Title: Sketch of General Anderson's life
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 Material Information
Title: Sketch of General Anderson's life
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Etta A. Anderson
Publication Date: 1914
 Subjects
Subject: Civil War
Spatial Coverage: North America
North America -- United States of America -- Florida
North America -- United States of America -- Tennessee
North America -- United States of America
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Bibliographic ID: UF00085628
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: 2jc

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Sketch of General Anderson's life
Written by himself.
I was born in Winchester, Franklin Co. Tennessee, on the 16th day of February 1822. My
father, William Preston Anderson, was a native of Bolletont [Botetourt?] County,
Virginia, and was born about the year 1775. During the second term of Genl.
Washington's administration, he received from the President a commission of Lieutenant
in the U.S. Army. About this time or soon after he removed to Tennessee and at one time
was U.S. District Attorney for that judicial District and was subsequently surveyor
General of the District of Tennessee. In the war of 1812 he was Colonel of the 24th U.S.
infantry, and was accidentally with Col. Cragan in his defence of Fort Harrison. During
this war he married my mother (Margaret L. Adair) who was the fifth daughter of Maj.
Genl. John Adair of Mercer County Kentucky. He had previously been married to Mrs.
Nancy Belle, by whom he had three children, Musadora, Rufus King, and Caroline. In
the second marriage there were born Nancy Belle, Catherine Adair, John Adair, (who
died in infancy) James Patton, John Adair (who died in 1858), Thomas Scott, and Butler
Preston. When I was an infant my father removed from the town of Winchester to his
farm Craggy Hope, about six miles distant where he resided till his death in April 1831.
When about eight years old, I was sent for a short time to a country school near home,
where I learned the alphabet and began to spell and read. Soon after my father's death,
my mother returned with her six children to her father's in Mercer County, KY. My
brother John Adair and myself were soon after sent to the house of Charles Buford (who
married my mother's youngest sister) in Scott County, KY, and remained there about a
year, attending a county school taught by Mr. Phillips. This was in 1831. In 1835, I
returned to my grandfather's and went to school to a young man named Van Dyke who
taught in the neighborhood. Afterward to Mr. Tyler, and still later to a Mr. Boutwell,
who were successively principals of Cave Run Academy in Mercer County. I was then
sent to the house of Judge Thomas B. Monroe in Frankfort. Mrs. Monroe was also a
sister of my mother. Here I remained about a year, or perhaps more, attending a select
school taught by B.B. Sayre. About this time my mother was married to Dr. J.N.[?]
Bybee [Dr. Joseph Bybee] ofHarrodsburg, KY. I was taken to his house and went to
school in the village to a Mr. Roice, and afterward to a Mr. Smith. In Oct. 1836 I was
sent to Jefferson College at Cannonsburg [Canonsburg] Penn. I remained there a year,
when pecuniary misfortunes compelled my stepfather to withdraw me. In the winter of
1838, I kept up my studies with a young man named Terry then teaching in Harrodsburg.
During this winter I boarded at the house of my uncle John Adair three miles in the
country. In the spring, I was sent up to the Three Forks of Kentucky River, in Estill
County, where my stepfather had established a saw mill and had opened a coal mine.
During this year too, I made a trip with my mother, to Winchester Tennessee, on
horseback where she went to close up some of the unsettled business of my father's
estate. In the fall of 1838 my stepfather determined to remove to North Mississippi; then
being rapidly settled, the Indians having been removed west of the Miss. River. I
accompanied him on horseback from Harrodsburg KY to Hernando in De Soto County,
Miss. I remained here during the winter of 1838-9 assisting in building cabins, clearing
land, etc. for the comfort of the family. In April 1839, I was sent back to Jefferson
College; I entered the junior class, and graduated in Oct. 1840. I returned to De Soto
County Miss., and began the study of law in the office of Buckner & Delafield, and was









admitted to the bar by Judge Howry in 1843. In the summers of 1844 and 1845, I spent
three months of each year at the law school of Judge Thomas B. Monroe at Montroe
[Montrose] over Frankfort KY. I have always regarded these years as more profitably
spent than any others of my life. Having no money with which to support myself and the
bar being crowded with the best talent of Tennessee, Alabama, and other states which had
been attracted to this new country by its great prosperity and promise, I accepted the
position of Deputy Sheriff of Desoto County, under my brother-in-law Col. James H.
Murray, who had been elected to that office in the fall of 1843. I held this position, from
which a comfortable support was derived [sic], till 1846, when the prospect seemed
favorable to commence the practice of law. In 1847 I formed a partnership with R.B.
Mayes, a young lawyer of the state about my own age. (During the time that I discharged
the functions of Deputy Seriff [sic], I also practiced law in partnership with my former
preceptor, E.F. Buckner whenever I could do so consistently with the duties of the
office.) In Oct. 1847, I received an earnest appeal from Gov. A.G. Brown of Miss. to
organize a company in response to a call from the President of the U. States for service in
Mexico. (I had previously made several efforts to enter the military service during the
war with Mexico, but all the organizations from Desoto County had failed to be received
by the Governor their distance from the capitol making them too late in reporting.) In a
few days I organized a company of volunteers from the regiment of militia in the county
which I was then colonel. I was elected captain of the company without opposition. H.
Car Forrest was elected 1st Lieutenant. My brother John Adair was elected 2nd Lieutenant
and my brother Thomas Scott, orderly sergeant. The company repaired hurriedly to
Vicksburg, the place of rendezvous. Two other companies had already reached the
encampment. After waiting a fortnight or more for the other two companies of the
Battalion called for by the President to report, the fine companies were sent to New
Orleans for equipment and organization. Having rec'd arms, clothing, etc. they embarked
about 2nd, Jan. 1848, for Tampico, Mexico. On 22nd Feb. 1848, I was elected, at
Tampico, Lieutenant Colonel to command the Battalion. I remained at Tampico till the
close of the war, when I was mustered out of the service, along with the battalion at
Vicksburg, Miss. and reached my home at Hernando on the 4th of July 1848. I resumed
the practice of law in partnership with R.B. Mayes. Our prospects were flattering as the
business of the firm was gradually increasing. In the fall of 1849 I was elected one of the
members to the Legislature from De Soto County, after a very heated and closely
contested canvass. In January 1850 I took my seat in the Legislature. Genl. Jno. A.
Quitman was at the same time inaugrated [sic]Govenor [sic] of the State. The celebrated
compromise measures were then pending in the Congress of the United States, and the
country much excited on the topics then being discussed. Jefferson Davis and H.S. Foote
were then the U.S. Senators from Miss. I took the same view of the question with Davis
and Quitman voted for a resolution in the H. of Reps of Miss, requesting Senator Foote
to resign his seat, as much as he did not reflect the will of the state in voting for the
Compromise Bill. I sustained cordially and sincerely all the prominent measures of Gov.
Quitman's administration, and believed great injustice and wrong was done the South in
the passage of the Compromise Bill by the Congress of the U. States. In 1851, I was
renominated by the Democratic Party of De Soto County, for a seat in the Legislature.
My health (from my service in Mexico) at this time was very bad, which precluded me
from making a thorough canvassing of the County. The contest was an exceedingly









warm one and in many portions of the state was even bitter. It has passed into history.
Mr. Davis was defeated for Governor, by Genl. Foote. The whole Democratic Party was
left in a minority: with the rest I was defeated by over a hundred majority, in an aggregate
vote of about eighteen hundred. Resumed practice of law. Succeeded as well as could
be hoped. With health still so bad from continued fever & ague. In 1853 Jefferson Davis
was tendered the position of Secretary of War in Mr. Pierce's cabinet. In answer to a
letter of mine in Feb. of this year he advised me to proceed to Washington City, where he
would use his influence to procure me a commission in the new rifle regiment then about
to be raised by Congress for frontier defense. My health by this time was so completely
gone from the effects of sedentary habits and the agues engendered in a [micromatic?]
climate, that friends and physicians advised me to remove from Miss to a colder & dryer
climate. I accepted Mr. Davis's proposition and repaired to Washington City, where I
acquired on the night of the 4th March 1853, in time to learn that the bill to raise a rifle
regiment had failed for want of time, to receive Prest. Fillmore's signature. I remained
however, a fortnight without making any effort or application to receive any other
position. The Bill to organize the Territory of Washington had become a law on the 3rd
March. My uncle John Adair who had removed to Astoria, Oregon, in 1848 was now in
Washington City and extremely anxious for me to remove to that distant region, where
my brothers John and Butler had gone in 1850. Through his instrumentality and the
kindness of Mr. Davis (now Sec. of War) I was appointed U.S. Marshal for the Territory
of Washington. I accepted it and set about making preparations for the journey. Two
difficulties were in the way. 1st the want of money and 2nd I was engaged to be married
to my cousin Henrietta Buford Adair and I doubted the policy of taking her into such a
wild and new country with no other help or dependence for a support than my own
exertions. I returned to Memphis where she was, consulted her, and we agreed to try our
fortunes on this unknown sea. Her father gave her eight hundred dollars, and by
borrowing six hundred dollars from Stephen D. Johnston of De Soto County, I raised
about the same amount. (On account of his health he had been forced to give up
business, almost entirely & was too weak to attempt to collect what was owing to him.)
We were married in Memphis on the 30th of April 1853 and in an hour afterwards were
on our way to the Pacific Coast aboard a Mississippi steamer bound for New Orleans.
We embarked at New Orleans on the 7th of May onboard a steamer bound for Grey Town
[Greytown] in Nicaragua. The first day at sea my wife was taken very ill of fever. For
several days her life seemed to be suspended by a thread. These were the most anxious
days of my life. Happily she was better by the time we reached Greytown. Taking a
small river steamer there, we commenced the ascent of the San Juan River. After several
days of toil we reached Virgin Bay, only to learn that the steamer from San Francisco, on
which we had expected to reach that city on her return trip, had sprung a leak and was
compelled to go on down the coast to Panama for repairs, and that she would probably
not return for a month. This was a great disappointment to the eight hundred passengers
at Virgin Bay, who were eager to reach the gold fields of California, but to me it was a
matter of rejoicing, since a few weeks rest in Nicaragua would probably restore my wife
to health before undertaking another long sea voyage. We remained at Virgin Bay nearly
a month. My wife entirely recovered, and we embarked at San Juan del Sud [San Juan
del Sur] the first week in June. Reached San Francisco in fourteen days, where we had to
stay near a fortnight in waiting for the steamer which was to take us to the Columbia









River. At the expiration of this time we set sail in the steamer "Columbia" bound for
Astoria, Oregon. Among the passengers were my uncle John Adair and his oldest
daughter, Capt. George B. McClellain, U.S.A. Major Larnard U.S.A., and several other
officers of the army besides two companies of infantry. After passing the bar at the
mouth of the Columbia, a reckoning was taken between myself and wife, of the state of
the finances [sic]. It was ascertained that the sum total on hand was exactly one dollar!
(It was paper and of no value on that coast at that time.) It would not pay for landing our
trunks at Astoria, which place was then in sight and was our present destination. I threw
the dollar into the raging Columbia and began to whistle to keep my courage up! My
health had not improved. An officer came on deck whom I had not seen at table or
elsewhere during the voyage. He enquired if Col. Anderson was in the crowd. I replied
and introduced myself to him. He made himself known as Lieutenant Rufus Saxon
U.S.A. and said he had left New York on the steamer that came out a fortnight after I had
left New Orleans, and that he had an official communication for me from the Secretary of
the Interior, at the same time handing me a paper in a large official envelope. Taking it in
my hand, I began depositing it in my coat pocket without breaking the seal, when he
requested that I would open it and see whether he had brought it and contents safely to
hand. On opening it, I found it contained instructions for me as U.S. Marshal to proceed
at once to take a census of the inhabitants of the new Territory of Washington, and also a
treasury draft for a thousand dollars to defray my expenses in the work!!! This was a
piece of good fortune, in the nick of time, for in two minutes more the steamer dropped
her anchor off the city of Astoria, and soon we disembarked. My wife remained at the
house of our uncle near Astoria and I started in a few days to Puget Sound, to commence
official labors assigned me. I reached Olympia on the 4th of July and on the 5th started
through the territory to take the census. The only mode of travel then known in the
country was by canoe with Indians as watermen, or on foot. For two months I was
constantly engaged in this way, frequently walking as much as 25 miles per day and
carrying my blankets, provisions, and papers on my back. My health already robust, and
the work was a pleasure. On completing the census my wife accompanied me by steamer
up the Columbia to [the] mouth of Cowlitz River, in canoe, etc. Up Cowlitz River to
landing across a portage of sixty miles on ponies to Olympia, where the capital of the
territory was likely to be established, and where I had determined to settle. At first we
rented a little house, and then bought one in which we lived very happily and pleasantly
during our stay in the territory. In addition to the discharge of my duties as U.S. Marshal,
I practiced law in the territorial courts, whenever the two duties did not conflict. In 1855
I was nominated by the Democratic Party of the territory for the position of Delegate in
the U.S. Congress. My competition was Judge Strong, formerly U.S. District Judge in
Oregon. We began a thorough canvass of the whole territory as soon as appointments for
public speaking could be distributed among the people. I was successful in the election
which came off in June. Soon thereafter the report of gold discoveries near Fort Calville
on the upper Columbia reached the settlements on Puget Sound and several persons
began preparations for a trip into that region. Not desiring to start for Washington City
before Oct. in order to be at Washington on the 1st Monday of December, the meeting of
the 34th Congress to which I had been elected. I determined to go to Fort Calville to
inform myself about the gold deposits of that & other unexplored regions of the territory,
the better to be able to lay its wants and resources before Congress and the people of the









states. I started with seven other citizens in Olympia the latter part of June, on horseback,
with pack animals to carry our provisions. Our route lay over the Cascade Mountains
through what was then called the Na-chess pass, across the Yakama [Yakima] River and
valley, striking the Columbia River at the Priests Rapids, where we crossed it taking the
Grande Coulee [sic] to the mouth of the Spokan [Spokane] River thence up the left bank
of the Columbia by Fort Calville to the mouth of Clark's Fork, where gold was reported
to have been found, which we proved by experiment to be true. The trip from Olympia to
the mouth of Clark's Fork as thus described occupied us about 24 days. Other parties
followed us soon after. The Indians on the route became alarmed, lest their country
would be overrun with whites in search of gold and commenced hostilities, by killing a
man named Mattise who was on his way to the mines from Olympia. A general Indian
war was threatened. I had not been at the mines a week till Angus McDonald of Fort
Calville sent an express to inform me of the condition of affairs between me and home.
We were unarmed, except with two guns and one or two pistols in the party. Our
provisions were being exhausted, and the appointed time for my return had arrived. So
the miners concluded to return with me to avoid the most hostile tribe led by the Chief
Owhi. We made a detour to the East in returning, crossed the Spokan [Spokane] about
forty miles above its mouth, passed by the old Whitman Mission crossed Snake River
about ten or twenty miles above its mouth, took down the Pelouse to Walla Walla thence
across the Umatilla near the Mission & "Billy McKey's" crossing the Deo Shuttes at its
mouth, then down to the Dalles, the Cascades, Fort Van Couver [Vancouver], and up the
Cowlitz back to Olympia which we reached in safety about 1st October. During that
month my wife and self took steamer to San Francisco, thence to Panama, Aspinwall, and
on to New York. We reached Washington City a few days before the meeting of
Congress. This (24th) Congress will be long remembered as the one which gave rise to
such a protracted and heated contest for speaker to which position Mr. N.P. Banks of
Mass. was finally elected. This was the first triumph of importance for that fanatical
party (now called the Republican) which led to the disruption of the Union four years
later. Before this struggle for speaker had been decided, and during the Christmas
holidays my wife and I repaired to Casa Bianca Florida by invitation of our Aunt Mrs.
E.A. Beatty. While there I entered into an agreement with her for the conduct of her
plantation under my supervision, etc. My wife remained at Casa Bianca and I returned to
my duties at Washington City: only coming out to Florida during the vacation. My term
of service in Congress expired the 4th March 1857, the same day Mr. Buchanan was
inaugurated President for four years. He appointed me Governor and Supt. of Indian
Affairs of Washington Territory. (The same position had been tendered him by President
Pierce, but declined) but I did not accept, wishing to take my wife's advice on the
subject. On consultation with her I determined not to return to Washington Territory,
believing firmly that the days of the Union were already numbered, and not wishing to be
absent from the land of my birth when her hour of trial came, I resigned the position
tendered me by Mr. Buchanan and devoted myself exclusively to planting at Casa
Bianca. In 1860 when it became certain the Mr. Lincoln was elected President of the
United States, the people of Florida feeling alarmed for the safety, of their rights, and
institutions, began to hold primary meetings to a general convention of the state. In
December 1860 I was elected a Delegate from Jefferson County to a General Convention
of the state which assembled at Tallahassee the 1st of January 1861 and passed the









Ordinance of Secession on the 10th day of the same month which received my hearty
approval. While the Convention was yet in session, the Governor deemed it prudent to
seize such Forts ordinance and ordinance staves as he could belonging to the United
States, within the limits of the State. For this purpose a force was sent to Pensacola to
seize the Navy Yard, Forts Barrancas, McRee, and Pickens. A volunteer company of
young men of Jefferson County of which I was captain, came through the Tallahassee en
route for Pensacola to assist in taking Fort Pickens to which all the U.S. troops then at
Pensacola had now retired. At the request of the company, signified to me in Tallahassee
while they were awaiting transportation to St. Marks, to St. Marks, I agreed to command
them in this expedition. Another company under Captain Amaker from Tallahassee was
also going on the same errand. We failed at St. Marks to get steamboat transportation,
returned to Tallahassee and started over land by Quincy, Chattahoochie [Chattahoochee],
etc. Capt. Amiker's [Amaker] commission as captain was older than mine (by one day)
but at his urgent request and that of Governor Perry I consented to assume the command
of the two companies. Having marched to Chattahoocie [Chattahoochee] arsenal we
were stopped by a dispatch from Gov. Perry directing us to remain there till further
orders. In about a week it was decided by the officer in command of the Florida troops at
Pensacola not to attack Fort Pickens, and he accordingly dispatched Governor Perry to
disband my detachment. In the meantime the Convention of Florida had determined to
send Delegates to a convention of such Southern states as had seceded from the Union,
which was to meet in February at Montgomery, Alabama. These delegates from Florida
were to be appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the
convention Governor Perry despatched [dispatched] me at Chattahoochie
[Chattahoochee] arsenal that he had appointed me one of the three Delegates to this
General Convention and directed me to return to Tallahassee with my two companies,
where they would be disbanded which was done. In February I repaired to
Montgomery and took part in the proceedings of the Convention which formed a
Provisional Government for the seceded states. All the principle measures of that body,
passed or proposed during its first session, and while I was a member met my support. I
was on the committee of military affairs, and favored the raising of troops, etc. I also
proposed to have the cooks, nurses, teamsters, and pioneers of our army to consent of
slaves. After having adapted a Provisional Constitution and inaugurated a provisional
President, the Convention or Congress adjourned about the first of March. (We reached
home on the morning of the 26th, 4 A.M. having been detained in Mont. [Montgomery] to
finish committee work or something of the kind. While we were at breakfast the message
came by one of the Gov. staff, to him, he left on first train that morning for Tallahassee -
about 9 A.M. E.A.A.) On the 26th March, while at my home near Monticello, the
Governor wrote me that he wished to send a Regiment of Infantry to Pensacola for
Confederate service. My old company was immediately reorganized and on the 28th
March started for Chattahoohie [Chattahoochee] arsenal, the place appointed for all the
companies to rendezvous and elect field officers. On the 9th of April I was elected
Colonel of the 1st Florida Regiment (infantry) without opposition, and that night started
with the regiment to report to General Braxton Bragg at Pensacola. We reached
Pensacola on the 11th and 12th of April, went into camp and commenced drilling and
exercising the troops. On the night of the 7th, 8th October I commanded one of the
detachments which made a decent [descent] upon the camp of Billy Wilson's Zouares









under the guns of Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. The expedition consisted of about a
thousand men divided into three detachments, respectively under Col. J.K. Jackson 5th
Ga. Regt., Col. Jos. R Chalmers 9th Miss. Regt. and myself. Chalmers had the right -
Jackson the center, and I the left, the whole under command of Brig. Genl. R.H.
Anderson of S. Carolina. My command consisted of 100 men from the 1st Flor. [Florida],
100 men form the 1st La. and about 150 from the ist Ala. [Alabama], and other
commands. My loss in this fight was eleven killed, twenty-four wounded, and twelve
captured. (I speak from memory.) On the 10th February 1862, I was appointed a
Brigadier General in the Provisional army of the Confederate States, and in March was
ordered to report to Genl. Bragg then at Jackson in West Tennessee. Soon after
reporting, I was assigned to the command of the Brigade of Infantry in the Division of
Brig. Genl. Ruggles (of La.) then at Corinth, Miss. This brigade consisted principally of
Louisiana troops to which the 1st Florida and 9th Texas regiments were soon after added.
I was immediately ordered to the front of Corinth in the direction of Monterey and
Pittsburg Landing. At the Battle of Shiloh my brigade consisted of the 17th, 19th, and 20th
La. Regiments, the 9th Texas, ist Florida, and Clack's La. Battalion, with the 5th company
of Washington Artillery from New Orleans. Soon after the Battle of Shiloh Hindman
was assigned to the command of Ruggles Division but only exercised it a few days, when
he was ordered to Arkansas, and the command devolved upon me as Senior Brigadier. I
commanded the Division in the retreat from Corinth till we reached Clear Creek near
Baldwin, where I was taken ill with fever, and Maj. Genl. Sam Jones was assigned to the
Division. I rejoined the Division at Tupelo, Miss., where the Army was reorganized, and
commanded a Brigade in Sam Jones Division till we reached Chattanooga, Tenn. in
August of that year, preparatory to the Kentucky Campaign. In August 1862, while
encamped near Chattanooga the Division was reorganized, and was composed of
Walker's, Adams's, Anderson's, and Reichard's Brigades. About the middle of August
Maj. Genl. Sam Jones was assigned to the command of the Department of East
Tennessee, and the command of the Division devolved upon me. On the 1st of September
I crossed Walden's Ridge with my Division, following Buckner's Division- the two
composing Hardee's Corps, Army of Tennessee. Throughout this campaign I continued
in command of the Division, having Brigadier General Preston Smith's Brigade of
Cheatham's Division added to it in the afternoon of the day of the battle of Perryville.
We returned from Kentucky through Cumberland Gap, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and
Bridgeport to Allisonia in Franklin County Tennessee, where my Division was halted for
a fortnight. During this time I visited for the first time in many years the grave of my
father at Craggy Hope (The Old Farm.) From Allisonia, the army proceeded to
Shelbyville, where we halted ten days and thence to Eagleville, where, in December, my
Division was broken up, and I was assigned to the command a Brigade in Withers
Division of Polk's Corps. This Brigade was the one formerly commanded by Brig. Genl.
Frank Gardiner. I was only in command of it a few days when Rozecrans [Rosecrans]
advanced upon Murfreesboro where Genl. Bragg determined to give him battle; and for
this purpose took his line of battle on the 27th December, about a mile and a half from
Murfresboro [Murfreesboro] on the Nashville and Wilkerson Pikes. The morning of the
day on which the line was taken up, I was transferred to the command temporarily of
Walthall's Brigade of Mississippians. This was in consequence of Walthall's sickness,
and because the Brigade was composed entirely of troops (Mississippians) who had been









under my command, either as Brigade or Division Commander since 1862. This Brigade
won many laurels in the battle of the 31st of December, and on the 2nd January 1863, was
sent to reinforce Breckenridge on the right who had been roughly handled that afternoon
by superior numbers. We reached the scene of conflict about sundown and after the
heaviest fighting was over in time however to have several officers and men of our
skirmish line severely wounded; and by interposing a fresh line between, the victorious
enemy and Breckenridge's shattered columns, gave time for the latter to rally and resume
a line they had held in the morning. (This affair gave rise to much bitter feeling between
Genl. Bragg and Maj. Genl. Breckenridge. Bragg in his official report having
animadversed animadvertedd] very sincerely upon Breckenridge's conduct and having
attributed more (I think) to my Brigade than it was entitled to (see Genl. Robertson chief
of Artillery's official report E.A.A.) On the other hand, Breckenridge hardly did us
justice, or rather his friends who discussed the matter in the public prints, did not give me
due credit for our conduct on operations on that occasion. They rather contended that I
reached the ground after the fight was over, and although we came with good intentions,
and doubtless would have rendered efficient services, if it had been necessary, yet there
was nothing to be done after our arrival, etc. The facts are, however as I have stated them
here, and as I stated them in my official report on that occasion, a copy of which I sent to
Genl. Breckenridge, whereupon he wrote me a very complimentary note characterizing
the report as one "that was truthful and manly." I think Genl. Bragg founded his report
upon exaggerated statements of some partial friend of mine, and hence attributed to me
more than I deserved. I allude to it here because both Bragg's and Breckenridge's
statements may become matter of controversy and dispute hereafter. After the battle of
Murfresboro [Murfreesboro], during the illness and absence of Maj. Genl. Withers I was
in command of the Division for over a month. In the meantime Brigd. Genl. Chalmers
who commanded a Brigade of Mississippians in the Division was transferred to the
cavalry service in Mississippi, and upon Withers, resuming command of the Division, I
was assigned permanently to the command of Chalmers Brigade, which I exercised
without interruption while the army was at Shelbyville Tenn., and during our retreat from
that place to Chattanooga in June-July 1863. In July 1863, I was sent with my Brigade to
hold the Tennessee River at Bridgeport and vicinity while the balance of the army was at
Chattanooga and above there on the River. This duty was performed to the entire
satisfaction of Genl. Bragg. In August Withers was transferred to duty in Alabama and
Hindman was assigned to the command of the Division. Shortly before evacuating
Chattanooga my Brigade was drawn from Bridgeport by orders of Genl. Bragg, and
rejoined the Division in the neighborhood of Chattanooga. I commanded the Division in
the McLemore's core expedition in Sept. for which Hindman who commanded the whole
expedition, has received much censure. He certainly missed capturing eight or ten
thousand of the enemy which would have left the balance of Rozecrans [Rosecrans] army
at Bragg's mercy soon after this or rather, while in McLemore's core, Hindman was
taken sick and the command of the Division again devolved upon me. On the night of the
19th of September, after the Division had crossed the Chicamauga [Chickamauga] Creek,
and while it was getting in position for next day's fight, Hindman resumed command and
continued in command of the Division till the close of the battle, after dark on the night
of the 20th. So I commanded my Brigade in the battle of Chicmauga [Chickamauga], in
the advance to Missionary Ridge, began on the 21st. I was in command of the Division









soon after reaching Missionary Ridge. Hindman was placed in arrest by Genl. Bragg,
and the command of the Division devolved upon me. I commanded it at the battle of
Missionary Ridge, but on that morning protested against the disposition which had been
made of the troops (see my official report.) which was the worst I have ever seen. The
line was in two ranks the rank at the foot of the hill and the rear rank on the top!! and
the men were over three feet apart in line! Thus the front rank was not strong enough to
hold its position, nor could it retire to the top of the ridge so as to be of any device to the
line there. The consequence was that the troops made no fight at all, but broke and run as
soon as the enemies overwhelming columns advanced. About the last of December
Hindman was released from arrest and assumed command of the Corps as senior Major
General; and I remained in command of the Division. In Feb. 1864 Maj. Genl.
Breckenridge having been transferred to a command in south western Virginia, I was on
the 9th day of February appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, a Major
General in the Provisional Army and assigned to the command of Breckenridge's
Division in the army of Tennessee. Before receiving these orders however, I received a
dispatch from the Presidents ordering me to Florida, to assume command of that District.
The Army of Tennessee was at this time at Dalton, Georgia, under command of Genl.
Jos. E. Johnston. I reached Florida the 1st of March 1864 ten days after the battle of
Olustee, and assumed command of the District, with Headquarters in the field in front of
Jacksonville. Remained here operating against the enemy at Jacksonville and on the St.
John's River all summer, or till I was ordered back to the Army of Tennessee. We were
able to confine the enemy closely to his entrenchments around Jacksonville, and by
blowing up two of his armed transports above Jacksonville, and one below, put a
complete stop to his navigation of the river above that city and caused him to evacuate
Palatka, and to use the river below Jacksonville with the greatest caution. On the night of
the 25th July 1864, I received a telegram from Genl. Bragg at Columbus, Georgia,
directing me to report to Genl. Hood at Atlanta without delay, for duty in the field. I
started to Atlanta on the morning of the 26th July and reached Atlanta on the night of the
28th. On the 29th I was assigned to, and on the 30th assumed command of my old Division
composed of Diaz's, Brantley's, Sharp's, and Mangault's [Manigault's] Brigades. I
remained in command of these Brigades till the evening of the 31st August when I was
seriously wounded in the battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, which compelled me to leave
field, and has resulted in my absence from the Army up to the present time. There are
many incidents connected with my experience which would interest my children, if I had
time to record them, but I have not. I have hurriedly written some of the prominent facts,
for their edification hereafter. This is a dark day in the history of the present war, but I
believe a brighter will soon dawn upon us. If discention [dissention] and faction does not
distract us, we will certainly achieve our independence. The course of some prominent
men in Georgia (Tombs [Toombs] & Governor Brown, E.A.A.) just at this time, is much
calculated to grieve the spirit of all true Southerners. (I would have been glad to have
known they were hung. E.A.A.) It is to be hoped that they will desist from their factious
teachings* and practices and soon unite with the patriots of the land to prosecute with
unanimity and vigor the war which our enemies are determined to wage against us.
Patton Anderson


Monticello, Fla.









Feb. 28th 1865 While he was at home wounded. He returned to the Army in N.C. in
March & contend [continued?] to the end.
* They never did, till the dear cause was gone, then they were going to whip the whole
North. Patton returned to the Army North Carolina in March, much against the advice &
approval of his physicians (as he was still obliged to live on liquids & food was so scarce
in the Army & everywhere) where he was assigned to a new command from Charleston,
S.C. and was with them surrendered at or near Bentonville, N.C. He did not think the
time had come to give up. These noble men, though they had served under him so short a
time, told him they would follow him anywhere, and to submit to no terms he thought
dishonorable. Those above him knew his sentiments and the sentiments of two other
officers with him & signed the terms of surrender before they reached the place, though
their rank gave them the right to be present in the caucus. The other two officers were
Genl. Walthall of Mississippi & Genl. Featherstone whom I think was from the same
state.
Etta Adair Anderson

Palatka 1895

From a clipping from an Olympia paper at the time I see out of 1538 votes cast, Genl. A.
received 857! I also came across a scrap of Flor. history the other day, which I had
forgotten, if I had ever known, that Genl. A. was one of a committee of three [?] to write
the ordinance of secession for the state & that he probably wrote it. Genl. A. had during
the entire war one short furlough of 9 days. I was ill in Jan. 1864 in Monticello, Flor. &
he came to see me. I grew better and he returned to his command when [?] his furlough
repaid [?]. Our home was never in the hands of the enemy, he had sold it in the spring of
1860, these payments became due, during the war, of course he was paid for it in
Confederate money & never felt he could conscientiously leave his post to come home to
reinvest. The money was in new packages, just as it was paid, when the war closed & of
course the slaves being freed, we had nothing, not a cent & his health gone from his
wound. I might have said that while he was so well, as long as he remained in
Washington Territory, the very first week in Washington City, his malarial symptoms
returned & he suffered at intervals form there as long as he lived.

I have written as hard as I could for over two weeks.


[Written on a separate piece of paper, in reference to the dispute between Bragg and
Breckenridge]

I was up at the army when this discussion was going on. You heard it everywhere from
friends & enemies. All gave the Brigade & Genl. Anderson credit, fir all that Genl.
Bragg & Genl. Robertson claimed for them. The later claimed that Genl. A. saved the
Artillery of that whole Army. Genl. B. [Breckenridge] would not send in his report & at
last Genl. Bragg sent his without it, saying Genl. Breckenridge had declined to send his
in. The note Genl. A. refers to I was in the room when Genl. Breckenridge returned my
husband's report with this note. Genl. threw it in my lap saying "you will value that" and









I did, but it was burned two years after the surrender with most of his official
correspondence in his private desk at St. Marks Flor. in a ware house, where it was only
one night awaiting shipment to Memphis, where he had moved.
Etta A. Anderson,
I should have said Genl. Breckenridge would not send in his report until he had seen
Genl. A.'s. They were intimate friends & distant relations. There is no use talking, Genl.
Breckenridge was drunk at that battle & had his men all cut to pieces. Genl. Bragg would
not stand drinking in any of his officers.

(To be read last, I only put it in here to keep it.)

The first summer after the war ended, my husband's health was so broken from his
wound that he spent it with friends in Tennessee at Winchester & other points. In the
spring of 1866 he, my brother Cromwell Adair, & my sister's husband, Dr. Robert Scott
formed a partnership to plant cotton in Bolivar County Mississippi. He managed it. The
Yankees had cut the levies which made him late getting in the crop & the cold [?] front
killed the top cotton, so while they did not loose [sic], they only made expenses. In 1868
he moved to Memphis, where he engaged in Life Insurance & at one time edited an
agricultural magazine. He did not like insurance, but the magazine work, he liked. He
was never allowed to practice his profession (the law) because he would not take the
"iron clad oath" as it was called. His disabilities were only removed by Genl. Act of
Congress about three weeks before his death. He made us a comfortable support while he
lived, though he was growing weaker day by day from his wounds until his death 20th
of Sept. 1872. As he said when told he could live but a few hours, "The anniversary of
the battle of Chickamaug [Chickamauga], how we whipped them there." He was buried
in Memphis & his grave is still unmarked. -1914


Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.




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