The Generations Link
I was browsing the net looking for anything history. What a surprise, right. I found an article from the Alexandria Gazette Packet dated Thursday, April 7, 2011. Author Michael Lee Pope wrote an interesting piece called The War Begun.
The piece itself was actually about Alexandria Gazette editor Edgar Snowden “who painfully wrote The War Begun” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011), in April of 1861. Author Pope wrote that “Snowden was obviously holding out for peace” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011). Pope carries the reader back to the start of the Civil War, describing what the author, Snowden, expressed through his written words just as war was breaking out.
Deep into the article, a paragraph beginning with “By Late April” Pope wrote” Federal authorities seized mail boats and communication between Alexandria and Washington ceased” It read, “Adams Express Company no longer carried goods across the Potomac” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011).
Ok, wait a minute, am I reading this right. Could I have stumbled across information that links directly to my 3rd Great Grandfather, Capt James Strider? Yes, I think so. Capt Strider’s obituary read that he lived in Alexandria all his life…clue 1. He was a driver of the mail and stage line between Alexandria and Washington…clue 2, and later the driver of one of the Adams Express wagons…clue 3. Then after the close of the war he worked for the Washington and Ohio Railroad…after the close of the war…Jackpot.
Pope said on April 27th Snowden wrote,”Honest laboring men are, everywhere, thrown out of employment” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011). My 3rd great granddad was out of a job like many others who resided in Alexandria. But that was the least of his problems, the war soon followed.
It’s a surreal feeling having read this particular piece so soon after reading his obituary and after writing, myself, that though Capt James Strider’s careers weren’t written in school textbooks his jobs were quite impressive. Guess I wasn’t the only one who thought so since all communications were ceased and two writers generations apart kept the story alive.
Capt. James Strider 1820-1899
Reference: The Alexandria Gazette Packet, 2011,‘The War Begun.’ Alexandria is gripped by wartime fever as Fort Sumpter surrenders and Virginia secedes. Michael Lee Pope, Thursday April 27, 2011, Retrieve September 26, 2011 from
Refrence: Ancestry.com, Obituary from the Alexandria Gazette 4/15/1899, Death of Capt Strider, Retrieved from