James L. Andrews was born in Madison County, Mississippi. He was the son of the Rev. John Girault Andrews, Sr. (d. 1841), and his wife, Martha D. Lindsay (d. 1878). Mrs. Andrews later owned Mt. Ida Plantation near Vernon, MS, where the Andrews Family Cemetery is located. James L. Andrews attended the University of Virginia in session 30 (1853-1854).
On 19 Feb. 1862, James Andrews married Caroline A. “Carrie” Thomas, and the couple had one daughter, Jimmie Andrews. Almost immediately thereafter, Andrews enlisted as a private in Company A (Withers’ Artillery) of the First Mississippi Light Artillery Regiment when it was formed with Colonel William T. Withers at its head. In 1862, the regiment fought in the Battle of Champion’s Hill and the Battle of Chicasaw Bayou, both in Mississippi.
The regiment was on its way by train to join the fighting near Vicksburg when “A sad accident took place on the Southern Railroad, three miles below [Edwards’s Depot, MS], about 11 o’clock this morning [on 31 Dec. 1862], by which 6 persons were almost instantly killed, and forty-one wounded. Four cars, freighted with soldiers, were crushed into a mass of ruins, and the brave defenders of our country thrown into the crushing wreck, killed and wounded. … The engine first left the rail, owing to a bad joint in the track. I make this statement upon the authority of a soldier who saw the rail where it gave way.” (Cone) James L. Andrews was one of the men killed instantly. “It is painful for the writer to record the death of J. L. Andrews. He was one of the most promising young men of Madison County, and a chivalrous, accomplished gentleman.” (Cone)
- Cone, Charles A. “Additional through Southern sources; Further of the seige of Vicksburg.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), 9 Jan. 1863, p. 2. [From America’s Historical Newspapers online database (accessed 7/9/12)]
- Eaddy, Vanik S. “Robert James Eaddy, Sr., Historical Summary.” [website] c2010. <http://eaddy.biz/html/robjead1.htm> (accessed 7/9/12).
- “Mississippi, Marriages, 1800-1911,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V28M-P69 : accessed 10 July 2012), James L. Andrews, 1862.
- Withers, W. T. “Report of operations of W. T. Withers, Col. Commanding, First Mississippi Light Artillery, at Vicksburg, Miss. Jan. 6, 1863,” in War of the Rebellion, Series I, v. 17, pt. 1, chapter 29, no. 33, p. 689-694. <ebooks.library.cornell.edu/m/moawar/> (accessed 7/9/12).