Guide to the James Simpson Alexander Papers, RG 926

Listed by: Paul Martin, Alfreida Brummitt
Date: August 22, 2000

Date Span: 1805-1947; Civil War letters (May 6, 1863-November 12, 1864)

Biographical Sketch: Alexander, a native of Pickens District, South Carolina, married Frances Jane Crosby. He enlisted in Company D, 22nd South Carolina Infantry, in 1862 and served at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina and Petersburg, Virginia. He died of fever at Farmville, Virginia, in February 1865.

Scope / Content: Photocopies of letters (1863-1864) from Alexander to his wife and children; Alexander's will (1863); miscellaneous letters (1866-1896) from Alexander family members; legal papers (1805-1885); and genealogical information (1947).

SERIES 1: Civil War Letters

May 6, 1863. Adams Run, South Carolina. He has heard from home and is glad to receive news. Has been marching and getting wet and dirty. He has been hearing artillery in the distance.

June 7, 1863. Jackson, Mississippi. Johnson's army is fighting. He hears cannon constantly, and says he heard the Yankees have lost 215,000 men.

June 21, 1863. Jackson, Mississippi. He is sorry the four letters he has written home have not been received. It is very hot and he thinks the army will move soon. He misses the family.

June 30, 1863. Rankin County, Mississippi. He has traveled some fifteen hundred miles since leaving home. The rations are better, with one-half pound of bacon and sugar and molasses. He has heard that fifty thousand Yankees were killed at Vicksburg.

September 15, 1863. Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. It has rained for days and he is getting wet on picket duty on the beach.

February 7, 1864. Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. A boat running the blockade ran aground near (Fort) Moultrie. The regulars have been stealing all sorts of goods from the boat. He enjoyed the family while on leave the month before.

July 21, 1864. Farmville, Virginia. He still feels very weak. He has heard nothing from home since the 27th of May. Would like to be furloughed, but thinks it is very unlikely.

September 20, 1864. Farmville, Virginia. He is feeling better, and the people in the area are kind. He has heard that the soldiers have captured 2500 cattle and 300 Yankee soldiers. Breastworks twenty feet wide are being built, apparently for winter defense. He is missing the family very much.

November 12, 1864. Petersburg, Virginia. He is on steady picket duty after coming back from the hospital. It is dangerous for he is sometimes within twenty steps of the enemy. He has seen some men shot by the enemy, and though some talking and trading of food for tobacco goes on, he does not trust the enemy. Rations are short, but enough to stay alive.

SERIES 2: Other Documents

April 13, 1863. Last Will and Testament, James S. Alexander.

January 8, 1947. Confederate Memorial Literary Society, Richmond, Virginia to Mr. Roy Alexander. This letter states that James Simpson Alexander of Company D, 22nd South Carolina Regiment, enlisted in 1862 at the age of 38. He was born March 17, 1824. He died of fever in a hospital in Richmond in 1865.

Listing of births in the Alexander family.

Listing of births in the Alexander family.

December 22, 1866. A letter from an Alexander family member.

September 1, 1896. A letter concerning family matters.

October 28, 1805. A land deed.

January 29, 1885. A court document involving land formerly owned by Thomas Alexander.

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