John H. Alexander was born at Ellerslie in Clarke County, VA, the son of William Christopher Alexander (1810-1850) and his wife, Susan Catherine (Swart) Alexander (1826-1885). While he was still a teenager, Alexander served in Company A of the 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, Army of Northern Virginia. This unit was also known as Mosby’s Rangers. John H. Alexander served in this unit for about a year and was wounded on 30 July 1864 — grazed on the side of the head by Yankee gunfire.
After the war, and prior to attending the University of Virginia, Alexander went to the Loudoun School, headed by U.Va. alumnus Virginius Dabney. Alexander attended U.Va. in sessions 44 (1867-1868) and 46 (1869-1870), and graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree. He began his career as a lawyer in Middleburg, VA soon after graduating. He was the law partner of General William H. Payne, “the knightly paladin of Warrenton.” (Tyler, p.4) Alexander was active as a Loudoun County Democrat; he was a devout Baptist, and belonged to various fraternal organizations, such as the Mason, the Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias.
On 1 Oct. 1874, John H. Alexander married Emma J. Hughes (1845-1923). The couple had six children: Ada Lee, Elizabeth Morgan, John (d. infant), John Richard Henry, Violet Duncan, and Emma Herndon Alexander. John Richard Henry Alexander followed in his father’s footsteps, earned his law degree from U.Va., and practiced as a lawyer with his father. As J. R. H. Alexander, he became a well-known judge in Loudoun County. John Henry Alexander died in 1909 in Leesburg, VA. He and his wife, and several other members of the Alexander family, are buried in Union Cemetery, in Leesburg, VA.
- Labaw, George Warne. A genealogy of the Warne family in America. New York, 1911. (Accessed via books.google.com)
- Mosocco, Ronald A. Company A of the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Army of Northern Virginia [website]. http://www.mosocco.com/companya.html (Accessed 4/23/2011).
- Tombstones of the Alexander family in Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA, in Findagrave.com [website]. (Accessed 4/23/2011).
- Tyler, Lyon G., ed. Men of Mark in Virginia: Ideals of American Life. v.2. Washington, DC, 1907. Accessed via books.google.com.
- 1850-1930 U.S. Census. Virginia, in Ancestry.com. United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.