Edward Porter Alexander was an engineer by trade and did so much in the Civil War that few people ever accomplish so much with their life as he did. The man knew how to build anything. Born with a knack for putting things together,
He was best known for his leadership role in the face of extreme peril. That peril was the Battle of Gettysburg and it was a bloody affair.
He is best known as the officer in charge of the massive and downright horrendous artillery bombardment that came before the famous Pickett’s “Charge of the Light Brigade”.
An inventor and author, he would go down in history as one of the most important men to come out of the war. The best of the best, he was referred to at times.
Born in Virginia in 1835, he was destined to be a great leader. The school days and the fights in the classrooms of Avondale lent credence of things to come for the brilliant general-to-be. a few quick promotions in the civil war brought the leader to the place where he could demonstrate just what he was put on earth to do, lead and invent.
Very few men can lay claim to being both inventor and leader in the wars that ripped their hearts out and profited them so.
The dichotomy of the situation was that Alexander designed the articles that would kill all the while directing men to kill and then would lament all those things in his autobiography.
The leader also wrote a number of well-received books and sold a good many. He was a good financial advisor and made it a point to educate the poor southern farmer’s of the South.
Mortars that would be the thing that he could improve and improve he did. The intelligent commander would take the basic mortar and make it so much better, so much more deadly accurate. The mortar design that was created by Alexander was at first denied acceptance by the army, until they was it in action.
The Rebel artillery picked up on the design and for a brief moment in the war, the Confederates looked like they could do some damage. This was ended as soon as it began as the Union army started their usual winning ways.
When the Civil War came to its merciful ending, Edward Porter Alexander set his sights on locations that lay a little farther south of the Mason Dixon Line.
South America. Toying with the idea, albeit temporarily, to be a leader in the Brazilian army or fight for the Costa Ricans against the Nicaragua rebels? Alexander died in Savannah, Georgia and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery, a man that transcends the time, a man of the people.