Camp Website: http://www.rulen.com/anderson
|William and Martha Anderson, Capt. William Anderson's parents, settled in Randolph County in 1840, the same year William "Bill" was born. He had an older brother Ellis, younger brother James and younger sisters Mary C., Josephine and Martha. Mrs. Anderson's parents, William and Mahala Tomason, also lived with the family. Bill's father was a professional Hatter and was a Charter member of the Huntsville I.O.O.F. Lodge in 1847. The family lived north of town on the J.D. Hammet farm and in town near the Rake factory on West Depot Street. They later moved south of town in the Hagar school area where relatives lived.|
|In 1850, Bill's father went with a group of men from Randolph County to the
California Gold Fields. During this time away, Bill and his brothers were the heads of the
family and their relationship with their sisters was both brotherly and fatherly. Bill
attended the school in town located near the corner of east Mulberry and north Oak streets
and the Hagar school south of town. As Pro-Southern settlers, the family moved to Agnes
City, Kansas in 1857.
It is believed that Bill served in the Missouri State Guard up until the withdrawal from Lexington, at which time he returned home. In March 1862, Bill's father was murdered by Pro-Northern neighbors in some type of dispute. Soon after the family moved to Platte County, Missouri. By July, Bill and his brother Jim had joined with Quantrill's Partisan Rangers operating on the western border of Missouri.
A year later, Union authorities acting out of frustration for losing most all of the encounters with the guerrillas, decided to banish all Southerners in the area who were helping these men defend their homes. Mary and Josephine Anderson were arrested along with several other ladies in the area. The women were imprisoned in an old hotel in Kansas City. On August 14, 1863 the building collapsed killing 14 year old Josephine and three others. Mary was severely injured.
The anguish Bill felt was overwhelming. Any Union soldier that fell into his hands thereafter was shot on the spot. This policy was similar to the Union policy towards citizens in Missouri. Only one sergeant, that Bill planned to exchange after engagement at Centralia, ever lived to tell about meeting Anderson.
Bill was killed in action on October 26, 1864 near present day Orrick, Missouri. He was leading a charge through Union lines, saw several comrades down and turned to help. His horse was shot and became uncontrollable. He was struck down by a volley. The pain and anguish of losing a father, sister and numerous friends was finally over for this young man of 24.
Though given the reputation of a ruthless guerilla, can anyone say for certain that under the same circumstances, they would have acted differently? When justice is aligned against you and family is taken from you by force, one either holds his own, dies trying, or bows down and surrenders. Bill Anderson was a fighting Southerner to the end.
Sources: Written by Neil Block of the Capt. William T. Anderson Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Last modified: June 14, 2018.