Alexander McRae, graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, was born in Fayetteville. When North Carolina seceded from the Union, McRae honored his oath, remained in the United States military, and became estranged from his family, with his four brothers joining the Confederate Army. It's a brother against brother story. McRae was killed in the Battle of Valverde New Mexico. After the battle, Colonel Canby wrote, "Pure in character, upright in conduct, devoted to his profession, and of loyalty that was deaf to the seductions of family and friends, Capt. McRae died as he had lived, an example of the best and highest qualities that a man can possess."