Joseph W. Anderson was born in Fincastle, in Botetourt County, VA. He was the son of Col. John T. Anderson (b. ca. 1804), a lawyer and state legislator, and his wife, Cassandra (Shanks) Patton (b. ca. 1807), the widow of William Patton. He studied at the Botetourt Seminary, and at W. R. Galt’s school in Buchanan, VA, before attending the University of Virginia in sessions 31, 33, and 35 (1854-1855, 1856-1857, and 1858-1859), graduating at the top of his class in Law.
On 30 Jan. 1859, Anderson married Susan Watson Morris (b. ca. 1832) of Charlottesville, VA. He began to practice law, but because of his health, he retired to farming. The couple had two children, Anna M. and John T. Anderson.
At the organization of “The Mountain Men” military unit in December 1859, Anderson was elected 1st Lieutenant of the company, and after the secession of Virginia from the Union, he was elected Captain. The Mountain Men joined the Confederate Army as part of the 28th Virginia Infantry. In late 1861, Anderson was transferred from the Infantry and given the responsibility of forming a Light Artillery unit at Camp Lee. In spring 1862, Anderson’s Battery was ordered to east Tennessee, then in 1863, to Vicksburg, MS, where he was promoted to the rank of Major and Chief of Artillery, and given command of Stevenson’s Division. On 16 May 1863, Major Anderson was mortally wounded at the Battle of Baker’s Creek, south of Vicksburg, and died the next day. He is buried in the Fincastle Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Fincastle, VA.
[Note: Thanks to Suzanne Patton Williams who sent me information about her great-great-great-grandfather, William Patton.–JLC]
- Ancestry.com. 1860-1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.
- Descendants of Robert Anderson. [website]. <http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~anderson/va/trees/bote.html> (accessed 6/27/12).
- Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp.. Virginia Marriages, 1851-1929 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.
- Johnson, John L. The University memorial. Baltimore, MD, 1871. p. 383-399.
- Joseph W. Anderson Chapter #1715 United Daughters of the Confederacy, Buchanan, VA. http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Joseph-W-Anderson-Chapter-1715-United-Daughters-of-the-Confederacy/190665664304799?sk=info (Accessed 9/6/2011).
- Tombstone of J. W. Anderson, Fincastle, VA. Findagrave.com (Accessed 9/6/2011).