Alexander McDougal

Alexander McDougal
Company K, 1st Maine Cavalry.

Alexander "Sandy" Donald McDougal (1839-1922) Fort Fairfield, ME. Company K, 1st Maine Cavalry. He walked 40 miles from Fort Fairfield to Houlton to join the Union forces at the start of the war, and enlisted 17 Oct 1861, age 22, at Houlton, ME. Of 245 enlisted men in Co. K, Alexander was one of 7 who served from muster in to muster out. The 1st Maine Cavalry was attached to the Union Army of the Potomac, and K Co. participated in 34 battles.

He mustered in at Augusta, ME, 2 Nov 1861 as a Private; traveled to Washington, DC Mar 19-28, 1862; attached to Abercrombie's Brigade, Williams' Division, Banks' 5th Army Corps, and Dept. of the Shenandoah, Mar to May, 1862; attached to Bayard's Cavalry Brigade, Dept. of the Rappahannock, to July, 1862; promoted to Corporal 1 Sep 1862; promoted to Sergeant 1863; re-enlisted 29 Dec 1863; He was at Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865 for the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Southern army. 1 Aug 1865 he mustered out with his regiment; distinguished for gallantry. Alexander passed up a promotion to Lieutenant in favor of a married man with a family, because being single, he didn't need the higher pay as much. This man was killed later in the war.

The History of the First Maine Cavalry 1861-1865 says "During this fight (the battle at Middleburg, Va.) Sergt. McDougall of Co. K received 17 bullet holes in his clothing, and strange to say, escaped unharmed". Company commander Major Myrick said K Co. had the reputation of being "extensively drilled and extremely proficient with the saber. Those terrible weapons were used with awful effect in the magnificent charge at Brandy Station." At the 11th Annual Reunion of the 1st Maine Cavalry, Maj. Myrick remembered Sgt. Alexander McDougall, known as Sandy, "as a brave soldier and as faithful a man as ever rode in the ranks of the 1st Maine and one of the best swordsmen I ever saw." Myrick recalled, "His old comrades remember him also, at St. Mary's Church with his clothing again riddled by bullets, while he was again unharmed." He married in 1865 and had 9 children.

In a testimonial letter for his pension application, his former Captain of Co. K wrote: "I well remember Serg. Alexander MacDougal, who was one of the bravest, truest and most faithful soldiers I ever knew." His pension was granted for "malarial poisoning, pleurisy, fever, vertigo and ague". He used his pension money to buy a small grocery store on East Main St, in the area of town known as Puddledock, since he was often too weak to perform farm work. Later in life Alexander was one of the Commanders of GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Kilpatrick Post, No. 61, Fort Fairfield, Maine.