Alexander Family (Georgia)

Adam Leopold Alexander (1803-1882) and Sarah Hillhouse Gilbert, his first wife, met in New Haven, CT, while Alexander was attending Yale University and Sarah Gilbert was visiting family there. After their marriage, the family lived in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia. Their son Edward Porter Alexander was a general in the Confederate service and wrote a memoir entitled Fighting for the Confederacy (1989). Their two youngest sons, Charles Atwood and James Hillhouse, attended the University of Virginia. (Alexander and Hillhouse Family Papers; Gilmer)

Charles Atwood Alexander (4 Nov. 1838-30 Jan. 1907) attended the University of Virginia in sessions 32-34 (1855-1858). He was a planter before the Civil War, and lived at Hopewell, his father’s plantation. When the Civil War began, he enlisted in the “Liberty Troop, 1st Battalion Georgia Cavalry on 1 Oct 1861. He transferred to Company G, 5th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry, on 20 Jan 1863; he was elected 2nd Lieutenant and transferred to Capt. J. W. McAlpin’s Company, Engineer Troops, Company E, 2nd Regiment, Confederate Engineer Troops in 1864. He was appointed 1st Lieutenant toward the end of the war. He was paroled at Chester, SC, on 5 May 1865. After the war he returned to Wilkes County, where he became one of the county’s largest land owners.” (Pollette)

Charles married first on 8 Apr. 1862, Ida Calhoun (1841-1867), then on 4 Nov. 1880, married as his second wife, her sister Rosa Calhoun (1848-1912). The children of his first wife were Fanny Middleton and Harriet Virginia Alexander. The children of his second wife were Ida Calhoun and Carlotta Rose Alexander. (Mancino) On 30 Jan. 1907, Charles Alexander died “as the result of a severe attack of grippe, which was followed by paralysis.…He was a large planter and a man of affairs. He represented Wilkes county in the state legislature in 1903-04.” (“Capt. C. Alexander dies of paralysis.”)

James Hillhouse Alexander (6 Jun. 1840-4 Dec. 1902) attended U.Va. in session 33 (1856-1857), but did not complete his term there because of  poor health. He read law in his home town for two years, under Judge William M. Reese, and then attended Harvard University Dept. of Law, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws. On 11 Jun. 1861 he joined the Confederate army as a private in the Irvin Guards. He was detailed as a signal officer and served in Mississippi, Virginia, and other points in the Eastern theater. In April 1862, he received a commission as captain in the signal corps, part of the department of engineering. He was promoted to major, then colonel. (This occurred so late in the war that the promotion was never ratified by the Confederate Congress.) He was in only a few battles, including the seven days’ fighting near Richmond, VA. He mustered out in Savannah, Ga.

On 25 Jun. 1863, Major Alexander married Sarah Joyner Irvin (1841-1903), a daughter of Isaiah T. Irvin, a Georgia state representative before the Civil War. Their children were Irvin, Hugh H., and Elizabeth Alexander. After the Civil War, James H. Alexander began his law practice in Washington, Ga., but in 1869 left the practice of law and accepted a position with Dickson Fertilizer Company, of Augusta, Ga. Later he purchased the drug business of Plumb & Leitner, and built that up into a prosperous business. Having added a seed department to the business, and in 1888, he incorporated under the title Alexander Drug & Seed Company. He served on the city council of Augusta in the 1880s, and in 1888 he was the secretary and “practical head” of the Augusta National Exposition. Alexander served one term as mayor of Augusta. He died on 4 Dec. 1902, and his wife died only four months later. (Candler & Evans) James and Sarah Alexander were buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta, Ga.


  • Alexander, Edward Porter. Fighting for the Confederacy; personal recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander, edited by Gary W. Gallegher. Durham, NC, 1989.
  • Alexander tombstones, Magnolia Cemetery, Augusta, Ga. (viewed 10-13-2013)
  • Boggs, Marion Alexander. The Alexander letters, 1787-1900. Savannah, Ga., 1910, p.376-380.
  • Bowen, Eliza A. The story of Wilkes County, Georgia. Marietta, Ga., 1950, p.98-99.
  • Candler, Adam Daniel, & Clement A. Evans, eds. Georgia; comprising sketches of counties, towns, events, institutions, and person, arranged in cyclopedia form. Atlanta, Ga., 1906, v.1, p.37-39.
  • “Capt. C. Alexander dies of paralysis.” Atlanta Georgian and News, 31 Jan. 1907, p.5. Presented online by the Digital Library of Georgia.
  • Finding aid in the Alexander and Hillhouse Family Papers #11, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Gilmer, George R. Sketches of some of the first settlers of upper Georgia, of the Cherokees, and the author. Baltimore, MD, 1970, p. 172-173.
  • Lambert, Sandie Manning. Manning, Massey, Altom, Averett, Johnson and Many More. [database online] 2009. (reviewed 10/11/2013)
  • Mancino, Jacqueline A. Hillhouse family genealogy. [database online] c2009.  (viewed 10-13-2013).
  • Pollette, Ashley, Liberty County, Ga., Captain Walthour’s Company, 1st Battalion Ga. Cavalry. [electronic file online] (viewed 10-13-2013)
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