CDV, 2.5 in. x 4.25 in., of Brigadier General Alexander Hays. Hays fought in both the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, though he is remembered for the latter. Born in Franklin, Pennsylvania in 1819, Hays did not seem destined for military greatness. He graduated 20th out of 25 classmates at West Point, though there he befriended Ulysses S. Grant who was one year his junior. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as part of the Union Army and was given command of the 63rd Pennsylvania Volunteers. He could be characterized by his hard fighting and drinking. He fought the Battle of Gettysburg with a cocky attitude and later said that the thought of defending Pennsylvania from the Confederates influenced his actions. Unfortunately, in 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness he met his untimely end after being shot in the head. His old friend, General Grant, visited his grave during one of his presidential campaigns.
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