Uniform preserved by family member for 160 years
I’ve written much about Alexander’s life so it’s a bit of a challenge to find new material. But I did in the Nov. 3, 1904 edition of the Warren Mail.
His standing in the community is evidenced by the placement of his obituary: Page One and above the fold.
Alexander — in Warren, Thursday, Oct. 27, 1904, at 7:15 p.m. after an illness of about one month with bowel trouble and meningitis, Captain William James Alexander, in the 68th year of his age.
A brave and gallant soldier mustred out, a popular commander and capable official, a devoted and faithful church member, a kind neighbor, a good citizen, a kind and devoted husband and father, has passed into eternal rest.
It is hard to realize that he is gone, and it seems but a few days when he greeted pleasantly friends, comrades and neighbors on the street and in the church of his choice and care. Human sympathy is weak in this great loss to family, church and community, and words fail to express the great sorrow felt by all who knew the departed.
Captain Alexander was born on March 5, 1836 in Erie county, Pa., near Erie city. He was the youngest of six children born to Archibald and Elizabeth Webster Alexander, both being of Scotch Irish parentage and descended from ancestors noted for their honest worth and patriotism.
Like many other young men the deceased responded to the defense of the Union, and in the Fall of 1861 he was mustered into service as First Lieutenant of Co. D, 111th regiment, Penn’a Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted as Captain of same company in April, 1862, was afterwards commissioned Major and Lieutenant Colonel, and was mustered out in North Carolina at close of the war, after having done valiant and faithful service with Sherman in his march to the sea, and participating in the battles of Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca and Peach Tree Creek.
His was the first regiment to enter Savannah, where he served a few months as Provost Marshal, also acting as Colonel of the 111th regiment after it left Savannah on its march northward.
At the close of the war, Captain Alexander engaged in the lumber business at Covington, Ky., remaining there a number of years. He came to Warren in 1876, and has resided here since that time. There survive him his wife and three sons — Edwin C., William A., and J. Herbert Alexander.
Captain Alexander was a moth faithful commuicant of Trinity Memorial Church, an active member of its Vestry, and for many years Treasurer of the parish. The duties of this office, which he held at the time of his death, he discharged with scrupulous fidelity and great efficiency, and the debt of gratitude owed him by the congregation can hardly be measured or realized. His life among his fellows was the best possible commendation of Christianity, in its simplicity and reality. His faith was deep and stable, his living ever shaped by principle and love.
He had been for many years a prominent member of the G.A.R. Post of Warren, serving as Commander; was Register and Recorder, County Auditor and Commissioners’ Clerk one term each, besides filling parts of other terms by appointment as County Treasurer and Recorder.
In all his various duties at the Court House he was very efficient, courteous and attentive, being always a ready and willing worker in the Republican party.
The funeral, held last Saturday afternoon from the Episcopal Church, was largely attended by relatives and friends, his silver-haired comrades attending as a Post, and giving the last solemn ceremonies at the grave in beautiful Oakland. The Episcopal prayer service was read in the church by Rev. A.R. Taylor and two favorite hymns were sung by the choir. The bearers were Col. Gardner, Judge Lindsey, Capt. Borchers and Messrs. T.O. Slater, W.W. Wilbur and C.A Waters.
Last Sunday evening an appropriate and beautiful memorial service was held in the same church, where Dr. Taylor gave truthful and tender tribute in honor of his deceased friend and associate.
We regret that our space is too limited (this) week to give his remarks.