Stop 5: Alexander Allison
Many families experienced at least one death in their family, some experienced several. There is a well-known story of Lydia Bixby, who reportedly lost five sons during the war and received a letter of condolence from Abraham Lincoln. While the letter is real, Mrs. Bixby did not actually lose all five of her sons in the war. Alexander Allison, buried here, however, is part of a true tragedy. His mother, Agnes Allison, began the war as a widow with six sons and sent four of those sons to war. All four died. Twenty-three year old Alexander, serving as second lieutenant in the 96th PA, was shot in the stomach as Salem Church on May 3, 1863 and died at the hospital. Nineteen year old John, serving under Alexander as a corporal, was also killed at Salem Church. His body was never recovered and may lie in the cemetery as an unknown. Older brother George was shot in the hip at the Bloody Angle on May 12, 1864 while serving with the 56th PA and died in a hospital in Washington DC. Their other brother James served with the 1st PA Cavalry until November 1862 when he was injured after his horse threw him and discharged. In 1864 he reenlisted with the 48th PA Infantry and was killed at Bethesda Church near Richmond. Agnes Allison lost perhaps more sons than any other mother in the North, ending the war as a widow with only two of her six sons still alive.