1st Alabama Cavalry - Est. 1862
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It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Glenda McWhirter Todd. She passed away on September 3, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was a historian, genealogist, and author who prided herself on being a descendant of Andrew Ferrier McWhirter of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV. Her work over the past two decades and her dedication to the 1st Alabama Cavalry has created a legacy that will last for years to come.

Her life's work has touched thousands of people through the years, and I am glad that I had the pleasure to work with her as long as I did. My hope is that her work will live on for years to come to educate and inspire a new generation.

Obituaries of Troopers from the 1st Alabama

Picture Picture Tombstone Combined Service Record

Alonson (Alanson) W Edwards
From "The Fargo Forum" of Fargo, ND, 8 February 1908.

Major Alanson W. EDWARDS passed quietly into rest at noon today, after an illness extending over quite a number of years, although he had only been confined to the house for a few months…when the end came it was as peaceful as could be imagined, and he was tenderly waited upon by his devoted wife and members of the family.

The interment will be made in Fargo, the service being held Monday afternoon…and will be in charge of John F REYNOLDS post of the G.A.R. The service will be at the residence of the deceased, on Seventh Street South.

Major Alanson William EDWARDS was born in Lorain County, Ohio, Aug. 27, 1840 and his father removed his family to Macoupin County, Illinois in 1848.

Major EDWARDS attended the county schools and was a student at McKendree College, Lebanon, Ill., in 1856-7. After leaving school he was railroad and express agent and telegraph operator at Gillespie when the war broke out… On the first call for troops, April 15, 1861, he volunteered, but was rejected as he weighed some 300 pounds. He continued with the railroad company until 1862, when he enlisted and went into Camp Palmer at Carlinville, Ill. He was mustered into Company I 122nd Illinois Infantry by Captain Charles EWING. Two years afterwards he was adjutant general on General VANDEVEER’s staff, who commanded the district of Marietta…

Major EDWARDS served in the western army as a private, beginning at Columbus, Ky. He was a clerk in the office of the adjutant general of the district of Jackson and for Gen. G. M. DODGE at Corinth, Miss…On the march through Georgia to the sea, Major EDWARDS commanded Co. M of his regiment and for thirty-seven days did not draw a ration, but gained fifty pounds in weight. At Savannah he was detached from his company by order of General SHERMAN and assigned to duty A.A.G. 9th Division, 15th Corps and served with General CORSE until after the general review in Washington, being finally mustered out by order of the war department July 11, 1865. He was brevetted major by order of Congress, March 18, 1865.

Major EDWARDS was present at the preliminary meeting of the officers of the army of Tennessee, to organize this society at Raleigh, N.C., April 25, 1865, and he became a member of the G.A.R. in Post No. 6 at Bunker Hill, there being only fiver earlier posts organized.

He returned to his old Illinois home after the war and resuscitated The Union Gazette at Bunker Hill, a paper he published before going to the war which suspended while he was away. In 1868, Major EDWARDS secured an interest in the Carlinville Free Democrat, a Republican paper started by Senator John M. PALMER, and was made warden of the Illinois State Penitentiary by the governor for the term of 1871-2.

After the big fire in Chicago he went into business in that city…He went to the Black Hills in 1876, going out via Fargo, and returned to this city in 1878 and started the Fargo Republican, being associated with Dr. J. B. HALL. He later sold the Republican and started The Daily Argus.

Territorial Governor PIERCE appointed Major EDWARDS superintendent of the semi-decennial of Dakota territory in 1885 and in 1886 he was elected mayor of the city of Fargo.

He was largely instrumental in organizing the original board of trade in the city of Fargo in 1879 and was its secretary for some time.

He helped to organize the Fargo Southern Railway Co., which organization constructed 122 miles of road from Fargo to Ortonville, and was elected secretary and assistant manager. The road was built in 1883-4 and is now a part of the Milwaukee system.

Major EDWARDS was a member of the first board of the North Dakota penitentiary… and directed the construction of the nucleus of the present building.

He was elected a member of the state legislature in 1895 and received credit for maintaining the prohibition law…

Major EDWARDS left the Argus in 1891 and started the Daily Forum of that year in connection with Mr. PLUMLEY, and in 1894 The Forum purchased The Republican, the first paper started by the major, and the two papers were consolidated.

In March 1902, the major was made American consul general in Montreal which position he resigned in 1906 in consequence of poor health and returned to Fargo where he has since resided.

The major married at Carlinville, Ill. In 1970 to Elizabeth ROBERTSON and they have six sons and one daughter, all living. The sons are Harry Goodell, stenographer for the district court at Fargo; William Robertson, advertising manager of The Forum; Alanson Charles, living in New York City; John Palmer, assistant manager of The Forum; George Washington, musical instructor at Danville, Ky., Female Seminary; Richard Roberts, collector in this city and the daughter is Marie Rosenfield BELKNAP, who also resides in Fargo.

Major EDWARDS has always taken much interest in politics and has been known as a hard fighter…During his residence of thirty years in Fargo, no one has done more to build up the territory, the state, and the city, than Major EDWARDS, and his death will be sincerely mourned…His work, however, lives after him.

Database created and maintained by Ryan Dupree.

Service records compiled by Glenda Todd and used with her permission. This and other information about the history of the First and the men who fought with the unit can be found in her book, First Alabama Cavalry, USA: Homage to Patriotism.

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