Edward Willoughby Anderson – Captain, Confederate States of America Army

Courtesy of Bill Furr: October 2006

Edward Willoughby Anderson was born January 1849 in Florida, the son of Captain James W. Anderson who served in the Seminole and Mexican Wars and was killed in action at the battle of Cherubusco. His grandfather, Colonel William Anderson, served with Decatur, and his maternal grandfather, Captain Elihu D. Brown, commanded a privateer in 1812.

He was the first West Point Cadet to refuse to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. at the start of the Civil War.  He was number 2 in his class at the time, having been appointed by General Winfield Scott in recognition of his father's gallant services.

He was commissioned in the Virginia Provisional Army and served at Norfolk, St. Helena and Craney Island until the evacuation of that district. Soon after he was attached to the Army of Northern Virginia and participated in the battles on the Virginia peninsula.

He was then assigned as assistant chief of ordnance on the staff of General Robert E. Lee. Subsequently he served as chief ordnance officer to General William Dorsey Pender, and later in the same capacity on the staff of General Cadmus M. Wilcox.

Later commissioned captain in the Regular Confederate Artillery, Anderson saw action at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg and in the Appomattox campaign.

Refusing to surrender with General Lee's Army, he made his way south to join General J.E. Johnston's Army in North Carolina, but when that army was forced to surrender, he turned towards Texas with hopes of joining up with General Kirby Smith's Army.

On his way west the word of Smith's surrender reached him and he reluctantly returned home to Virginia.

After the war, he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and ran a successful law practice in Washington, D.C. Deeply concerned with the welfare of the South, he was actively engaged in U.C.V. affairs and was the Commander of U.C.V. Camp 171. He also helped to found the Charles Rouss Camp No. 1191, becoming their first Lieutenant Commander.  He died on September 2, 1915.


  • DATE OF DEATH: 09/02/1915


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