Alexandria - Images of America
On the banks of the Red River, in the heart of Louisiana, is the city of Alexandria. First settled by the French in the mid-1700s, the little Post de Rapides grew to be a thriving trading center. Established in 1805 by Alexander Fulton, a Pennsylvania merchant fleeing from justice after the Whiskey Rebellion, the town of Alexandria flourished when steamboats lined its wharves and cotton was king. Reduced to ashes by Union troops during the Civil War, the town slowly rebuilt itself and, with the coming of the railroads, found new wealth in the timber trade. In 1940 and 1941, Alexandria played host to the US Army as Gen. George Marshall and future heroes of World War II planned a grand strategy in the Hotel Bentley and played war games across central Louisiana. The life and culture of central Louisiana has been captured in Alexandria-native Rebecca Wells's popular novels Little Altars Everywhere and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.