Cover image for Fighting for the Confederacy : the personal recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander
Fighting for the Confederacy : the personal recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander
Alexander, Edward Porter, 1835-1910.
Publication Information:
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 664 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1280 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E470 .A3725 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Originally published by UNC Press in 1989, Fighting for the Confederacy is one of the richest personal accounts in all of the vast literature on the Civil War. Alexander was involved in nearly all of the great battles of the East, from First Manassas through Appomattox, and his duties brought him into frequent contact with most of the high command of the Army of Northern Virginia, including Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet. No other Civil War veteran of his stature matched Alexander's ability to discuss operations in penetrating detail-- this is especially true of his description of Gettysburg. His narrative is also remarkable for its utterly candid appraisals of leaders on both sides.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Georgia native and West Point graduate Alexander was involved in nearly all of the significant battles in the Eastern theater of the Civil War and came into frequent contact with the highest command of the Army of Northern Virginia, including Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet. His perspective on such personalities and on the events unfolding around him is a most valuable one. Alexander's memoirs lay virtually untouched for some eight decades until rescued by Gallagher, who has done a splendid job of editing: unobtrusive; the annotation not merely a rehash of that which can be readily found in other Civil War sources. An excellent index and illustrations and maps from the original manuscript complement the text. Recommended for Civil War and military history collections. History Book Club selection.-- Jason H. Silverman, Winthrop Coll., Rock Hill, S.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Alexander's training at West Point, his service on the staffs of several prominent Confederate generals, and his own experiences, both as an artillery officer and as an engineering officer, qualify him as an expert observer on every major battle in the eastern theater. His story begins in 1848 and continues until his return home in May 1865. This book was written for his family and closest friends, and was never intended for publication; Alexander's public account of the war, Military Memoirs of a Confederate (1962), was written several years later. The differences between the two are noteworthy. In Fighting for the Confederacy, Alexander offers more criticism of his superiors, more personal anecdotes, and fewer facts regarding engagements. He devotes 47 (as opposed to 28) of the text to events that occurred after Gettysburg. The superb illustrations include numerous battlefield maps drawn by Alexander. Unfortunately for the serious reader, Gallagher's editorial notes (59 pages) appear at the end. The detailed index includes five pages on the author. A stimulating, eyewitness account that belongs in every library. -L. L. Hewitt, Southeastern Louisiana University

Table of Contents

Editor's Note
Chapter 1 Early Days
Chapter 2 First Manassas or Bull Run
Chapter 3 Fall & Winter after Bull Run
Chapter 4 Seven Days
Chapter 5 Second Manassas Campaign
Chapter 6 Sharpsburg Campaign
Chapter 7 The Fall of 1862
Chapter 8 The Battle of Fredericksburg
Chapter 9 Winter after Fredericksburg
Chapter 10 Battle of Chancellorsville
Chapter 11 The Gettysburg Campaign
Chapter 12 Chickamauga
Chapter 13 Chattanooga & Knoxville
Chapter 14 Spring of 1864
Chapter 15 Wilderness & Spottsylvania
Chapter 16 North Anna & Drury's Bluff
Chapter 17 Totopotomoy & Cold Harbor
Chapter 18 Passage of James River
Chapter 19 Siege of Petersburg
Chapter 20 Fall of 1864
Chapter 21 Fall & Winter of 1864 & '65
Chapter 22 Appomattox
1 Hogshead and platform
2 Hogs on "sawpit" timbers
3 Projectile with hole through long axis
4 Vicinity of First Manassas battlefield
5 Strategic situation prior to First Manassas
6 First issue Confederate flag
7 Army of Northern Virginia battle flag
8 Confederate flag with cross as union
9 Confederate flag surrounded by stars
10 Lt. Gen James Longstreet late in life
11 Peninsula of Virginia
12 Battlefield at Seven Pines
13 Battlefield at Mechanicsville
14 Battlefield at Gaines's Mill
15 Terrain at White Oak Swamp
16 Strategic situation on the Richmond-Petersburg front, 1862
17 Virginia and Maryland
18 Potomac River near Shepherdstown
19 Battlefield at Sharpsburg
20 Battlefield at Fredericksburg ...
75 General Lee's return to his lines after surrender
76 McLean House, Appomattox Court House