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Meeting Highlights

December 2011 Speaker Highlights

E. PORTER ALEXANDER
 

What do the “Big Mouse” and E. Porter Alexander have in common? They both adapt well to Walt  Disney’s “Storyboard Style” (Google it) of organization if allowed to “grow” in the hands of master  storytellers. “Col. Black Jack“ Travis is superb at this art form. He arranges E. Porter Alexander’s life  with a punctilious attention to detail.
 
 Readers, will you agree with me that you lost mountains of carefully researched information if not in  attendance? “Ya just had to be there.” Think! Where were YOU at age 21? E. Porter Alexander was  graduating third in his class from WestPoint. By age 25 or so, his experiences put him in charge of 65  guns at Gettysburg. Jack Travis lays some facts about Southern gunpowder and a could, would, or should situation that might have changed that day in history for all of us. The “Pickle man”, Major General Richardson, soured Alexander’s day.
 
 We asked, as they unfolded, where did you find some of those great pictures, Jack? Not only some of  those pictures but also some “first” accomplishments of Alexander were shared. Superb at espionage,  E. Porter worked clandestinely with that spy, Rose Greenhow, to tunnel information toward General  Beauregard. A real snoop, E. Porter Alexander, became known as “That cuss with the Spy Glass.” With  said spy glass in hand, he became the first to send signals from a balloon. He and the balloon took a bath in the James River. We think he must have kept the spy glass dry. That spy glass also turned the battle of First Manassas. His famous statement, signaled to Beauregard, said: “Look to your left, you are being turned!!!!” Certain defeat was turned to victory of a sort.
 
 True to his beloved Southern roots, he refused countless pleadings to stay in the Union. Had he  acquiesced, Jack Travis would not have had such a colorful (he owned 100 slaves) heartwarming,  punctilious and downright enjoyable story to put on the board for us. Jack, we can’t wait to see which  Civil War personage becomes the mouse or the cheese in your next book. “Right on!”