Alexander, whose surname is unrecorded, was captured with Company B 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry at the Battle of Arkansas Post, and was delivered to Camp Butler, Illinois, as a prisoner of war, on January 31, 1863.
It is likely that he was from Montgomery County, Texas, or perhaps from Walker. Doubtless, he was the body servant of one of the members of the company, either owned or hired by the soldier whom he served.
Alexander was freed by the Union commander when he arrived at the prison in Illinois. We know that it was the middle of a winter in which the high was 32 degrees and the low was 15. None of the Confederates had been allowed to take their winter coats or blankets onto the steam ships that carried them up the Mississippi, so it is probable that Alexander was released to fend for himself in the sub-freezing weather.
There is only one file card in the Compiled Service Records, which are housed at the National Archives. The card has no personal information about Alexander other than his name and the notation, Negro, Liberated.
We do not know if he returned to his family in Texas after his liberation, or if he stayed in the North to establish a life in a society in which blacks were free.
There were several men of color named Alexander living in Montgomery County in 1870, any one of whom could have been our Alexander. If you have further information, please e-mail me.
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County Texas CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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