Gracie, Archibald was born on December 1, 1832 in New York City. Son of Archibald and Elizabeth (Bethune) Gracie.
Studied in Heidelberg, Germany. Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1854.
Took part in Snake River expedition, 1855. Moved to Mobile, Alabama, 1856. Captain Washington Light Infantry Company, Mobile.
Commissioned major 11th Alabama Regiment, 1861. Raised 43d Alabama Regiment, 1862, elected colonel, led expedition across Cumberland Mountains to attack and capture Fort Cliff (Tennessee) commissioned brigadier general Confederate Army, 1862. Served in engagements at Chickamauga and Beans Station.