’s defeat./i>
First published in 1907, Military Memoirs of a Confederate is regarded by many historians as one of the most important and dispassionate first-hand general accounts of the American Civil War. Unlike some other Confederate memoirists, General Edward Porter Alexander had no use for bitter “Lost Cause” theories to explain the South’s defeat. Alexander was willing to objectively evaluate and criticize prominent Confederate officers, including Robert E. Lee. The result is a clear-eyed assessment of the long, bloody conflict that forged a nation.
The memoir opens with Alexander, recently graduated from West Point, heading to Utah to tamp down the hostile actions of Mormons who had refused to receive a territorial governor appointed by President Buchanan. A few years later, Alexander finds himself on the opposite side of a much larger rebellionthis time aligned with Confederates bent on secession from the Union. In the years that follow, he is involved in most of the major battles of the East, including Manassas, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. Alexander describes each battle and battlefield in sharp detail.
Few wartime narratives offer the insight and objectivity of Alexander’s Military Memoirs of a Confederate . Civil war buffs and students of American history have much to learn from this superb personal narrative.
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This book is a classic and a must read for anyone interesed in the American Civil War