GEORGE WARREN ALEXANDER, known throughout most of his life as "G.W.",
Born on May 9, 1829, he was a son of Philip C. and Mary Ann (Taylor)
Alexander. His entry on a
By September 1850, Alexander had relocated to Holyoke in Hampden
* 1 Military service * 2 Civil War – Three months\' service * 3 Civil War – Three years\' service * 4 Civilian life and the Alexander Hat Company * 5 Death and interment * 6 References
Shortly after his arrival in Berks County, G.W. Alexander joined the
Reading Artillerists , and was appointed captain of that local militia
group in 1857. The Artillerists had a distinguished history, helping
to end the
"Reading Artillerists, Attention!
You will meet this evening at 7 o’clock, at the Armory, 5th and Washington sts., for the purpose of transacting important business. Punctual attendance is requested.
By order, WM. MCNALL, O.S.
G. W. ALEXANDER, Captain."
CIVIL WAR – THREE MONTHS\' SERVICE
In response to President
CIVIL WAR – THREE YEARS\' SERVICE
George W. Alexander then re-enrolled at
Camp Curtin on August 5,
1861, for a three-year term of service. Commissioned at the age of 32
as a lieutenant colonel with the newly formed 47th Pennsylvania
Infantry , he mustered in as the regiment's second in command on
September 24 at Washington, D.C., at the 47th's encampment at Camp
Kalorama on the Kalorama Heights near Georgetown, roughly two miles
from the White House. That same day, the 47th
Initially assigned to help defend Washington, D.C., the 47th
Ordered back to
Fort Taylor on November 15, 1862, the 47th
Ordered west to join Union Major-General
Nathaniel Banks ' forces,
Although he officially mustered out from the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers on 23 September 1864 upon expiration of his three-year term of service, Alexander was reported by the Reading Times (in its 20 September 1864 edition) to have returned home sooner: "HOME. – Col. G. W. Alexander of the 47th P.V., arrived home on Saturday, after a protracted absence, during which he has seen much service. His many friends will be glad to hear that he is well and hearty."
CIVILIAN LIFE AND THE ALEXANDER HAT COMPANY
In 1867, Alexander was confirmed by the U.S. Congress as U.S. Assessor of the Internal Revenue for the agency's district, which included the city of Reading. A year later, he became the subject of an investigation by the federal Treasury Department , and was put on trial in December for abusing his position by allegedly aiding others with the removal and concealment of whiskey in order to avoid paying taxes.
The December 5, 1868, edition of The Evening Telegraph in
Philadelphia noted that, after Alexander was convicted, Judge George
Cadwalader (a former
After serving his time, Alexander resumed life with his family in Reading; by 1880, he had relocated with his wife and children to West Reading , and had launched G.W. Alexander & Co., a hat factory which thrived, expanded to a work force of 300, and continued to be successful even after a fire forced him to rebuild a decade later. According to the Reading Eagle:
* ^ Montgomery, Morton L. Biographical and Historical Annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania. Chicago, Illinois: J. H. Beers