Alexander E. Steen
|Alexander E. Steen|
|Died||December 7, 1862 (aged 34–35)
Washington County, Arkansas
|Buried at||Fort Smith National Cemetery|
Confederate States of America
|Service/branch|| Missouri State Guard
Confederate States Army
|Years of service||1861–1862|
|Rank|| Lieutenant Colonel, Missouri Militia
Brigadier General (MSG)
|Commands held||Fifth Division, Missouri State Guard
10th Missouri Infantry, CSA
|Relations||brother-in-law of Lewis Henry Little, first cousin of Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector|
|Other work||antebellum officer in the United States Army|
Alexander Early Steen (1827 – December 7, 1862) was a career American soldier from Missouri who served as a general in the secessionist Missouri forces and the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He was killed in the Battle of Prairie Grove.
Steen graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, and was assigned as a second lieutenant to the 12th U.S. Infantry. He served at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in May 1846. By the mid-1850s, Steen was promoted to first lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Infantry and assigned to duty at Fort Union in the New Mexico Territory, where he led several lengthy reconnaissance patrols scouting for hostile Indians.
With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, many Missourians were forced to choose sides, especially after the state's neutrality came under test when pro-secessionist forces began organizing, and fighting between Unionists and secessionists became imminent. Steen returned to Missouri and was commissioned as the Lt Colonel of the Second Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Militia (MVM), a position he held concurrently with his commission in the U.S. Army. The Second Regiment, MVM, was composed primarily of members of the pro-secession "Minutemen" paramilitary organization. This unit was arrested by U.S. troops at Camp Jackson, on the outskirts of St. Louis on May 10, 1861 on suspicion of disloyal activities. Steen avoided arrest at Camp Jackson and reportedly submitted his resignation from the U.S. Army the same day. Steen was subsequently appointed as a brigadier general in the secessionist Missouri State Guard (MSG) under its commander, Major General Sterling Price, serving as drillmaster at the State Guard encampment at Cowskin Prairie near the Arkansas border. He also commanded the Fifth Division of the Missouri State Guard (mostly raw recruits) early in the war. In January 1862, he received an appointment as a captain in the Regular Confederate Army's Corps of Infantry, to date to March 16, 1861.
Death and burial
He served in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States as a colonel, commanding the 10th Missouri Infantry, CSA in the Battle of Prairie Grove in December 1862. He was killed during the fighting on December 7, 1862 and his body recovered and shipped to Fort Smith.
He is buried in the Fort Smith National Cemetery. A memorial to Unknown Confederate Dead, made of marble, commemorates Steen, as well as Brigadier General James M. McIntosh, an Arkansan who was killed at the Battle of Pea Ridge.
- Missouri SCV
- Fort Union website
- Missouri Brothers in Grey, edited by Michael Banasik, Camp Pope Books, 1998, p 155
- Missouri in the Civil War, Vol. 9, Chapter 6.
- Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, Volume 1, p. 706. Steen's resignation from the U.S. Army "became effective" on May 10, 1861.
- Prairie Grove order of battle
- NPS website for Fort Smith National Cemetery
- Eicher, p. 448.
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, Richmond, Virginia: Printer of the Confederate States Congress, 1861.
- National Park Service website for Fort Union
- "Missouri in the Civil War" adapted from Confederate Military History by Clement A. Evans, Confederate Publishing Company, Atlanta, Georgia, 1899.
- National Park Service website for Fort Smith National Cemetery
- Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans website for Jefferson Barracks