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Sketch of General Anderson's life

 Collection — Box: 137
Identifier: MSS 0-4

Scope and Contents

This sketch was written by General James Patton Anderson while at his home in Monticello, Florida, recuperating from a wound he had received on the evening of the 31st of August, 1864, while in command of his division at the battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, during the Civil War. The first ten pages of the sketch are written by Anderson himself and the last page contains additional information added by Etta Adair Anderson, his wife, and Margaret Bybee Anderson, their daughter.

Written by the attorney that he was, the manuscript is concise, well-written, and five of the ten pages that he wrote contain valuable information about his experiences as an officer during the Civil War. In the second paragraph of the sixth page, he wrote: "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 Secession on the 10th day of the same month - which received my hearty approval."

Individuals he associated with included Jefferson Davis (1853), Secretary of War in President Franklin Pierce's cabinet; Captain George B. McClellan; Governor Perry of Florida; General Braxton Bragg; President James Buchanan; Billy Wilson and his Zouaves at Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. Famous battles he fought in were those at Chicamauga, Mission Ridge, Shiloh, and others.

A delegate from the territory of Washington. Monticello, Jefferson County, Florida.


  • Other: Majority of material found in 1864


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to the Florida State University Libraries. All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

James Patton Anderson was born in Franklin County, Tennessee on February 16, 1822. He was admitted to the bar in 1843 and practiced law in DeSoto County, Mississippi. In 1847, he was asked by Governor A.G. Brown to raise and eventually command the 1st Battalion Mississippi Rifles in the Mexican War with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Anderson returned from Mexico and spent one term in the Mississippi legislature, where he made the acquaintance of Jefferson Davis, who was soon to be President Pierce's Secretary of War. Through Davis' assistance, he was soon appointed by President Pierce as Marshal for Washington Territory, from which he was elected as delegate to Congress. Believing that the Union was collapsing, and not wanting to be far from the South, he refused a second appointment to Washington and moved to Florida in the late 1850s. After Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860, he quickly was elected as a member of the state secession convention. Anderson was appointed Colonel of the 1st Florida Regiment (Infantry), and he soon found himself with General Bragg in Pensacola. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1862, a rank which he held throughout the War. It was in the battle of Jonesboro in 1864 that he was seriously wounded and was forced home to Monticello where he wrote the sketch of his life up to that date. After the war General Anderson worked in the insurance business and also edited an agricultural paper in Memphis. He died at his home in Memphis on September 20, 1872 due to his war wound, and was buried there. [Source: Sketch of General Anderson's Life, Special Collections, Florida State University Libraries, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.]


1 folders

0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Method of Acquisition

Created by Margaret Anderson. Donated by Mrs. Fenton Davis Avant (Mrs. D.A.) of Tallahassee, FL.

Existence and Location of Originals

Portions of collection available online?: No

Processing Information

Originally processed February 29, 1964. Inventory encoded by Ginger H. Williams

Sketch of General Anderson's life
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US