Local Confederate soldiers recognized in history compilation

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 22, 2005

REGION – Approximately 300 soldiers from the area were members of the 43rd Alabama Infantry of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. These soldiers’ histories are part of one Mobile man’s recently published history compilation, “Gracie’s Pride – The 43rd Alabama Infantry Volunteers.”

Arthur E. Green, a native of Dallas County, originally became interested in researching the lives of Alabama’s Confederate soldiers when the descendants of his grandfather’s unit, the 38th Alabama Infantry CSA, held a reunion.

As a very young child in Selma, Green vaguely recalls seeing Confederate veterans at Confederate Memorial Day festivities. He said this is possibly what has kept his interest in Confederate soldiers all these years.

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Upon initial research, Green was surprised to find that the files of all military servicemen are available through the National Archives in Washington D.C. Once he began exploring the files, Green said he found the lives of the Confederate soldiers “terribly interesting.”

“Gracie’s Pride” contains information about the 1,260 men who served in the 43rd Alabama Infantry. Green said of those, about 300 soldiers came from Demopolis, Dixons Mills, Old Springhill, Clay Hill, Linden, Sweet Water and Jefferson.

The 43rd Alabama Infantry was led by Gen. Archibald Gracie. Gracie was born in New York, but did business in the South. Green said there is no evidence of why Gracie sided with the South during the Civil War.

Gracie was killed by enemy fire at Petersburg, Va., and was buried in the family plot in New York, with no mention of his being a Confederate general. Gracie’s New York home, “The Gracie Mansion,” is still used as the mayor’s official residence.

The 43rd Alabama Infantry fought in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, and eventually they surrendered with Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Before seeing battle, the soldiers attended training camp in Mobile. Many died of disease before even completing their training.

“Gracie’s Pride – The 43rd Alabama Infantry Volunteers” is just one of four history compilations Green has compiled.

The others are “Southerners at War – The 38th Alabama Infantry Volunteers” and “Too Little Too Late: Compiled Military Service Records of the 63rd Alabama Infantry CSA.” His final compilation on the 15th Confederate Cavalry is set to be published.

“Gracie’s Pride – The 43rd Alabama Infantry Volunteers” is available online or at any major bookstore.

Green currently resides in Mobile with his wife, Karen. He is a retired employee of the Alabama State Docks.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System provides a method to search by name for those who served in the Civil War. Visit their Web site at http://www.civilwar.nps.gov/cwss/.