E. Porter Alexander

E.P. Alexander was born in 1835 in Wilkes County, Georgia. He graduated third in his class from the USMA at West Point in 1857. He served briefly as an instructor in Engineering and Fencing before being deployed to Utah as part of the 1857 Mormon Expedition.

Alexander returned from the expedition to resume his duties at the USMA and married soon thereafter. He had helped develop the U.S. Signal Corps in concert with Surgeon A. Myer when he received orders to report for duty at Ft. Steilacoom in 1860.

Lt. Alexander replaced Lt. Henry Martyn Robert in command of a detachment of 36 sappers at the post. He received news of the secession of Georgia while at Ft. Steilacoom and he decided at that time to resign his commission in the U.S. Army. Alexander fought in the American Civil War as General Longstreet’s Chief of Artillery with his most memorable assignment being that of commanding the Reserve Artillery at Gettysburg.

After the war, Alexander served as a university mathematics instructor, railroad executive, and foreign diplomat. He maintained friendly ties with his fellow officers and a close friendship with President Grover Cleveland.