Compiled and Submitted by Rex Alexander

Please contact the submitter with questions or comments.  






The American Civil War was one of our nation’s most tragic periods. It was anything but c-i-v-i-l; brothers fought brothers; sons fought fathers. Each one fought for a cause; there were more causes than just slavery. Unfair Northern tariffs on the Southern states and states “rights” were fundamental issues; maintenance (status Quo) or expansion of slavery was, indeed, a key to rebellion. Although the War was not official until 1861, talk of secession began in 1860. Eventually, the Confederacy was formed as follows:                                                                                     

     #of men

State/Territory                              Date Seceded/Allied      CSA       UNION

South Carolina                                  December 20, 1860                  60,000

Mississippi                                          January 9, 1861                       85,000

Florida                                                January 10, 1861                     15,000             2,000

Alabama                                             January 11, 1861                   100,000

Georgia                                              January 19, 1861                   130,000+

Louisiana                                           January 26, 1861                   55,000+-

Texas                                                  February 1, 1861                     59,000             2,000

Virginia                                              April 17,      1861                   150,000

Joined by men from Maryland and Delaware

Arkansas                                            May   6,      1861                    45,000            few 1,000

Tennessee (actually pro-Union)       May   7,      1861                    115,000           few 1,000

North Carolina                                  May 20,      1861                    130,000

Oklahoma (A portion)

Missouri did not secede/A portion   October 3, 1861                     100,000           40,000

Kentucky did not secede/A portion November 20, 1861              

Choctaw Indian Nation                    July 12,      1861 >>>>>>>>>>5,000

Chickasaw Indian Nation                 July 12,      1861^

Creek Nation                                                                 ^

Cherokee Nation                                                           ^

Seminole Indians                                                           ^


Approximately 1,000,000 men fought for the CSA.


The Confederate States of America

Motto: “Deo Vindice”

                          (God is our Vindicator)


        "Death, in its silent, sure march is fast gathering those who I have longest loved, so that when he shall knock at my door, I will more willingly follow." Robert E. Lee 1869

Little Known Facts

Robert E. Lee did not fight because of slavery; he was against slavery. He was offered the position of the General of the Union Army but turned it down. Virginia, his home, seceded from the Union; if he was Union he would be required to fight his own state and its people. He loved his state; moreover, his family was there and he would not draw a sword against his own family. He was probably the most respected me of the war because he was a Christian; he hated the tragic war, and felt responsible for every death-Union and Confederate. He was a man of great compassion and wisdom.

It is difficult to figure out so many “whys”. Tennessee was pro-Union yet it succeeded from the Union. Hamilton County was pro-Union. Tennesseans fought for North and South; roughly 650,000 Union and Confederate men and women died in 4 years of fighting; of these, Tennessee lost approximately 3,425, two of which were my Great-Grand uncles.





The War began in 1861 and ended in 1865. Many families grieved until their deaths wondering where, if, and how their boys died and where they were laid to rest. Remember, news traveled slowly back then. Many soldiers wrote messages and gave them to friends to deliver to their families; many of those bearing the notes were killed. John H. and Barbara Alexander, who lived in Concord, just a few miles from Knoxville, had four sons who joined the Confederacy. Whether they were even aware of it or learned later will never be known but June through November of 1863 was tragic for their boys.

My great-grandfather, James Thomas Alexander, endured over 40 days of hell during the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was one of the starved men who became a Prisoner of War on July 4, 1863. He, among the OTHER SURVIVORS, was no threat to General Grant’s forces so they were paroled on July 10. Two months and 10 days later his brother John, would be killed at Chickamauga and Brother William would be mortally wounded. Even a third brother, Robert, would be maimed for life in the same battle. My great-great-grandparents probably learned of their fate later; imagine the suffering over their losses. My research has produced facts about each of their sons that they never knew.  

It has been a bittersweet and humbling experience for me but I am proud of my diligence in seeking the truth. I think a writer can understand the closeness between him/her and each relative in the military better than one who just reads about it. I have experienced the harsh circumstances of war and I can sense the realities of what they endured. I have relived it along side each of them.  I feel so close to each I know them personally; I have searched and found the hidden secrets. I know where they fell and where their remains rest. I believe that a human element separates authors and genealogists; genealogists are family. I feel it was my duty to find the answers and make sure they are remembered. That was the inspiration for this book.

I find it strange that Sale Creek citizens have always considered themselves as “Rebels.”  I know of no one who lived here during that war that fought for the South. They sneaked up into Kentucky and joined the Union‘s 6th Tennessee Infantry. The only Rebels I have found in my family moved here after the war. It makes me wonder if the locals are ashamed of their ancestors because they were “Yankees.” I have some “Yankees” in my family lineage and I’m not ashamed of them. I don’t go around trying to hide the fact; I just reiterate my famous adage, “Being a genealogist, I’ve learned that we do not get to choose our ancestors.”



 Pvt John Smith Alexander

 Cpl William Smith Alexander

Pvt. Robert Hinton Alexander

Pvt James Thomas Alexander

Sons of:

John H. Alexander


Barbara Smith Alexander

Concord (Knox County), Tennessee

Here are their stories.



Son of John H. & Barbara Smith Alexander



63rd Tennessee Infantry-CSA

Killed- Sept 20, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga, GA

Buried: Marietta, GA under “Unknown” Head stone.

John S. Alexander was born in 1839 to John H, and Barbara (Smith) Alexander, in Concord, a suburb of Knoxville, TN. He was the second of eight children born to a family of prosperous farmers; in the late 1850’s he and brother William S. had moved a short distance from their parents to start their own farm. The Civil War began in 1861; it had far reaching effects on everyone. 

John, William, and a third brother, Robert H, joined the Confederacy. John enlisted in the 63rd Tennessee Infantry Brigade, on April 1, 1862 at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee and was assigned to "G" Company. The unit was commanded by Colonel Richard G. Fain. The other two brothers, William S. and Robert H. joined May 6, 1862, they, too, were in the same Company. They enlisted for a three year tour of duty.


They were in numerous skirmishes in middle and eastern Tennessee. On September 20, 1863, they were in "Gracie's Brigade” which was under “Buckner’s Corp” at Chickamauga, GA. The position of every unit has been well documented; at noon of they were positioned about 1/4 to 1/2 mile south of Snodgrass Hill north of the town of Chickamauga, Ga. Between 4-6:00 PM, they were engaged in a fierce battle.  Please read the account of the battle after Robert’s story.



One half of the “Gracie’s Brigade” were killed or wounded. I had heard that two of my great-grandfather’s brothers were killed there; I spent much time searching for them because I wanted to learn if their bodies had been shipped back to Concord.


I had been told there were mass graves of soldiers killed at Chickamauga; in June 2006, I visited the Chickamauga battlefield; the Park Service clarified the misconception; there were no mass graves there. They advised me that all dead and wounded had been shipped by train to Marietta, GA for burial or medical attention. There is only one symbolic Civil War soldier buried at Chickamauga.


I contacted the Marietta Confederate Cemetery; they told me that all the dead received there were buried in the Confederate Cemetery there; that meant John S. was buried there. There was no record of his name so it was pretty certain his remains rested beneath a headstone that read “UNKNOWN.” The Marietta Administration suggested that I call the Cobb County Library; they might have a list of all death and wounded. I called and the librarian checked several volumes of records.



There was no burial record of twenty-five year old PVT. John S. Alexander, 63rd TN Infantry CSA who died at Chickamauga on Sept 20, 1863. I obtained a copy of their war records from Nashville; John attained the rank of “Private” and the dates given in this sketch come from them. John fought for what he thought was right and gave his life for that cause. He and his parents never saw each other again; the parents never had the privilege of burying their son. He is a hero and should have a stone designating his final resting place; he should be remembered.


Although John has been dead 146 years, and the exact location of his remains are only known to God, he finally has a stone bearing his name to provide a proper memorial. In 2006, I purchased a grave stone in the memory of him and a cousin killed in WW II.


The stone was placed in my cemetery plot in the Welsh Cemetery, Sale Creek, Tennessee.  I do not want him to be an “UNKNOWN.” On June 28, 2009, at the funeral of my father, Mark D. Alexander, TAPS was played to honor Dad, John, and J.C. Maddox. It was 146 years after John's death and 65 years after J.C.'s; it was the least I could do for them. May he rest in peace in the presence of God.


John was my Great-Grand Uncle









Son of John H. & Barbara Smith Alexander




63rd Tennessee Infantry CSA-“G” Company


Wounded- Sept 20, 1863 Chickamauga, GA

Died at Foard Hospital November 23, 1863


Buried: Oak Hill Cemetery (Confederate Section)

Newman, GA



William was one of three brothers who enlisted in the Confederacy during the Civil War; all three became members of the 63rd Tennessee Infantry Brigade (CSA). William S. Alexander enlisted May 6, 1862 Knoxville, TN for three years. William was assigned to "G" Company. In September of 1863, they were in "Gracie's Brigade which was under Buckners Corp at Chickamauga, GA.


          As related in John’s sketch, I visited the Chickamauga Battlefield; the Park Rangers advised me all the dead and wounded had been shipped, by train, to Marietta, GA for burial or medical attention. I located a web site about Marietta Confederate Cemetery and called about William. They advised me to call the Cobb County Library; they might have a list. I called and the librarian checked several volumes of records.


          FROM OFFICIAL CSA RECORDS FROM GEORGIA STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES: William S. had been mortally wounded, after being conveyed by rail to Marietta, he was sent to a CSA hospital in Newman, GA where he died on November 23, 1863. Georgia records verified that W. (William) S. Alexander of the 63rd TN Infantry Regiment is buried in Newman, GA. He is interred in Oak Hill (Confederate Section) Cemetery, North of Jefferson Street. A stone with his name and unit marks his final resting place. At least he is not an "unknown." May he rest in the presence of our Creator!

Civil War Record




William was my Great-Grand Uncle


Son of John H. & Barbara Smith Alexander






63rd Tennessee Infantry CSA-“G” Company


Wounded- Sept 20, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga, GA

Hospital: Newman, GA from Sept 1863-May 10, 1864

Present for Duty: June 30 1864-Jan 31, 1865

Hospital: Richmond, VA for 30 days on Feb 13, 1865

CONFIRMED: He was present at Appomattox, VA

April 9, 1865 when General Robert E. Lee -CSA

surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant-USA



            ca 1860                                 ca 1890


Robert Hinton Alexander was born in 1843 to John H. and Barbara (Smith) Alexander, in Concord, a suburb of Knoxville, TN. He was the third of eight children born to hard working farmers. The Civil War begun in 1861; it had far reaching effects on everyone, especially the Alexander Family.

          He and brother, William S., joined the Confederacy on May 6, 1962 for a three year tour of duty in the 63rd Tennessee Infantry Brigade at Knoxville. Their brother, John, had already enlisted in the same unit; all three were assigned to Company “G” commanded by Colonel Richard G. Fain. A fourth brother had enlisted in the 39th Tennessee Mounted Infantry.


          September 20, 1863 found them in Chickamauga, GA attached to "Gracie's Brigade which was under Buckner’s Corp. Their assignment was to take strategic Snodgrass Hill from the Union forces. Between 4:00 and 6:00 PM; they were engaged in a fierce uphill battle.


Robert H. was wounded; brother, William, was mortally wounded, and another brother, John, was killed. He and William were sent by train to Foard Hospital in Newman, GA. William died November 23, 1863 and was buried in the Oak Hill (Confederate Section) Cemetery in Newman. Robert H. remained in that hospital from September 1863 until July or August of 1864.


The 63rd's Company Muster Roll Records of Pvt Alexander state as follows: 1. May-June 1864=absent from unit; in hospital at Newman, GA.  2. July-August, 1864=absent from unit: Had been sent to a hospital in Richmond on May 10, 1864.  3. September-October, 1864=Present at unit and paid through June of '64.  4. On a Confederate Register (not 63rd), dated February 11, 1864, he was paid $126.00 for service from June 30, 1864 to January 31, 1865. 5. A Confederate Register of RECEIVING AND WAYSIDE HOSPITAL, OR GENERAL HOSPITAL NO 9, RICHMOND, VA verifies he was again admitted February 13, 1865 for 30 days.



“TENNESSEANS IN THE CIVIL WAR” attests that the 63rd was present at Appomattox and surrendered on the 9th. Robert’s second wife, Mary E. Grant Alexander, applied for a Civil War Widow’s pension in 1914. Contained in that application was a sworn statement by D.L. Taylor that he and Robert H. were at Appomattox on April 2, 1865 and surrendered on April 9. They then traveled home together.


The irony of this scenario is the 63rd was part of the ARMY OF TENNESSEE (CSA); General Joe Johnston, Commanding General of the ARMY OF TENNESSEE, did not surrender until several days later in Durham, NC. I suppose the 63rd was ready to stop fighting.


          The Civil War was over; the former PVT Alexander was now a veteran with a lot of bad memories. He had lost two brothers. A third brother had survived the siege of Vicksburg, MS, became a POW but paroled. Four left for war; only two returned. Robert would have known of the death of John and William; I would venture to say he had sent a letter home to notify the parents of the deaths and his wounds. The parents had dealt with so much grief. I wonder how it felt to walk up a dusty road on a spring morning and see the family farming. How would he be greeted? Yes, he would return to Concord, TN-but changed forever.


          He settled in the little community of New Hope and purchased a farm. He married Nancy Mounger in 1866; they had 5 children, John E., Laura, Charles, Marcus, and Elburt. Nancy died in 1879. On September 29, 1881, he married Mary Elizabeth Grant; they had 9 children, Lula, Frank, Alarie(?), Earl, Katy, Maude, Ula, Sam, and Margaret. Robert H. died November 4, 1904; ironically, his brother, James T., died in April of the same year.


In December, 1911, Mary, filed an Application for Widows pension in Loudon County, Tennessee. It was eventually approved and she raised the family on the farm alone during the Depression  years. She received $19.00 per month until 1933; the monthly check of $25.00 continued until her death June 8, 1943. I have a picture of an Alexander and his family; I believe it to be Robert and Mary’s family. It appears that a hand or arm has been injured.

Robert was my Great-Grand Uncle




Civil War Veteran

Robert H. Alexander


2nd Family

Note: The supposition that this is Robert H is mine. I base this on: 1. It was sent to me by a distant relative, John Alexander of Charlotte, NC.  who was a descendant of Robert H. He thought it was my great-grandfather. which it is not. 2. It appears to me that the gentleman has a problem with a hand or arm which could be an old wound from the Civil War and his terrible ordeal. 

Rexford C. Alexande02/2009





Written by Rexford C. Alexander

                              Confederate line at Chickamauga


          My research of numerous accounts, some personal from soldiers who experienced it, is condensed and assembled to make you feel you were there.

 The Union forces occupied Snodgrass Hill, a strategic advantage for observing 360 degrees of terrain and Rebel force movements. The Confederates wanted that hill; the troops, including the 69th, moved to within ¼- ½ mile of it and the Yankees were waiting for them. John, William, and Robert Alexander, all in the 69th, probably checked their weapons and gear; we don’t know if they wore uniforms or not. Were they scared, nervous, apprehensive? Probably. They lived each day knowing it might be their last. Many Civil War soldiers attended prayer meetings each night. The charge up the hill began at 4 PM on September 20, 1863.






The Rebels charged with rifles or muskets in hand; the cannon batteries were anchored for accuracy to inflict much damage on the defenders. The cannons were reloaded with ball or shot; some loaders were killed. Cannon from the hill fired round after round; the balls created an eerie whistling sound as they flew threw the air; you could hear a “thunk”as a ball hit trees then limbs fell and injured the advancing Rebels. Lead bullets made a “splat” as they struck men; Screams of agony were heard throughout the woods; soldiers dropped dead as they were shot while reloading their weapons. The air filled with acrid smells of gunpowder and smoke; blood flowed down through the leaves.


The Confederates still charged up the hill amidst the endless cannon and rifle fire; they urged each other on. They were filled with pent up emotions and determination spurred on by the sight of their fallen comrades and friends-even brothers. One soldier recounted that the battle was the loudest and most thunderous sound he had ever heard. It was so loud that many men could not hear anymore for days. Our warriors pressed on; Snodgrass Hill was within their grasp. One account stated the Yankees panicked then broke and ran; another account related that they retreated in an orderly fashion. Personally, I think the first account is more believable. The Rebels reached into their burning lungs and screamed the loudest “Rebel Yell” ever heard. It reverberated throughout the entire valley and hill. Snodgrass Hill belonged to the Confederate States of America. It was 6:00 PM.


The hill was covered in dead Yankees; from the top the captors could see their comrades strewn over ¼ mile-some motionless, many wounded and in pain, some crying for their mother, grown men weeping over their kin, and others in a daze. John Alexander was dead or dying, William Alexander was mortally wounded and bleeding, and Robert Alexander was also wounded. The hundreds of dead and severely wounded were put in wagons; those wounded and able to walk must now go all the way to Ringgold, GA to travel by rail to Atlanta. The dead were taken by rail car to Marietta, GA where they were buried; the wounded finally made it to Foard Hospital in Newman, GA, where some eventually died and were buried there. The South gained a great victory at Snodgrass Hill but what a cost in human lives; what a price our family paid. But-that is war!




Pvt James Thomas Alexander

Son of John H. & Barbara Smith Alexander


B: August 1844  D: 1904

39th Tennessee Mounted Infantry (Calvary), Company B

POW: Vicksburg, Miss July 4-July 10, 1863

Buried: Hughes Cemetery-Bakewell, TN


James was born to John H. and Barbara Smith Alexander in Knox County, TN in 1844. His father was of Scot-Irish ancestry; his mother’s father, John Smith, had emigrated from Ireland. They were farmers in the town of Concord in Knox County, Tennessee. James T. was the fifth generation American Alexander of our heritage. He was the fourth of eight children. Little is known of James’s early life; his father was a farmer therefore I’m sure his life was tiring, laborious labor in the fields.  

The Civil War began in 1861. On March 28, 1862, the 31st (Bradford’s) East Tennessee Regiment was organized under the command of Col. William M. Bradford. It was reorganized on May 3, 1862 and became the 39th Tennessee Infantry, later designated as MI (Mounted Infantry).  The 39th enrolled Companies “A” through “K” during January through March 1862.

The first record of his service shows “First Payment” March &

April of 1863; the second payment states he enlisted March 1, 1863. At the age of 19 he joined the Confederacy in Knoxville, TN. He enlisted as a Private by Major L. Peck of “B” Company. Apparently, he was sent directly to Vicksburg, Mississippi where his Regiment and many others were to endure a 47 day siege by General Ulysses Grant’s Union forces.  Four months after his enlistment, he was a Prisoner of War.






May19- July 4, 1863

James T. Alexander had joined the CSA in Knoxville, TN; he was a Private in the 39th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Army of Tennessee. The 39th had marched hundreds of miles in every terrain and weather imaginable; many soldiers had no shoes, hats, or coats. During the winter months when the fighting lulled blacksmiths shod horses and mules as well as repaired wagons. The soldiers melted lead bullets and cut wood or scavenged for coal for fires and the blacksmith’s forge. They also searched for any type of edible food. 

          Shortly after he enlisted the unit was called to Vicksburg, Mississippi; it was imperative that Vicksburg be defended for the Mississippi River was vital for supplies. Vicksburg was the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. Pvt. Alexander’s unit was attached to the 3rd Brigade of “Stevenson’s” Division of the CSA Army of Mississippi; Lt General John C. Pemberton was in command of the CSA forces.

When they first arrived in Vicksburg, the CSA was successful in offensive assaults and defensive battles. The only way General U.S. Grant’s forces could win was to surround Vicksburg and cut off all supplies by land and river. His troops gradually surrounded the city and laid siege May 19, 1863 and it lasted for 6 weeks. This affected the residents as well as the military.

Pemberton’s original force reportedly numbered 30,000; they lived in tent city. Rations dwindled as they foraged for cows, pigs, chickens, squirrels, and rabbits. Finally, they resorted to eating their mules, horses, and even dogs. The local newspaper printed an article about them dining on a feline-being told it was a rabbit. Poor Thomas (the cat)! A putrid stench permeated the hot humid air from bloated, rotting corpses. Soldiers, barely alive, slept near the dead; dysentery and diseases took more soldiers each day. Most were starving and weak- physically unable to fight. 

On July 1, the fighting stopped; Pemberton met with Grant to talk about surrender terms; after more than 40 days few men were barely fit for duty. Not wanting to cause his men to perish for naught, he accepted the terms of “Full Surrender.” The South had just suffered a great defeat at Gettysburg, PA on July 3; now at 10 AM on July 4, the Confederate Army of Mississippi surrendered to Grant.

The starving emaciated men of every unit mustered all their strength for a formal surrender. The Confederate units marched out as well as they could with their bands playing and their flags held high; they marched to General Grant’s headquarters. Union soldiers gave the starving enemy prisoners hardtack bread or whatever they had to eat. Every man stacked his arms and every unit stacked its standard. General Pemberton presented his sword to General Grant but Grant invited him to keep it; an act he would do again for General Lee at Appomattox almost two years later.

On July 10, all soldiers signed an oath never to bear arms against the United States again. The residents of Vicksburg were also compelled to sign a an oath of allegiance to the USA and its constitution. The soldiers were paroled and released; some went home, others went west, and others just wandered. I expect they were relieved that their trigger fingers were not cut off. Some rejoined the war as did James T. Alexander. Official records verify that this was not the end of his military career. He was hospitalized at the CSA General Hospital in Charlottesville, VA in June 1864; he had returned to duty June 17, 1864-almost a year after being paroled as a POW. The unit surrendered in Ashville, NC April 26, 1865

Gettysburg and Vicksburg losses on both sides made 1863 one bloody year; and Chickamauga was yet to come. Pemberton’s army suffered greatly. One report stated that 875 were killed in action, 2,327 were wounded or missing, and countless numbers died of disease and lack of medical supplies.  In later years, many soldiers died young from Tuberculosis and other diseases attributed to the war. James T. was one of them. 

James returned to work on his father’s farm in Concord (Knox County) until 1877 when he married. Apparently his choice of mate caused friction with his father. He married a neighbor girl 16 years younger than him. The couple, along with his in-laws, appear in the 1880 Census of Hamilton County, Tennessee. He died in 1904 and was buried in Hughes Cemetery, Bakewell, TN.  For ninety-six years he had no tombstone, but in 2000 I had one made and placed in the cemetery insuring my great-grandparents were not forgotten.





Private Gabriel P. Keith

Son of Nathaniel Reuben and Lucy Keith



Army of Tennessee

“I” Company 1st (Carter's) Calvary

He was my G-G Grandfather (Paternal side).



*****ROLL CALL*****


Pvt Larkin George Gothard

"C" Co  16th Cavalry Battalion

Son of George & ? Cox Gothard 

Pvt John C. Gothard

"D" Co 1st Carters Cavalry

Son of George JR & Nancy Carter Gothard

Pvt Augustus Henry Gothard

"F" Co 34th Infantry




*****ROLL CALL*****

PRIVATE John Fuller


3rd Tenn Mounted Infantry rgmt



 Sept 20, 1837-July 24/ 1893

 “A” Company   

6th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Buried in Patterson Cemetery/Sale Creek, TN

Grandfather of George S. Lee who married Marie Elizabeth Alexander



B. 1839-D.1869

“G” Company

5th Tennessee Calvary Regiment

Mustered at Nashville, TN October 17, 1862

Source: Tennesseans in the Civil War

Stone in Patterson Cemetery/Sale Creek, TN:

6th Tennessee Infantry Regiment


Private Larkin J. Gothard

“B” Company-6th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Pvt Larkin J. Gothard

B” Company 6th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

 William B. Gothard

"B" Co 6th Mounted Infantry