Salt print photograph of CSA Colonel Alexander McKinstry, 32nd Alabama

Salt print photograph of CSA Colonel Alexander McKinstry. The writer has misidentified his regiment as the 23rd when he was actually in the 32nd Alabama Infantry.

An excellent seated pose of Colonel Alexander McKinstry in a Confederate colonel’s uniform with quatrefoil sleeve braid, wearing a sash and sword belt around his waist and holding his high-grade officer’s sword in his lap. His colonel’s kepi lies next to him on a side table.

Alexander McKinstry, originally of the 32nd Alabama Regiment, served as Provost Marshal and a member of the staff of General Braxton Bragg for much of the war. In addition to his duties involving the exchange of prisoners and army discipline, McKinstry was also actively involved with intelligence gathering and espionage activities.

Because of the presence of his photograph in Miss Tarleton’s album, it can be assumed that McKinstry was a close friend of Patrick R. Cleburne, the Irish-born former Arkansas lawyer who became the most admired yet controversial figure in the ill-starred Army of Tennessee. Cleburne was killed in action at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864.

Alexander McKinstry is mentioned a number of times in the Official Records of the War of Rebellion. The 32nd Alabama saw heavy action during the war.

The rendezvous of the regiment was at Mobile, where it was organized in April, 1862. In July it was sent into Tennessee, and received its baptism of fire at Bridgeport, where it crossed the river. It was this regiment that captured Stevenson, Tenn. It was in middle Tennessee under General Forrest, and was overpowered and lost a number of prisoners at Lavergne, October, 1862.

The regiment met severe loss at Murfreesboro and its roll of honor is a long one. It was sent to the relief of Vicksburg, and did valiant work in the trenches at Jackson, where, in repulsing an attack of the enemy without loss, it slaughtered 260 yanks.

It rejoined the army of Tennessee and at Chickamauga suffered severely. During the winter of 1863-64, the regiment was transferred from Adams’ to Clayton’s brigade and consolidated with the Fifty-eighth under Col. Bush. Jones, and took part in the Atlanta campaign; was with Hood in Tennessee, taking part at Franklin, Columbia and Nashville.

Transferred to the district of the Gulf under General Maury, it suffered serious losses during the siege of Spanish Fort and was finally surrendered at Meridian.

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