The Blue & the Gray
Neither Blue or Gray: Alfred Mordecai
An Officer’s Dilemma (1804-1887)
In 1846, West Point graduate Major Alfred Mordecai became commander of the Washington Arsenal, now Fort McNair. Mordecai also served as assistant to the Secretary of War and to the Chief of Ordnance.
In 1861, Mordecai sought an army post in California to avoid fighting in the Civil War. When the request was denied, he resigned his commission rather than serve against his native North Carolina. After refusing an offer to serve in the Confederacy, Mordecai ended his military career.