Haskell, Alexander McDonald (ca. 1831–1866)

By: Stephanie P. Niemeyer and Bruce Allardice

Type: Biography

Published: April 14, 2011

Updated: July 21, 2011

Alexander McDonald Haskell, Confederate infantry officer, was born in Washington, D.C., about 1831. His father, Massachusetts-born Daniel Hale Haskell (1790-1843) worked as a clerk for the Navy Department; his mother was Eliza McDonald. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by an uncle in Ohio. After unsuccessfully applying to West Point, Haskell attended Indiana University. He served in the First United States Infantry as a second lieutenant from June 27, 1855, to May 1, 1861. Immediately after his resignation from the United States Army, he joined the Confederacy. In September 1861 he selected an area north of Victoria called Nuner's Mott to serve as a training camp for new Confederate recruits. He named the camp after Henry E. McCulloch, the interim commander for the Department of Texas. The companies that formed there to train became the Sixth Texas Infantry, and Haskell was elected major of the regiment on September 3, 1861. On January 29, 1862, Haskell was named inspector general under Gen. Earl Van Dorn's command of the Trans-Mississippi Department. After further service on Van Dorn’s staff, Haskell was assigned to conscription duty in South Carolina, staff duty in Mississippi, then to duty on the staff of Maj. Gen. Jones M. Withers in Alabama. Late in 1864 he was ordered to report to Andersonville Prison, but never traveled there. After the war he settled in Houston and practiced law. He died in New Orleans on October 12, 1866, while on a trip.

The Battle of Elkhorn Tavern (Taken from the Confederate Military History, Volume 10, Chapter IV) (http://www.civilwarhome.com/CMHelkhorntavern.htm), accessed January 30, 2011. Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965). History of the 6th Texas Infantry (http://6thtx.org/history.htm), accessed January 30, 2011. Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861–1865 [Volume I], NINTH DAY—FRIDAY, November 29, 1861 (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field([email protected](cc001107))), accessed January 30, 2011. New Orleans Times Picayune, Oct. 17, 1866.

Time Periods:
  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Stephanie P. Niemeyer and Bruce Allardice, “Haskell, Alexander McDonald,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/haskell-alexander-mcdonald.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 14, 2011
July 21, 2011

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