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A. Hunter

A. Hunter

Confederate (CSV)


Alexander Hunter

(1843 - 1914)

Home State: Virginia

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 17th Virginia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He enlisted in Company A, the Alexandria Riflemen at age 17 in April 1861. He was captured in action during the Seven Days on 30 June 1862 and held at Fort Columbus, NY, transferred to Fort Warren, MA, then to Fortress Monroe, VA for exchange on 31 July 1862. He was wounded in action at Second Manassas in August 1862.

On the Campaign

He was captured in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862. On Sunday 21 September 1862 he wrote his family about the campaign:

Dear Folks,

On the 8th we struck up the refrain of "Maryland, My Maryland!" and camped in an apple orchard. We went hungry, for six days not a morsel of bread or meat had gone in our stomachs - and our menu consisted of apple; and corn. We toasted, we burned, we stewed, we boiled, we roasted these two together, and singly, until there was not a man whose form had not caved in, and who had not a bad attack of diarrhea. Our under-clothes were foul and hanging in strips, our socks worn out, and half of the men were bare-footed, many were lame and were sent to the rear; others, of sterner stuff, hobbled along and managed to keep up, while gangs from every company went off in the surrounding country looking for food. . . Many became ill from exposure and starvation, and were left on the road. The ambulances were full, and the whole route was marked with a sick, lame, limping lot, that straggled to the farmhouses that lined the way, and who, in all cases, succored and cared for them...

The rest of the War

He was paroled for exchange on 22 September 1862. He transferred to Company H (Black Horse Troop), Fourth Virginia Cavalry in July 1863. He was captured again, at Warrenton, VA on 8 January 1864, and held at the Old Capitol Prison, Washington and Point Lookout, MD. He escaped but was recaptured at Point Of Rocks, MD and sent to Antheneum Prison, Wheeling, WV. He was exchanged 24 February at Camp Chase, OH. He was wounded, at Todd's Tavern, VA 7 May 1864 and in Richmond's Chimborazo Hospital.

After the War

He was an employee of the US General Land Office, Washington, DC for about 40 years. He was the author of Johnny Reb and Billy Yank (1905), and Women of the Debatable Land (1912).

References & notes

Basic information from Ray Fincham1. Lifedates and further details from his gravesite on Findagrave, source also of his photograph. The letter here as excerpted by the staff of the Antietam National Battlefield in a packet for teachers.

More on the Web

His 1903 description of his part in the battle is online from the Encyclopedia of Virginia.


1843; Norfolk, VA


06/30/1914; Warrenton, VA; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


1   Fincham, Jr., Ray, Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry Regimental Histories - Virginia, Published 2005, <>, Source page: /virginia/infantry/rosters/17th_inf_regt_roster_a.html  [AotW citation 13520]