William T. Anderson

William T. Anderson's name is one that struck fear into the hearts and souls of the Federal Occupation Armies in Missouri.

William and Martha Anderson, Bill's parents came to Randolph County in 1840. This is the same year Bill was born. He had an older brother Ellis, younger brother James and younger sisters Mary C., Josephine and Martha.

In 1850 Bill's father went with a group of men from the county to the California Gold Fields. 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 back to Platte County, Missouri.

By July of 1862, Bill and his brother Jim had joined with Quantrill's Partisan Rangers operating on the western border of Missouri.

A year later, the Union authorities acting out of frustration for losing most all of their encounters with the guerrillas, decided to banish all Southerns in the area who were helping these men defend their homes.

Mary and Josephine were arrested along with several other ladies in the area and imprisoned in an old hotel in Kansas City. On August 14, 1863 the building collapsed killing 14 year old Josephine and 3 others, and Mary being one of the badly injured.

The anguish Bill felt was overwhelming and all Union Soldiers thereafter were shot on the spot that fell into his hands. This is the same policy that the Union had had for two years in Missouri. One lone Sergeant, that he hoped to exchange after Centralia, ever lived to tell about it.

Anderson was killed in action October 27, 1864 near present day Orrick, Missouri. He was leading a charge through Union lines, seeing several comrades down, turned to help. His horse was shot and became uncontrollable and he was stuck down by a volley. The pain and anguish of losing a father, sister and numerous friends was over for this young man of 24.

The command of his unit was taken over by Archie Clement.

Can anyone say for certain, that under the same circumstances that they would have acted any different? When justice is aligned against you, your friends and family, denied you by force of arms, you either find your own, die trying or bow and surrender.

Memorial at Albany, MO where Partisan Rangers
died with Capt. William T. Anderson

© MPR Virtual Museum Collection

Captain William T. Anderson's Headstone.
Pioneer Cemetery in Richmond, Missouri


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